Below is a helpful path for those who prefer to design pages in other applications and then wish to import them into BookSmart. By starting your designs at the correct size outside of BookSmart and saving your pages out as images, you can preserve your custom layouts from your design software of choice: Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, among others. Once you save them per my tips below, you can import them into BookSmart’s full-bleed single-page image templates. If you’d prefer to design straight from your own design tool and bypass BookSmart, check out our PDF to Book option.
Key initial step: Size your document to the measurements listed in my previous post. These measurements include our 1/8-inch trim and help you preserve custom designed layouts.
1) Export: I have done several tests to figure out the best way to get your pages saved out properly to drop into our full-bleed image pages. From Adobe inDesign, I recommend exporting your file as a high res PDF (pdf/x-1a2001) as single pages, not spreads.
Then drag that PDF directly into Photoshop; a dialogue box will come up, asking for DPI, and color settings. Select all of your pages at once, set your DPI to 300 (preferred, but 150 DPI is okay), and set your color to sRGB. Save your files as .jpeg or .png files to import into BookSmart.
*If exporting from Adobe Illustrator, set your export dialogue box to 300 DPI.
2) Save: What will happen next is a little nutty … all of your individual pages will be rendered and left open on your desktop, unsaved. Believe me, I would tell you if I had a less painful approach. If you discover a better way please drop me a comment.
You will then have to laboriously save each one. This process is a bit painful if you have lots of pages. *I recommend naming your files starting with 001_, 002_, … etc., to preserve your page order – page one, page two, etc. Note: You can have Photoshop auto-number your files after you save them using a custom Photoshop’s “batch” setting, but you have to set up an “action” to create this three-digit numbering.
3) Import: Numbering lets you use Blurb’s Autoflow feature to flow these pages into your BookSmart layout in the correct order. The Autoflow feature in BookSmart can be a big help – I recommend playing with it and eventually using it yourself. You can also manually add these images/pages to your layouts like any other photos.
4) Finish: You can quickly flow your pages into BookSmart as mentioned above or take your time to design the perfect book. Remember, these tips work in any of our available book formats.
Let me know if you’ve had success with other workarounds and post your comments to the Forum. I’m always looking for new ways of working with BookSmart.
From the desk of …