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LR C Book module vs BookWright

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Jimmsp

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I have made a number of books using the LRC Book Module. It has been great for my travel books using my regular camera photos and minimum text. But it hasn't been updated for a while, as best I can tell.

I am about to undertake a new project of producing a much larger book, an intro, and Table of contents, Chapters, and with photos from different sources. The sources will include scanned old prints, slides, stills from Super 8 movies, and regular camera shots. Maybe 150 - 200 pages.

I started a simple design using the Book Module, but quickly ran into limitations with multiple photo sizes and varying text.
I have downloaded the latest Blurb's BookWright onto my pc. A quick look at it says that it is a lot more flexible than Book. It will also accept jpegs that are dragged and dropped.
It will probably turn out to be more work, but increased flexibility usually brings more work.
I can see myself producing a file folder of sized jpegs (per chapter) exported from LRC, then dropping them onto a page.

My question - has anyone here used both LRC's Book and Blurb's BookWright ?
Did you like BookWright ?
Have you run into issues with BookWright ?
Do you have any recommendations based on your experience?

Thanks in Advance
 
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I used a few vender produced book layout tools in the ancient past, before LR had the Book Module and as I recall Blurb was one of them though I don't think it was called BookWright at the time. Then when Adobe put the Book module into LR, I tried my next book using LR but soon discovered that it was missing a fair number of features that I had been using. Later, when Adobe updated the book module I looked at it once more to see what they imporved and to be honest was underwhelmed. So, in general I was dissappointed that what you could do in LR when creating a book that was to be sent to Blurb for printing was not equivilent with what you could do with the Blurb tools outside of LR.

I have only created one book since that time as I've transitioned to writing blogs of my travels rather than printing paper books. I used the Blurb tools for that last book rather then the LR Book module. However, I did use LR to manage the images that went into the book and I have those images in a Collection for that book as well as having a Keyword on those images indicating that they were included in the book.

So, IMHO (based on long ago experiences), the LR book module is fine for the simple books where all the pages are basically the same and not much text beyond titles and or caption. Especially nice if you just want to auto fill the book in date captured order. However, for anything sophistiacted, I'd use other tools which can pull the photos from a folder I create by exporting from lrC (or that I create through the use of a Hard Drive style Publish Service)
 
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I made a book last year using Blurb's BookWright: 240 pages (the maximum) with multiple photos from different sources, photo captions, multiple columns of flowing text, page headers, etcetera. Very few pages with the same layout. It came out great - although it did involve a lot of work on my part. (I enjoy doing this kind of detailed work, but many people don't, so be aware before committing yourself!)

In my experience, BookWright is vastly superior to Lightroom's Book Module. The Book Module has failed me for even the slightest level of control over page layout.

I used Lightroom's Publish Services to manage the photos for the book. If I edited an image, the Publish Service would show me that I needed to re-publish it (to my hard drive), and then, before I forgot, I would go to BookWright to replace its version with the updated one. It worked well as long as I paid attention to the workflow.

A table of contents using page numbers would be tricky, I think, because there wasn't any automated updating of the page references. So if you add or remove pages, you would have to manually update the numbers.

Having said that, I did receive an email from Blurb a few weeks ago saying that there was a new version of BookWright available. It may have new features that I don't know about (I haven't checked it out yet).

Good luck! It can be a very rewarding process :)
 
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I still prefer to use Book (over InDesign in my case) and as recently as May I used it for a family history -type book. The updates 3-4 years ago were significant and mean you can freely position photos on the page, though the changes are not obvious until you try doing something that was previously restrictive.

The key for me is that it's always more efficient to do everything in one app. So I don't need to switch back to LR or be deterred if I want to adjust the image or change a caption (or leave it corrected in the 3rd party app and not in LR), and I don't have to check I've republished photos after any changes, which is what I have to do with InDesign. I've also a preference for having LR do the resizing and sharpening, not a 3rd party app.

Doing a table of contents is difficult in LR, a manual exercise, and it's meant that I printed the above book without one (and am still to follow up that little job). But managing content is LR's strength, so you can keep control of content from elsewhere. With the family book I used Library's tools such as smart collections to find all possibly-relevant images, or all 5* family images not in the book collection, and used stacks in the book collection to set up chapters and order images before adding them to the layouts in Book.
 

Jimmsp

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I use Scribus for my book projects, kind of an open source version of InDesign. Steep learning curve, but you have total control over everything.
Thank you for your comment. I am familiar with Libre Office, but I will stick with what I know right now.
 

Jimmsp

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Dan, Peter, and John

Thank you for your insightful comments.

In my limited working with BookWright so far, I have quickly seen the better control and flexibility of text and text boxes that it provides.
That may end up to be the key driver.

The organizational power of LRC via Collections and Key Words and filters is hard to beat.
I already use LR with Photoshop and other Topaz apps so I am comfortable working with multiple apps to produce a final product in another app like PowerPoint or DaVinci Resolve.

My current concept of a Table of Contents is rather simple, and I can see it as being one of the last parts to be completed.

Peter - your use of LR's Publish Service is very intriguing. I use it now to publish my images to Flickr, and its ability to tell me what photos have new edits and need republishing is often handy. I will have to explore its capabilities and flexibility if I use it to publish to my Hard Drive. My current envisioned workflow (using Export) is to take a group of photos in a given Chapter and export them to a subfolder of jpegs, varying their size. If Publish allows me, on the fly, to vary the output folder and file size it should work. It would be great if it would remind me which of the photos in a subfolder was changed.
This is where the advantage of a one app usage mentioned by John comes into play. I will still have to drag that edited photo into BookWright. I believe I can live with that.

Thanks again. I may update along the way so others can learn from my successes and failures.
 
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I do use a publish service when producing a book with InDesign (in fact I was writing about it 10 years ago). Publish exports into a folder structure which matches the collections in the service, and this helps InDesign to keep track of updated files, and it's a good way of telling you what needs republishing.

But those items will be listed for republication because of metadata as well as adjustment changes, and you need to check how the external app reads the updated image content and the updated text. Images tend to be updated fine, but text tends to be imported only when the photo is first added to a page.

A disadvantage of the published service is that everything is output at the same size. Typically a book will have images at different sizes, so BW, ID or other 3rd party app will resize and sharpen. So you'd probably remove sharpening in LR, and hope for the best in the external apps.
 

Jimmsp

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.....

A disadvantage of the published service is that everything is output at the same size. Typically a book will have images at different sizes, so BW, ID or other 3rd party app will resize and sharpen. So you'd probably remove sharpening in LR, and hope for the best in the external apps.
I will have to test this. If this is true, I may just use a simple set of export presets where each one produces a set size jpeg, like a 4", 5", 6" and puts it into a subfolder destined for the book.
 
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In my limited working with BookWright so far, I have quickly seen the better control and flexibility of text and text boxes that it provides.
That may end up to be the key driver.
Yes, my findings precisely ... but also I found that BookWright provied much greater control over image positioning, which was key for me.

The organizational power of LRC via Collections and Key Words and filters is hard to beat.
Again yes. You can use LrC to manage most of the organizational workflow to control which images appear in your Publish collections. So you're not missing out on anything in that respect.

My current envisioned workflow (using Export) is to take a group of photos in a given Chapter and export them to a subfolder of jpegs ... If Publish allows me, on the fly, to vary the output folder ... it should work.
When you create a Publish Folder within a Publish Service, the images in that Folder will be exported to a similarly-named subfolder below the directory specified in the Publish Service. I think this is exactly how you want it to behave - in your case, create a new Publish Folder for each chapter of your book.

A disadvantage of the published service is that everything is output at the same size. Typically a book will have images at different sizes, so BW, ID or other 3rd party app will resize and sharpen. So you'd probably remove sharpening in LR, and hope for the best in the external apps.
Yes, my Publish Services simply export everything at FULL resolution with no resizing or output sharpening. I relied on BookWright to do that for me. I have found that it does a very good job - at least to my eye. One would like to think that the Blurb engineers have tweaked their algorithms to give good results on their printers. (Many years ago I used Blurb's BookSmart software, which allowed the user to work in dots/pixels, so you could precisely size your image on each page and apply your own sharpening. I did that in Photoshop - even more work. I was hesitant to move to BookWright where you didn't have quite as much fine-grained control, and in the early days it was quite limited. But it has improved greatly over the years, and now, after trying it and allowing BookWright to resize my full-size images, I didn't really notice any quality difference. Possibly I am not as fussy, or eagle-eyed, as some. At the same time, remember that this is not fine-art printing we are talking about here - this is consumer-level printing aimed at a price point. I have been very happy with my Blurb/BookWright books, given the prices paid (and note that it is worth waiting for one of their frequent discount offers!).)
 
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I may just use a simple set of export presets where each one produces a set size jpeg, like a 4", 5", 6" and puts it into a subfolder destined for the book.
See my previous reply - I suggest just letting BookWright resize for you. Much easier!
 

Jimmsp

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See my previous reply - I suggest just letting BookWright resize for you. Much easier!
That is where I am right now. I have tested Publish to HD, it it doesn't meet what I want to do for multiple sizes.
I may have to test your Publish to HD workflow where everything goes to a folder of the same size, then let BookWright handle the resize.
I have finished a first cut of the 1st half of Chap 1, and I already see how easy it is to produce photo of a size that fits the location, not what I had guesstimated it to be.

So far, I have been been quite impressed with BookWright and how it handles everything.
 
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I already see how easy it is to produce photo of a size that fits the location, not what I had guesstimated it to be.
Not 100% sure what you mean there, but what exactly can't you do in LR Book? Try it again, because Adobe's changes 3-4 years ago greatly improved its flexibility and even if the UI is odd there will always remain advantages from doing everything in one app.
 
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