How to make a Color Pocket and Trade book

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Today’s how-to is super easy: making a photo book in our new Color Pocket and Trade size. Size-wise, the books resemble more of what you’d find in the literature section of our local bookstore — but with color printing.

The paper is 60# (90GSM) uncoated white. That means you get a truly matte finish on a lighter-weight, subtly textured paper, a bit like drawing paper. We’ve described it as beautifully lo-fi. It enhances the grain in grainier photos, and can give you a somewhat more muted palette.

That’s why I chose this format for a book collecting photos I’ve shot with various film cameras, including my Holga, Minolta SRT-101, and my AGFA Synchro Box.

You can make these books in either the downloadable Blurb BookSmart® or with our plug-in for Adobe® InDesign®.  We’ll cover the BookSmart process here.

Step 1) Get started: First, download the latest version of BookSmart. Then load it up and choose to start a new book. Then choose “Pocket” (5×8 inches) or “Trade” (6×9-inches) under the “Color Books” menu.  ↓

cpt choosesize How to make a Color Pocket and Trade book


Step 2) Choose a starter layout: It’s your choice, and we have options for everything from “Photo book” to “Notebook.” I chose “Photo book” and clicked “Start Book Now.” ↓

cpt starting1 How to make a Color Pocket and Trade book


Step 3) Import your photos: Mine were on Flickr, so I imported those. I wanted a mix of color and black and white, which you can easily do with the Color Pocket or Trade book.

Step 4) Start designing: If you’ve used BookSmart before, this is all very familiar. I started with my cover, because I thought it would set the tone of the overall book. ↓

cpt cover How to make a Color Pocket and Trade book

Step 5) There’s nothing new here — except the size of the page. But that can really determine your layout. A small landscape photo on a vertically-oriented page will appear small with a lot of white space around it. It can be a neat effect, but for a variety photos can be re-cropped, zoomed, re-arranged, and overlapped for a multi-photo layout. And you can do color and black and white photos facing each other. I think this format really encourages you to be experimental with how you put your photos together. Here are four two-page spreads from the book I’m working on.  . ↓

multi How to make a Color Pocket and Trade book

Well, you know the rest: Order your book and you’ll have it in your hands in about a week.

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  1. I’ve made several books, using standard landscape. New Question: With the pocket book, such a 6×9, could I turn it for a horizontal? I have some panoramas I’d like to do, so the binding would up “on top.” In that format I know I could insert the photos, but could I do a text block that would print under the horizontal photos. You follow? I don’t want a vertical book.

      August 9, 2011 – 8:15 pm   Permalink
  2. Hey John,

    While not set up for horizontal layouts there are two ways to do it:

    1) Make the layout you want, text and all, in something like Adobe Photoshop. Save it at 300 DPI or higher in SRGB. Then import it that way. Your text exactly how you want it.

    2) Use the horizontal title layout in BookSmart. We have one cover option that has the text orientation you want, and you can use it on any page, not just your cover. Just select that on any page, and you’ll be able to add text. Of course, it adds text right on top of the image, so you’ll want to go into “Edit Layout” where you can move around the text box or the image container. ↓

    horizontal booksmart layout

    If you have more questions about layouts in BookSmart, our Customer Support team would love to help.



    By Kent
      August 10, 2011 – 9:33 am   Permalink
  3. Great; I think I’ll give Option 2 a try. Thanks for the response.

      August 10, 2011 – 5:45 pm   Permalink
  4. Hey, it’s new! I love Blurb!

    By Matt
      August 10, 2011 – 6:29 pm   Permalink

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