jakerome's Posts

Whats up with ebook conversion failures?
General Interest

Had a couple failures and gave up. Plus, it looks like I’ll get barely half of the sales price for iBook sales, which is preposterous on a product with pretty much zero reproduction & distribution costs. Given that, not worth my time to troubleshoot their problem. Will happily sell the PDF from my own site and keep 100%.

Posted by
jakerome
Nov 29, 2012 11:49am PDT
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jakerome
 
How do I find my eBooks in the iBookstore?
General Interest

Thanks Tony. I guess I’m confused because there was a specific option for selling on Apple’s iBookstore, and there’s even a several column in the sales chart for it.

 Reading a couple of those threads, sounds like the iBookstore thing is a mystery to many, and not really effective. Which kind of fits in with Blurb’s whole eBook strategy. 2 years after the iPad, you’d think Blurb would’ve done something decent. 

Just color me disappointd with the whole eBook initiative. The formatting for the eBook is a bit of a joke (don’t get me started), it works even more poorly on non-iPad eBook readers, and the supposed iBookstore integration is apparent mythical. 

I am trying to raise a little extra money with the eBook option, but truth is the product is so substandard that I almost feel bad charging for it. It’s simply not a good product. Hope Blurb makes this a priority and puts out something awesome, not a product that simply allows Blurb Inc. to check a box.

Posted by
jakerome
May 17, 2012 3:00pm PDT
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jakerome
 
How do I find my eBooks in the iBookstore?
General Interest

I checked the box to sell my book, http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/3227466 but I can’t find it with iBooks. And now, when I go to the selling pane, there is no mention of the iBookstore. I don’t understand this. Please let me know what I need to do to have my book show up in the iBookStore & tell me how to find it. Thanks.

Posted by
jakerome
May 17, 2012 10:19am PDT
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jakerome
 
Your autosave simply doesn't work reliably
BookSmart

Despite the voluminous false claims that the book is regularly autosaved, this simply isn’t true. For the 4th or 5th time, Blurb crashed while editing & I lost work. This time it was almost 30 minutes of work. So frustrating.

 

The books are high quality. The fulfillment is great. Prices are a touch on the high side but that’s fine. The software? It’s maddening. I won’t use it again, no matter how simple. Next book will be an InDesign affair, then I’ll figure out if it makes sense to stick with Blurb.

 

And the captcha here? Unreadable. Takes me 5 times on average. Turn it on for your staff to post & you’ll figure out how quickly it gets frustrating.

Posted by
jakerome
May 3, 2012 8:00pm PDT
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jakerome
 
Very bad release (3.2.4)
BookSmart

Geeze, I’m on a Mac version and it reads as if I wrote the post! The total lack of text awareness is baffling, using styles helps some but it’s still hit or miss. Trying to move pages is a crapshoot, as the software has a nasty habit of zooming & unzooming as I click around in completely undesired ways. And yes, the "you have issues" that pops up WHILE I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF TYPING is simply beyond annoying, it’s user hostile.

 Instead of fast  & lean, Booksmart is getting bloated, and worst part is not only do the new "features" make the software less usable, but most of the new "features" fail to work consistently. 

 I use Blurb because it’s the best option for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s very good. There are brilliant parts to the system & there are issues that prompt me to scour Google for a suitable replacement. I spent 40 hours in Booksmart this week, and I feel 1/4 of that time was spent dealing with Booksmart oddities and bugs. 

 

P.S. What’s with the world’s hardest to read Captcha on a site where you have to register. On every single post. Every time. No joke, it’s taken up to 3-4 attempts to get the text correct many times. 

Posted by
jakerome
Apr 17, 2012 1:04am PDT
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jakerome
 
Problem centering page number & images
BookSmart

My inelegant solution is to add a bunch of spaces before or after the page number, then apply to the left pages or right pages as appropriate. Keep in mind, this needs to be repeated should you move pages around.

Posted by
jakerome
Apr 15, 2012 7:08pm PDT
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jakerome
 
Problem centering page number & images
BookSmart

OK, I am creating a photo book with a very simple layout for each page. This is for a 12×12 book. 

 

Image
Caption
Page number

 I want all of them to be collectively centered on the page. The issue is, I have centered the image & caption w.r.t. the page (using the alignment tool). Then I added the footer and centered the page number. BUT, the footer is left/right aware while the rest of the layout is not left/right aware. The page numbers jump back & forth, always a bit off center in either direction. Visually this looks terrible, especially on screen. 

What is the fix for this?

Posted by
jakerome
Apr 14, 2012 10:17am PDT
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jakerome
 
Tell us your ebook interests
General Interest

Our book project was highlighted in a post viewed by millions today, thousands followed through to learn more, hundreds clicked through to the bookstore and 7 made purchases. That’s good, but I can’t help but think if we had a $3 or $5 eBook that we might have had 100 purchases instead.

 

Honestly, Blurb is great for lots of things, but the problem is if you use BookSmart you’re stuck in the Blurb world. We’ll do another project, and may use different software that lets us create a nice PDF or iPad app in addition to ordering print books. If Blurb facilitates that and takes a small cut, that’s fine & I’ll use it for the next project. If not, or if Blurb aims to keep 50%+ for themselves, then I’ll invest in InDesign & learn about other ways to print & sell books beyond Blurb. IOW, use the eBook as a hook, if you try to take too big a cut it will turn off many people.

Posted by
jakerome
Apr 27, 2011 10:58pm PDT
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jakerome
 
Tell us your ebook interests
General Interest

Ebook is a great idea.

Posted by
jakerome
Apr 11, 2011 6:33pm PDT
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jakerome
 
Bookstore Staff Picks - Do They Actually Look Inside?
General Interest

2 years later…

 When ordering my first copy, I’ve kept the book on private since I need to see the proof before making it publically available. It will be over a week from initial upload & order to making it public. Once public, is that when staff will review it & consider it as a staff pick, or has that horse already left the barn?

Posted by
jakerome
Apr 11, 2011 8:38am PDT
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jakerome
 
Booksmart repeatedly adds iPhoto to "My Photos."
BookSmart

So every time I quit BookSmart or it crashes (twice tonight, once last night), it keeps adding my entire iPhoto library to the "My Photos" section. Realy annoying, because despite having 10,000-odd photos in iPhoto, I never even use it anymore as I use Aperture. Further, I get all my pics from Flickr anyways. So yeah, what happens is I launch BookSmart, and the program grinds to a halt for a couple minutes while it struggles to display the entire iPhoto library that I had chosen to hide the last 3 times I used BookSmart.

 

That was last time, now the software seems to periodically add my iPhoto library to the My Photos section, which slows my computer to a crawl and makes BookSmart unusable. Is there any way to tell Booksmart to permanently ignore iPhoto? This is making the  creation of a photobook nearly impossible.

Posted by
jakerome
Sep 27, 2009 7:25pm PDT
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jakerome