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To use the Book module or not?

Joined
Dec 23, 2012
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I've used Blurb's Booksmart to make photos books for about 8 years. My books are typically 200-250 pages and generally contain about 500 photos and lots of text. I like the idea of creating my books directly in Lightroom but I also know that the Book module lacks some features of Booksmart (such as borders around photos and a spelling checker). And of course it is just different in how you design a page so it isn't as familiar a tool.

I'm trying to decide whether I make my next photo book in Lightroom directly or using Booksmart. One of my concerns is whether or not creating these large book projects in Lightroom might cause performance issues with Lightroom and the Lightroom catalog.

But perhaps I am thinking about this concern backwards since Lightroom does not actually export the edited photo to be used in the Book module. I suppose using the photos in the Book module doesn't actually increase the catelogue size. So really using the Book module to create a book would only have to save the design of the pages and the text.

Does anyone have experience using the Book module for large books with good amounts of text and have any comments on whether using the Book module was a good overall experience or not?

Much appreciated!
Win Noren
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
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First a disclaimer- I have not produced many books! I do not claim expertise.

I have found that with time I have come to appreciate the ease with which I can make a book within Lightroom, and not need extra software. (maybe just Photoshop)
The Book Module is very similar in function to BookSmart, so you should have a quick transition.
I like it that I do not have to export any images, or create jpg copies, or export pdfs, it's all done within Lightroom, and as you are aware- it's all in the catalog. I am not a "Text" kind of person so my books are mostly "Picture" books.

Some things I have learnt-
Start with a Standard Collection of images, then after opening the book and creating a "Saved Book Collection" work only from the Book Collection (delete the original Standard Collection)
Set your Book preferences (Menu > Book > Book Preferences) and a starting default layout (Auto Layout panel > Presets ) before you place the images.
Text is best written in a word editor and then copy-and-paste into the book text cells.
Stick with one common font typeface throughout the book. (Some report problems with many fonts)
The default Blurb book page sizes could be limiting for some, I have worked only with the available page sizes.
If you adjust the default page template cell sizes- save them as 'Custom' templates.
If you need 'fancy' page layouts- create them in the LR Print module 'Custom Layout' or Photoshop, save as jpg, insert in a single full-page template.
Be very careful of ever hitting the "Clear Layout" button- I make 'Duplicate' book collections regularly as a backup.
Always re-open your books with the white arrow on the book name in the collections panel (Selecting the book module from a standard collection -starts a NEW book!)
I have always been very happy with the quality of my images in Blurb books. (One pic was a problem- but it was my mistake!!)
One of my books you may preview at- Sites and Sight-seeing Germany 2015 Book 1
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2012
Messages
48
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Thanks for the tips. Here is a link to my most recent Blurb book. I didn't use the Book module in Lightroom but rather Blurb's Booksmart to make this one. It is my 2014 album. I am now starting on the 2015 album.
 
Joined
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Nice work!
I can only see that Lightrooms default template pages might be limiting for you.
But with Photoshop, and a matching document size, you can create anything! to add to a LR book.
Give LR a go.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2015
Messages
9,189
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Netherlands
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Power User
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I've used Blurb's Booksmart to make photos books for about 8 years. My books are typically 200-250 pages and generally contain about 500 photos and lots of text. I like the idea of creating my books directly in Lightroom but I also know that the Book module lacks some features of Booksmart (such as borders around photos and a spelling checker). And of course it is just different in how you design a page so it isn't as familiar a tool.

I'm trying to decide whether I make my next photo book in Lightroom directly or using Booksmart. One of my concerns is whether or not creating these large book projects in Lightroom might cause performance issues with Lightroom and the Lightroom catalog.

But perhaps I am thinking about this concern backwards since Lightroom does not actually export the edited photo to be used in the Book module. I suppose using the photos in the Book module doesn't actually increase the catelogue size. So really using the Book module to create a book would only have to save the design of the pages and the text.

Does anyone have experience using the Book module for large books with good amounts of text and have any comments on whether using the Book module was a good overall experience or not?

Much appreciated!
Win Noren
The Lightroom catalog doesn't contain any images. It only contains a reference to those images, and all the metadata and settings. A book does increase the amount of metadata, so it will increase the size of the catalog. I doubt it will be such that this is a problem, though.
 

tspear

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
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1,770
Location
Waltham MA
Lightroom Experience
Beginner
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Win,

Neat book. I only went through a little of it.
I did two books with Blurb. One about 50 pages in the book module, one about 100 pages in the stand alone software (the new one, I forget the name). I have done a three books now with Mixbook.com
For text, I found Mixbook a lot easier, with many more templates. In addition, I found the paper quality much higher and the finish much better for the same price. I selected "Premium Paper" and "Hard Cover" for all books (they were presents).
The downside to Mixbook was having to export and upload all the images to the website.
Based on the size of your book, and the associated number of images, I think the book module in Lr may actually be the easiest to use, only because finding the image to add will be the greatest challenge.
 

alaios

Active Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
408
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Thanks for the tips. Here is a link to my most recent Blurb book. I didn't use the Book module in Lightroom but rather Blurb's Booksmart to make this one. It is my 2014 album. I am now starting on the 2015 album.
Nice work. How much it costs you to get this online viewing experience?

Alex
 

alaios

Active Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
408
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Thanks for the useful answer. That means that my clients can not view the book online though... Hmm... Tough
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2007
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5,135
Location
London
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If you don't buy a copy within two weeks, Blurb will remove the book. You can always upload it again, but two weeks isn't long for making decisions.
 
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