larios's Posts

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Don't wasts your money here!
Tips and Tricks

Six posts above, I made a reference that using a properly calibrated monitor and printer profiles is the only to way to be secure from the very first moment. I understand that not all people would like to use this process.

Let me add then, that this is the reason the Blurb warns you to print a single first copy as a proof. If you don’t want to hassle with monitor calibrations etc. do pick up a proof-copy of your OWN book and then browse it carefully page-by-page. Note the photos that need amendement and correct them JUST for the book. Then create and upload a NEW book with the corrected photos and that’s it!

I have just completed and received my monitor calibrated-ICC profiled Blurb book ("Syros the jewel" – browse it fully and freely online) which includes very difficult scenes (sunsets, some HDR etc., see examples here…. ) and I have to admit that it’s absolutely spot-on.

There are no alternatives to the above solutions. And certainly we cannot expect that they can correct it by themselves! How on earth would they know what’s the right tone anyway ??!!!

Regards,

Yannis (http://www.larios.gr)

 

Posted by
larios
Jan 18, 2009 4:45pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Don't wasts your money here!
Tips and Tricks

Let me add my 2 cents here….

The issue of proper monitor calibration and printer profiling is not something demanded by the Blurb printing process ONLY. Whoever is serious about his/ her photography will tell you that a properly calibrated monitor and a proper ICC profiling for printer AND paper, is the only way that could give you accurate results for photos even when printing at home.

If by pure chance, and only by pure chance, your home printer provides some "satisfactory" (but not "exactly accurate") results for photography printing without profiling or monitor calibration then you should just feel lucky.

But you cannot expect that you will be able to print photos across labs, higher volume printing machines, more professional printers and papers or whatever other combination (irrespectively of using Blurb or not) without any calibration whatsoever, just based on your "home-luck"!

So the issue is twofold:

IF you are willing to just give it a try with your photography then go ahead and make your book "blindly" (Blurb or not!). Sometimes, you may get some satisfactory results but that’s not for sure.

But IF you are serious about your photography, you have to learn what monitor calibration is and what printer profiling is. There are not intermediate paths. Period.

Posted by
larios
Jan 11, 2009 8:50am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
NEW PHOTOBOOK: decided to keep an informative log for you
Tips and Tricks

Thanks Ben :-)

Part #2: Anticipation Update

Blurb notified for shipment of my Syros photobook on Jan 9, 2008 that is 3 days ahead of schedule :-)

Another point for Blurb.

Posted by
larios
Jan 10, 2009 6:20am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
NEW PHOTOBOOK: decided to keep an informative log for you
Tips and Tricks

Part #1: Preparation 

Well, I had a series of photos from my last summer trip to Syros island, Greece. See them here…

I decided to make a Blurb photobook. So I thought to document my experience, step-by-step. I did it in the past and you found it useful (see here in detail at my photoblog). I think this may prove helpful to others.

Well, I am a "B3" Blurb member which means I can soft-proof my photos using Blurb’s printers’ ICC profiles. This proved a bit tedious, because I had to re-copy the photos to a different folder and then re-tweak them a bit one-by-one to get optimal viewing results. Needless to say that without a calibrated monitor you shouldn’t be expecting too much in terms of color consistency! Without having seen (yet!) the end result, I am now much more confident on the outcome though… Let’s wait and see (+1 point for Blurb)

So, I downloaded the latest Booksmart version (as of Jan 02, 2009) which was 1.9.x. Everything went smoothly and I had no glitches while preparing the book. (+1 point here again for Blurb) I still miss though the ability to put a photo on the spine as I used doing in the recent past with Blurb books. (-1 point!).

Well this was the most tedious part. I then went for a hardcover 33×28cm – 13"x11", 60 pages book with a dust jacket. It’s the most professional looking one for a photobook and I have tried some of the different sizes in the past. Expensive, but it makes the difference.

After that I had to do the pagination thing….. In the past I did a Paros island photobook with grey background but didn’t like it that much. An older, black-background photobook from Santorini was much more classy. Browse the previous books online here… This time I went for a white background, as I saw that this was the preference in most coffee-table books sold at bookstores.

I completed the whole photobook in about 3 days, 4-5 hours per day for a total of 55 photos. I would still like more options for putting portrait oriented photos. I found the options a bit lacking, especially in terms of placing the text descriptions by the photos. But anyway….

I finished it and uploaded it to Blurb in less than an hour, with a moderate speed ADSL line (+1 point for that). I selected the dust-jacket option and the custom workflow option to depict colours accurately. I think that the price premium for that is still quite high (+6 euros, which is almost 10% of the cost, -1 point for that). I used the normal/ old paper and not the new one.I read quite a few bad comments at Blurb’s blog, so I skipped that. Unless they provide us with glossy paper I will not be changing that. (-1 point for paper options!)

Well, I ordered 5 copies at Jan 4, 2009 (taking the risk!) and then chose the intermediate shipping option. Expected day of shipping is now Jan 12, 2009. Will keep you posted.

Meanwhile I have put a complete version of the photobook online for you to browse. You can find it here (1st in row) and you don’t have to download anything! Just browse it! Some may argue that by putting it completely online you risk sales. But I doubt that… You can fully browse it at bookstores aren’t you? And because this is an electronic ordering thing, which for some people means extra cautiousness, you have to give something back in confidence…

So there I am waiting for the deadlines and the shipment of books. Will keep you posted for the un-packaging process, the quality inspection and photos from the real thing so as to have the full Blurb experience.

Until then, have a look at the electronic version here, or feel free to browse my photos at my website here... For those of you that would also like an additional, more relaxing way to see the photos included in my photobook, I kindly invite you to download and watch the relaxing Syros photo slideshow (with music!) found here….  (2nd in row, download to your computer for best results).

Well, this is the end of part #1.

Regards,

Yannis (http://www.larios.gr)

Posted by
larios
Jan 4, 2009 4:34pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
My own Blurb experience in full....
Tips and Tricks

Greetings dmyli!

Regi is right! I would also like to add that page 1 is really important cause it’s the first impression. You can either use it as a title page, or (if you are making a photobook) write a short introdudction there. An alternative that I am also considering is to leave it white blank, so that you can handwrite something to the recipient first and then send it / give it as a present.

Hope this is helpful.

Regards,

Yannis (http://www.larios.gr)

Posted by
larios
Sep 12, 2008 1:44pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
My Santorini Blurb Photobook: Browse the FULL book online....
Tips and Tricks

 Yannis Larios Photography - Santorini photobook

I have just completed my Santorini (Greece) photobook entitled "Santorini – 70 hours, 70 glimpes" by using Blurb. You are all invited to browse the full book online by clicking here...

For reasons of full quality check of my Blurb photobooks, I prefer to handle the whole process myself through my website (purchases, online browsing etc.) .

However, photobooks are not the only option!

If (for a change!) you would like to have a relaxing 3-min experience with my Santorini photos (with music!) please come and visit my Slideshows Section by clicking here and download/ watch the relevant Slideshow (3rd in row).

Comments on my photos or photobook would be highly appreciated at my website’s guestbook here… (but please bear in mind that it’s just my hobby! )

 

Regards,

Yannis (http://www.larios.gr)

Posted by
larios
Sep 7, 2008 4:27am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
My own Blurb experience in full....
Tips and Tricks

Thanks babiigirl and Brian,

Indeed, it has been a hectic year in my real-life job! I did not have time even to put together my Venice portfolio in a book! During the year I was also holding back, waiting for the latest version of Booksmart which would allow me to save wherever in my HD drivers. Now all these are here!

And I think it’s time to Blurb again…..

 Regards,

Yannis (http://www.larios.gr)

Posted by
larios
Aug 18, 2008 11:35pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
My own Blurb experience in full....
Tips and Tricks

Well, it’s almost 11 months since my last Blurb book and I am now preparing  .... five different ones for the months ahead (Venice, Lisbon, a wedding one, Syros, and one for home interiors).

 It’s fair to say that this is a good moment to make an overall conclusion, including a discussion on the durability of the stitches after so many months.

 For your conveniece, I integrated my previous forum-posts from here and there, and I put them online with some additional comments on my photo blog, at a post about Blurb.

 My photo blog is at http://lightscript.wordpress.com and my photo website for any of you that may like to wander, is at http://www.larios.gr

 Regards,

 Yannis

 

 

Posted by
larios
Aug 18, 2008 4:32pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Update: BookSmart 1.9.5 includes a Photobucket Slurper, a directory feat...
BookSmart

Since I am one of the "weird guys" asking for this feature for soooo long, I feel it’s proper right now to say a big thank you for that!

Regards,

Yannis (http://www.larios.gr)

Posted by
larios
Apr 21, 2008 1:21pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Coming soon: the next version of BookSmart
BookSmart

Good news! But still hope (since the early days of Booksmart!) that they will (at last!) find out a way so that you can use as default drive for saving files, anything you like and not just this ridiculous C: thing of the ‘90s.

 Let’s see now this "amazing" engineering  team ….

 

Posted by
larios
Mar 9, 2008 12:09pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
My Blurb book arrived. It's fabulous! See the end result...
Book Printing

Since some Blurb friends are asking about the book’s content, except from the inside-peek that Blurb provides (see here), I have also setup a Slideshow with music with some of my photos contained in the book.

It lasts for about 3-min and it is very relaxing. Download it from here..... (sorry, PC only!)

Would appreciate your comments at the guestbook if you liked it!

Regards, Yannis

Posted by
larios
Oct 25, 2007 2:30pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Booksmart 1.9 still saves Books on C:\ by default!!!!
BookSmart

@brokendreams

You CAN change the place of the My Documents folder in Windows XP indeed. You CANNOT change thought where Blurb stores the Book data.

@Louis

As Steve sais, EVEN if you change the place of the \My Documents folder, Booksmart keeps saving on C:\My Documents !!!! Well,   this is really awkward since C:\ fills up and then I wouldn’t want to describe how we (in all firms that I have worked for) call those programers that bypass normal coding instructions, issues and practices and hard-code programs to specific Windows XP folders (I am a Computer Engineer myself). You wouldn’t want….

 

 

Posted by
larios
Oct 19, 2007 4:05am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Booksmart 1.9 still saves Books on C:\ by default!!!!
BookSmart

Steve, thanks for explaining our (joint!) point…. The book data  (NOT the program) directory is put in C:\ no questions asked!

Ben, now that the issue is fully explained, could we hope for a resolution to the problem? (so…. the multiple choice question still remains unanswered..)

Posted by
larios
Oct 18, 2007 7:30am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Booksmart 1.9 still saves Books on C:\ by default!!!!
BookSmart

It should read "Just give me the letter…..(a) to (e)"

Posted by
larios
Oct 17, 2007 1:59pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Booksmart 1.9 still saves Books on C:\ by default!!!!
BookSmart

After 5+ days, still not an answer….. a yes or a no, or a whatever….

So, let me make it a bit easier for the Blurb techies. .... I will put it in a multiple choice type of question, so they don’t have to spend time with writing an elaborate answer! Just give me the just the letter…..(a) to (e)

Do you Blurb people intend to make Booksmart 1.9 save books at any user-selectable folder and not just C:\ by default?

a) yes, definately when Booksmart 1.9 glitches are sorted out, within the next 2 weeks or so…

b) we are thinking about it, but it’s not a priority. Probably in Booksmart 4.5. Probably..

c) why the heck would you want that? C:\ is fine… We have enough problems already

d) buy a larger C:\ hard disk, re-install Windows, re-install everything, and your problem is solved.

e) you are a pn in the a... Don’t expect an answer. Let the question drown in the thread

 

So?

Posted by
larios
Oct 17, 2007 1:58pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Booksmart 1.9 still saves Books on C:\ by default!!!!
BookSmart

In this thread I complained that Booksmart still saves book files on C:\ by default….

I concluded by saying that a new version of Booksmart should actually solve this silly ‘90s Windows-95 era problem, of installing by default the data in Disk C:  no questions asked!

They promised to forward the issue to the development team. Booksmart 1.9 is here, and I already made a remark on the sticky note… No-one answered.

So, I guess it deserves its own topic to raise its attention. The question remains:

HOW CAN YOU STORE YOUR FILES ON A SELECTABLE FOLDER in Booksmart 1.9, as ALL 2007 software programs allow you to do? (include all your competitors of course!)

Regards, Yannis

Posted by
larios
Oct 12, 2007 2:21am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Blurb BookSmart 1.9 is now available. UPDATE: Patch released Oct. 11
General Interest

Hi! And thanks for your efforts and Booksmart 1.9 which look really good.

I installed it, no problems! However, my question that I placed a month earlier still remains: does it still save on C:\ the book by default? How can I change that? I have not found something in an probable Options menu.

Please guide me..

Posted by
larios
Oct 11, 2007 12:11pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
"Set your price" mid-solution for Europe? Why not redeem profits as gift...
Web Features

Thanks! I really appreciate your answer. Mostly though I appreciate your efforts!

Congrats.

 

 

Posted by
larios
Oct 11, 2007 12:01pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
1.9 Download
General Interest

Cannot see anything at my home page/ dashboard (yet!).

Is there a button for Booksmart at the first page actually?

Posted by
larios
Oct 11, 2007 8:40am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
"Set your price" mid-solution for Europe? Why not redeem profits as gift...
Web Features

Anyone from Blurb?

Posted by
larios
Oct 11, 2007 2:27am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
discount
General Interest

Marta,

The trick is (as I also learned in this forum!) to change the currency from € to $... Then the discount is applicable. 

Regards, Yannis (Greece)

Posted by
larios
Oct 10, 2007 7:46am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Ink jet versus digital offset printing
Book Printing

Sorry to jump in… but I guess that the explanation Bruce is giving is indeed necessary and absolutely sincere for any professional or enthusiast amateur photographer (mainly!)....

You see… Blurb may be used by dozens of "types" of users (writers, photographers, bloggers etc. etc.) and all with different needs (personal books, limited-number books, portfolios for clients etc.). Photographers are (normally) the most demanding group due to the need for more accruate color renditions.

However, let me add my 2 cents here for photobooks…

The results obtained from Blurb (especially during the last 1.5 months when problems have been being sorted out) are comparable to most mid- or low-priced photobooks at the stores.

And yes! If you use a loupe you are going to see some halftone screening, which is however invisible in normal book browsing. Most of the people that have seen my photobooks think that I have gone to a large-scale publisher etc. Most of them will never notice anything. Actually they are stunned and they do want their own copy after a single browsing.

Of course my photos look much better on my calibrated screen (and of course on my 1 picolitre inkjet!)... But my target group is not "trained" for that and actually does not have such high demands, or is not in the position to buy such quality (even at the bookstores). For other photographers that need to print their portfolios at the absolutely highest quality for specific clients and assignments, this may not be an option.

What Bruce is actually saying is that Blurb is providing a low-cost, high-quality on-demand printing process, similar to most photobooks that you see on the shelves, and this is sufficient for all but the most demanding photography needs. In any case, he presents the true case with some of its "technical" parameters and I guess this should be treated as an honest description and not as an apology or anything!

(PS my "difficult" sunset and low-light photos, are printed at a much better quality than expected in the photobook)

 Regards, Yannis

Posted by
larios
Oct 10, 2007 7:21am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
Selling from outside US
General Interest

Ilias, please check the following postings for answers on this….

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/3/topics/759

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/3/topics/307

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/3/topics/452

Also check the FAQs.

Kind regards, Yannis

Posted by
larios
Oct 9, 2007 12:20pm PDT
Permalink
larios
 
My Blurb book arrived. It's fabulous! See the end result...
Book Printing

This is probably the last step of this book process. I re-ordered a total of 7 additional copies of my Paros photobook for friends and for promotion purposes.

I had a raised eyebrow to check if quality would be consistent throughout all 7 copies.

I am very glad, that all 7 copies are of the same top-notch quality and binding strength and I should say that colour rendition is also a click better than the previous first-copy version.

Thanks Blurb!

Regards, Yannis

Posted by
larios
Oct 9, 2007 11:02am PDT
Permalink
larios
 
"Set your price" mid-solution for Europe? Why not redeem profits as gift...
Web Features

I have followed the "Set your price" issue for those of us in Europe. As you know Europeans do not have such an option available.

I do understand the statements made by Blurb, about having to examine European tax systems etc. for making it possible without any problems. Also, If I remember correctly, they say they have to state profits per country which makes it complicated etc. In such a case I bet that not all countries will be listed as eligible!

Other friends in this forum have proposed to use paypal for incurring profits, which to me seems logical but Blurb says it’s already being examined within the above framework.

So I would like to ask: Why not seek the following intermediary solution?

Everybody can set his/her price. Profits can be redeemed the normal way (if in the US). For the rest of us, why not use the redeemed profits as a gift-coupon for our next printing? No tax-issues are related to such an option, since all financial transactions are recorded within the same country (ie US or the Netherlands).

I guess not all people will be happy with this solution, but for some of us that publish books less frequently, it feels good if you can finance your next small book production with profits from the last one. Such an option, after all, may prove much better than nothing!

So, how about that?

Posted by
larios
Oct 9, 2007 5:28am PDT
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larios

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