Hit the Ground Running with Bookify

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Have you tried Bookify™, Blurb’s new online bookmaking tool? It’s a great option for simple, streamlined book projects, especially photo books of up to 160 240 pages. Bookify was designed to get you up and running in no time, but if you’re new to bookmaking, or used to working in another tool such as Blurb BookSmart®, maybe you’re a little hesitant to dive in. Here are three easy tips to help jump-start your first book.

We’ll assume that you’ve already started up Bookify and are ready to go. If not, go ahead and launch Bookify, choose a book size and any of the four starter layouts, then come back here.


For a photo book, probably the first thing you want to know is how to get your photos onto the page (yes, we’re psychic). Here’s how:

bookify tip 1 Hit the Ground Running with Bookify

1. Import your photos
First you need to upload your photos to Bookify. You can choose photos stored on your computer or import them right from your Flickr, Picasa or SmugMug account. Just click on the appropriate box and follow the instructions on screen. If you have a lot of pictures, this can take a little while, so you might want to grab a cup of coffee while you wait.

bookify tip 2 Hit the Ground Running with Bookify

2. Using Auto Create
After all the photos are in, you have the option of letting Bookify automatically flow your photos into the layouts. Just click on “Place my photos for me” and Bookify will put your book together right away, placing each photo on its own page. This is a great way to get started fast. If you don’t like how it looks, you can change the order of the pictures or select a different layout. Just click on “Redo with new settings,” then “Change order and layout.”

bookify tip 3 Hit the Ground Running with Bookify

3. Placing photos manually
Want more control? No problem. Instead of “Place my photos for me,” choose “I’ll drag and drop my photos.” That will start Bookify’s editing mode. All your photos are in that strip along the bottom, and your book is in the middle. To put a photo on a page, just click on a photo to grab it, drag it up to the page with your mouse, and let go. Presto!

If you want to add another photo to the same page, just grab the new picture and drop it on that little gray box that appears at the bottom of the page (the one that says “+ Drop here to add”). And if you want to replace a photo, just drop the new one right on top of the old one. If you’d like to put more than one image on a page, go right ahead. Bookify is pretty smart and it will automatically adjust the layout to accommodate up to four images.


bookify layout buttons Hit the Ground Running with Bookify

Under each page in the edit view, you should see three square boxes. The one on the left (with the crossed arrows) lets you change the layout of the page. Click on it, and you’ll see the photo change size, shape or position. Some layouts also have text boxes so you can add captions. Go ahead and mix things up!

If you want more control, try the middle button instead. Now you can scroll through all of the available page layouts and pick exactly the one you want for this page!

What about that button on the right, the one that looks like a painter’s palette? Use that one to change the color of the background or add a border to your photo. Try it!


Worried about losing your work? Relax. Just like BookSmart, Bookify automatically saves your work every few minutes. If you want to save the book in between those times, just click on “save now” (right next to the Actions button at the top left of the screen). If you haven’t already created an account with Blurb, you’ll be prompted to do so. That way the book will be saved to your personal account, and you can be sure not to lose any of your work.

Once you have a Blurb account, you can even close Bookify and come back to finish your book later. You’ll find it waiting in your dashboard when you log in. Just click on “Edit Book” to launch Bookify and pick up where you left off.

bookify tip 4 Hit the Ground Running with Bookify

We hope this helps take some of the mystery out of making a book online. Bookify makes it easier than ever to unleash your creative genius, so what are you waiting for? Dive in and try it yourself.

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  1. Excellent source for the book beginner. Thanks a million !!!! :-)

      January 13, 2011 – 8:02 am   Permalink
  2. I am writing a children’s story. I have “illustrations’ to go in definite areas. I have photosof illustrations on Picassa . Is what is above what i need to work with?. Should I type in my story and then add after it is written.

    Also iprefer a different print than what you are reading . is there a cute print for story books -per say? Thanks

    By sally stewart
      January 14, 2011 – 6:01 pm   Permalink
  3. Hi Sally,
    Our Customer Support team would be happy to help you. You’ll find the email contact on our site. You can also work with them via live chat. We’re looking forward to seeing your book!

      January 18, 2011 – 11:09 am   Permalink
  4. How do I copyright my book , when you are able to go in and look at my book? Can I buy a seperate software package to get started? I also still need to get morr photos together. The book is a joke book and I have pictures on almost every page?

    Please Advise!

    By David Owings
      January 25, 2011 – 2:57 pm   Permalink
  5. Hi David,
    These all sound like great questions for Customer Support, and you can chat with or email them anytime from the Blurb site. Unless you’re working with our PDF to Book workflow (you’ll need Adobe InDesign for that tool), no need to buy a separate software package. Just work online with Bookify or download BookSmart.

      January 26, 2011 – 11:16 am   Permalink
  6. I have just started to work with bookify and was waiting for photos to upload. I had started to place pics onto pages when a command came up saying an error had occurred and that bookify would have to relaunch and that my work would be saved. I can’t find it and wonder where it would be and what it would look like. It’s not on my dashboard.



      January 30, 2011 – 8:28 pm   Permalink
  7. Hi Valda,
    Thanks for trying out Bookify – and we’re sorry you can’t find your saved work. Our Customer Support team would be glad to help you suss it all out, so please chat with or email them right here.

      January 31, 2011 – 11:48 am   Permalink
  8. what’s the difference between bookify -v- booksmart if you only want a photobook with B&W text and titles ?

    By milo
      April 1, 2011 – 12:41 pm   Permalink
  9. Hi Milo,
    You’ll find a great explanation of the two on our site. Basically, Bookify is an online tool and while it can handle captions, it doesn’t work for lots of text. However, if you just want to make a photo book with basic captions, Bookify is totally up to it and very fun to use. BookSmart is a downloadable bookmaking app (or software) and can handle bigger, more complex bookmaking projects, and smaller projects, too. Hope that helps. Please look at our site for more info and good luck with your book.

      April 1, 2011 – 12:51 pm   Permalink
  10. I have written art instruction books for classes which I have taught and am considering publishing them. Is this a good place to start with such a project?

      June 12, 2011 – 10:22 pm   Permalink
  11. Hi Paulette,
    Yes, give it a try!
    Eileen H.

      June 13, 2011 – 5:50 am   Permalink
  12. do i need to crop images to fit the layouts? is there a size i should crop to?


    By sarah Meyer
      August 2, 2011 – 7:00 am   Permalink
  13. Hey Sarah,

    That’s really up to you. It depends on the effect you want, and the size of the book you’re making. Fortunately, you can easily resize your photos in Bookify by clicking the image and moving the zoom slider. Just pay attention to the “Safe Areas” where parts of full-page images can get lost due to variations in printing (you’ll find more information about that in Bookify itself).



    By Kent
      August 2, 2011 – 10:18 am   Permalink
  14. How do I choose which size book I wish to create with Bookify? For example, at what point do I choose 8×10 or square, etc? Are the layouts all the same no matter which book I choose?


    By Teri
      September 2, 2011 – 10:04 am   Permalink
  15. Hey Teri,

    Choosing your book size is actually the first step. Once you click “Get Started” you’ll see a screen with all the book sizes available. The available layouts don’t really change, but the space on the page will, depending on the book size.



    By Kent
      September 2, 2011 – 10:10 am   Permalink
  16. I am debating between bookify and booksmart for my keepsake book with photos and letters. I’m looking at about 40 pages. Suggestions?

    By Arti
      September 7, 2011 – 11:47 am   Permalink
  17. Hey Arti,

    Both are easy to use, but many people find Bookify to be a little easier. However it’s not quite as customizable. So, if you want to play around with the different type orientations or custom build your layouts, you’ll like BookSmart. If you pretty much want to just drag and drop your images, go with Bookify.



    By Kent
      September 7, 2011 – 1:03 pm   Permalink
  18. just got married. could you advise which of your formats would suit me best for wedding album, booksmart or bookify

    By martin mcnally
      September 15, 2011 – 2:53 pm   Permalink
  19. Hey Martin,

    Congratulations on your nuptials!

    As to books, BookSmart has more capability (and you can use it even if you’re not connected to the Internet), but Bookify can be easier (if more basic). Really, it all comes down to personal preference. In fact, I would suggest you try both. Just make a few pages in each and see which is more comfortable for you.

    By Kent
      September 15, 2011 – 4:17 pm   Permalink
  20. I want to transform my photos from photos to look like illustrations. Is there software to help me do this. I am writing children’s books and I am making books for very young children in the 4-5 age range.

    By IRENE
      November 12, 2011 – 4:48 am   Permalink
  21. Hey Irene,

    There are programs out there that do this, but I’m not much of an expert. You might want to post a question over on our forums: http://forums.blurb.com/ or post a question for others on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/BlurbBooks



    By Kent
      November 14, 2011 – 10:51 am   Permalink
  22. Working in Bookify, I uploaded my book and then needed to edit, which added a page, however the page never appears in the book although the extra page is there. I saved the word document before uploading it again to no avail. Need help.

    By Gwyndolyn Parker
      November 30, 2011 – 9:05 am   Permalink
  23. Hey Gwyndolyn,

    This sounds like a case for our Customer Support team. If you contact them, they can help you out:




    By Kent
      November 30, 2011 – 2:37 pm   Permalink
  24. Hi! I heard about your site and am interested to capture my visit to London in a book. I have documented most of it in a diary and family and friends want it in a book form. Its a great idea Please help. Asfia

      February 9, 2012 – 12:49 am   Permalink
  25. Hello Asfia,

    I think that’s a great idea. We have many ways for you to make your book.

    Check out these bookmaking tools: http://www.blurb.com/make/

    Or, if you use Microsoft Word for Windows, you might like our add-in for MS Word: http://www.blurb.com/apps/word-book

    We also have a number of videos that will help you get started: http://www.blurb.com/help/tutorials

    Happy bookmaking!


    By Kent
      February 9, 2012 – 10:54 am   Permalink
  26. I’m looking at publishing a book of poetry or perhaps several books of poetry. Since I am using mainly text which software (Bookify or Booksmart) would be best suited for my needs?

    By Quinn Graw
      February 13, 2012 – 11:01 pm   Permalink
  27. Hi Quinn,
    You’ll find more options for text in BookSmart. If you’re using a PC, you could try our add-in for Microsoft Word. You’ll find the details here. Looking forward to seeing your books!

      February 14, 2012 – 10:12 am   Permalink
  28. I’ve used booksmart before and liked it but needed to clear it off my computer because it took up too much memory. My next project is my daughter’s first year baby album. I wanted to put in some writing but not a tonne. More than just captions through. Is bookify appropriate?

    By Aimee
      February 25, 2012 – 8:17 pm   Permalink
  29. Hey Aimee,

    Yes, Blurb Bookify might be a great option for you. Give it a try by creating a few pages and see if it’s what you want.



    By Kent
      February 27, 2012 – 10:55 am   Permalink
  30. I have a book made by my 8 year old. I want to make it look like a real book and get a copy or two. Can I scan her pages and use the PDF files in bookify? Or any other suggestions?

    By Sema
      April 7, 2012 – 1:48 pm   Permalink
  31. Hey Sema,

    You can use Bookify to make a book using scans. It’s a great idea. However, instead of savings your scans as PDFs, you’ll want to save them as JPEGs at 300 DPI. You shouldn’t have any problems.



    By Kent
      April 9, 2012 – 9:32 am   Permalink
  32. Hi
    My daughter has spent hours making a picture book for her sister’s birthday in bookify. But she want to change the size of the book.
    We’ve tried copying the book, but we can’t seem to change the size.
    Can you help?



      May 13, 2013 – 1:36 pm   Permalink
  33. Hey Clive,

    I’m sorry, I’m afraid that Bookify doesn’t have that functionality right now. Unfortunately, only BookSmart lets you change from, say Standard Landscape to Large Landscape.



    By Kent
      May 13, 2013 – 5:28 pm   Permalink
  34. I am trying to add more photos to my bookify but it keeps saying 1 or more of your images could not be added? Why can i not add more photos?



    By Taleah
      November 4, 2013 – 8:11 pm   Permalink
  35. Hey Taleah,

    I’m not sure what the problem might be. Contact our Support Team for help and they can figure it out for you: blur.by/SPPRT

    By Kent
      November 11, 2013 – 11:29 am   Permalink

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