free1000's Posts

Exciting news – Blurb now accepts PDFs!
PDF to Book

Well, my first PDF book has arrived and it looks great. Now I’m only concerned that a buyer would not purchase it online because the previews are faulty and show the cover misaligned.

I do find the lack of a complete online proofing step a bit disconcerting. As a final sanity check it would be great to get a full size version of the online preview that was a rendering of the complete book. Just in case an incorrect PDF was selected during the upload process. Sometimes one gets ‘fat finger’. :-)

Posted by
free1000
Jul 14, 2009 11:16pm PDT
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free1000
 
Exciting news – Blurb now accepts PDFs!
PDF to Book

Just thought I’d point out that when you try to preview a book on the Blurb website, there is currently a technical error which means that the cover is not displayed correctly.

I contacted Blurb support who tell me its a known issue and that its being worked on.

I noticed that the colour of the main cover image icon was somewhat less contrasty and colourful than the ones that I’d seen from booksmart uploads as well. I assume this is something to do with colour profiling. A little disconcerting… but its the final results that matter.

Posted by
free1000
Jul 6, 2009 8:08am PDT
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free1000
 
Fast Delivery
Ordering and Shipping

A bit weight of my mind, in the last hour or so the first book has been completed, I might get it tomorrow with a bit of luck.

It took 6 days this time. Most orders have taken 5.

I ordered one for delivery to the US which shipped in 3 days, thats why I was concerned with the 10 day estimate. Panic over.

Posted by
free1000
Mar 24, 2009 6:00am PDT
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free1000
 
Fast Delivery
Ordering and Shipping

BTW, thanks for the response, suggests that at least Blurb are not experiencing some general slowdown.

Posted by
free1000
Mar 24, 2009 5:58am PDT
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free1000
 
Fast Delivery
Ordering and Shipping

I ordered with the custom workflow… I wonder if thats what is slowing things down :-(

Posted by
free1000
Mar 24, 2009 5:57am PDT
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free1000
 
Fast Delivery
Ordering and Shipping

How long was it from order to shipping for your book?

(I have two orders that seem to have been given estimates of 8 and 10 days! This is 2 and 4 days longer than any book has taken that I’ve ordered in the past.)

Posted by
free1000
Mar 24, 2009 5:19am PDT
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free1000
 
First Draft of my book - how long for delivery?
Ordering and Shipping

I’ve got my books fairly quickly in the UK when I’ve used the expedited (read expensive) shipping options.

I’m a bit baffled by the 5-6 day stuff because in the past my books seem to have shipped in about 5 elapsed days, but my two recent orders both say 8 days, I guess that the 5-6 doesn’t include weekends.

I’m on tenterhooks because I paid £25+ for express delivery and I still don’t know if the book will arrive before I leave the UK and I need the book for portfolio reviews next week.

In the past I’ve had books in the US get produced and ship in only three days, so YMMV.

I just wish the process was a bit more predictable, and I really don’t understand why express shipping for just one book should cost as much as £25, even if it has to cross the English Channel to get to me.

Posted by
free1000
Mar 23, 2009 12:47pm PDT
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free1000
 
Can't get an image on the spine
Book Design and Imaging

Don’t like these forums, no edit and no search… yet more inconvenience and time wasting.

I love the Blurb books, but frankly just wish the customer experience was better.

Posted by
free1000
Mar 18, 2009 6:03am PDT
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free1000
 
Can't get an image on the spine
Book Design and Imaging

Baffling. I had an image on the spine of a previous book, but now Booksmart won’t let me use an image.

Looks like maybe this capability was removed in the Booksmart 1.9.9.

This has messed up my cover design, and consequently my schedule today as I am working against a deadline.

I conclude that I should not upgrade Booksmart in future.

Posted by
free1000
Mar 18, 2009 6:01am PDT
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free1000
 
Live in Th UK
Ordering and Shipping

I also use Swiss Post for general delivery, once I have ‘debugged’ the book. For speed I use UPS initially while I am proofing and correcting, then I switch to the cheaper option. Its useful to know that UPS may not be more expensive for multiple copies. Thanks for the info.

Posted by
free1000
May 10, 2008 11:21pm PDT
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free1000
 
First book received
General Interest

OK, I just got the hardback.  The print quality may be slightly better than the softback, but I think that the difference is minor. I wonder if the hardback just seems better because of the higher quality feel of a hard backed book?

The cover is great and the images look consistently similar in colour and tone to the softback. 

I’ve now shown the softback to clients and the feedback was good. The only negative was my own cover design which needs improvement. I’m going to make a few changes and run off a new hardback over the next couple of days, and try a 13×11 as well.

I’m going to a business networking event on Friday and the 8×10 book makes a far more usable and professional sales tool than a conventional photographic portfolio would. 

There is immense kudos in sticking my own photo and bio on the dustjacket.  

For what its worth, my mother who is quite conscious about art, I’ve often bought her typical commercial art books as presents, was very impressed by the softback referring to it as a ‘coffee table book’. While getting my mum to like my work is like fish in a barrel, I think that this reaction would be a normal ‘non-expert’ reaction to a blurb book. 

I’ll probably try out all the sizes and formats. 

Apropos Jim Staffords comments I should point out that I went down a similar design route starting with inDesign, however using the CS3 export to JPEG capability.  Unlike his experience I didn’t experience any image degradation using this process. However I autoflowed my inDesign exported images into Booksmart and I didn’t resize any of the pages in this process. 

My only problem is that inDesign seems to run out of memory when exporting which means the process has to be run two or three times to get all the images out.

Great work Blurb. 

Posted by
free1000
Sep 12, 2007 6:21am PDT
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free1000
 
Pls give me the Booksmart 1.9 launch date....!
General Interest

Will 1.9 allow me to change the fonts used on the cover while keeping the printing on the Spine? Or even better allow me to set the spine independently so that I don’t need printing on the cover while keeping the data from the spine in the Blurb online database?

I showed my first book to my clients yesterday, and they felt that the typography on the cover let the book down. So… please give me better control over spine and cover text.

Posted by
free1000
Sep 8, 2007 1:53pm PDT
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free1000
 
First book received
General Interest

Just received the first print of my book 

http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/81969 

I initially decided on a softcover proof so that I could check on layout as I used inDesign to generate jpgs that I then imported and autoflowed into Booksmart.  I only found out later from the forum that people think that the softcovers look worse quality than the hardcovers, so I’ve ordered one of those as well. 

My thoughts are

1) The cover is good.

2) I accidentally missed out a couple of pages, so I don’t get writing on the spine.  Doh!  only worked this out after sending off the hardcover order… is there a way to cancel an order? 

3) Slightly disappointed by the colour print quality, specifically I found the finish less good than the experimental iPhoto book I had made. I was surprised by this, however the subject matter is quite different and this may have had an effect. 

4) I was worried by other threads about B&W quality. Oddly enough I prefer the B&W images to the colour ones. This is because the ‘graininess’ of the print quality simply mixes in with the B&W grain so it seems natural. I may have just been lucky this time with the observed neutrality of the B&W

5) I have to say, that if the hardback print quality isn’t significantly better then, at least for this subject matter, I’ll return to printing my portfolios on inkjet. I really like the full bleed look. It may be that I can adapt my inDesign doc to print on inkjet paper, then get a binder to cut and bind this for me. 

6) Images with large areas of continuous tone were less successful than complex images. 

7) There was noticable ‘print through’ where I could see features of the other side of the sheet on some images. This wasn’t itself a show stopper.

Overall I’m quite pleased, but I don’t see this as up to the quality I need for printing portfolios. These books are a great personal record to go in my bookcase, but I’m not sure how they would fit in my marketing mix… just not quite slick enough for my needs.  If I was shooting people or editorial this would be fine. 

This is a great way to print photo ‘stories’ that won’t make its way into the media. I can see this as a way of democratising photojournalism in an age where getting more than three decent sized images into a magazine article is a challenge.  

 

Posted by
free1000
Sep 5, 2007 6:32am PDT
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free1000