Create: Intro to BookWright

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So, if you are offended by Blurb content you might want to skip this film. Or, if you already know how to use Blurb BookWright then you are probably good. Someone reached out and asked me to make this film. I take for granted a lot of things that might be roadblocks for other folks. Like using software, editing images, sequencing, choosing materials, making test books, etc.

This is by no means a comprehensive walk-through of this software but it will show you a few things to get started and that is really the point. People waiting for perfection don’t make things. They just wait for a time and circumstance that doesn’t exist. Also, a reminder. All of this should be FUN. If you take your bookmaking and photography so seriously that it drives everyone around you a little bit wacky just back off and take stake in the idea that the vast majority of people in the world are simply looking for food, water, and shelter and to do best for their family. They do not and will not ever care about your work. That’s called perspective.

BookWright is a good piece of software. I use it a lot and have for years so I know how to use it and when. If you haven’t used it just remember it is far easier than something like Photoshop or Adobe Premiere. And way more fun than Excel. What’s not to like? Any issues let me know.

Comments 10

  1. This was excellent and much appreciated. I’ll be watching it again for the jokes and the information. That enhance image tip was great. In the few books I’ve made my images were a little flat. That’s a problem with my skills, not bookwright. But it will be interesting to test images with the enhance feature.

    I need to practice with layering photos and text. Still not confident there. I figure I can do most of it with move to back, move to front. Not sure if there’s also something to be said for working with opacity in photoshop on occasion. I did that with a test journal. Scanned a postcard of Ernest Hemingway (I know I know, cliche!) and changed the opacity, hoping to have it faint on the page. Solid idea, poor execution.

    You lost me there a little bit with the export dimensions, exporting a little bigger than what the book will use.

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      Failing ideas are totally okay. A few will stick and that is all you need.

  2. Good stuff and, for me, timely. My family is going over the hundreds of images we captured while on a pre-pandemic trip to Europe in order to create a keepsake book of our time there. I went through BookWright a while ago and felt comfortable in creating some test books.

    But when you called out that little button on the lower left, I didn’t remember seeing it. So thank you for pointing that out… !

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  3. Dan and Shifter Community,

    Interesting point in this video about flat digital files. Dan, I think you shoot all RAW, right? I’m a barbarian, I like Fuji’s JPGs. Do you feel that way about JPGs in general, that they need some tweaking to free them from their digital blahs?

    If so (and this is for everyone), what are some of the basics…hmm, not the right word…what are some basic/consistent tweaks that Liberate the RAWs?

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      Yep, JPGS are fine but they need tweaks as well. All digital files to in my mind. Mid-tone bump, white balance, contrast,

  4. Scott – I also like the jpegs from my Fuji camera and sometimes use them for “as is” images that I consider snapshots and good enough. But I always capture both jpeg and raw, just in case “as is” is not good enough. In the cases where there’s a client involved, I always use the raw file. And I always, always keep the raw file no matter what.

    A suggestion: Set your camera to capture a raw image and a jpeg at the same time. Choose an image you like and practice getting a version of the raw file that closely matches the jpeg. Make another version that looks better than the jpeg. As a stretch goal do the same thing using Fujifil X Raw Studio instead of your image processing software.

    Do this for a while, with different lighting and contract images, the wider the variety the better. Then you can decide which workflow works best for you. You might choose raw over jpeg or the other way around or a combination of the two. But you will certainly learn more about your image processing software and answer the question of what works best, for you.

  5. Hi Daniel, I’m late.
    I like BookWright. I love making magazines but find the perfect binding option loses too much of double-truck pages. I’d like to try saddle stitch but BookWright doesn’t offer this option, although their sister company, Magcloud does.
    I’ve looked at Magcloud but the PDF uploader only points to In-Design. I’m computer literate but find Magcloud a cloud of obfuscation.
    Can I make a PDF in BookWright and upload in into Magcloud for the saddle-stitch option?

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      keep lookina at Magcloud. There are other options besides InDesign. But remember, saddle is only for publications with low page counts.

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