Photo Book with Lightroom and Blurb

After a photo safari through the African wilderness I finally decided to get Lightroom for archiving and processing my photographs. Lightroom 4 arrived shortly after my return from Africa and I was quite curious about the new book tool inside Lightroom, which promised to send a correct book to Blurb. I created a book from my best shots and wanted to transfer the result to Blurb.

Photobook with Lightroom
Photobook with Lightroom


Im not really satisfied with this solution at the moment because uploads take plenty of time (90 mins for 60 pages on a broadband connection) and seem not to be without problems. Sometimes pages are obviousely missing (thats at least what the customized preview says) and sometimes images or pages are flipped vertically. The issue with missing pages seemed to disappear the more often I startet a reupload. Don’t know why –  but now this is fine.

I’ve contacted Blurb’s customer’s service on the other issue. Blurb checked my case and could not find any failure on their side. Thus their support forwarded me to Adobe. Unfortunately I could not get into their support module because my Adobe account was not responding (no answer on a forgotten password). That’s why I had to find a workaround, which resulted in the following procedure.

Blurb Photobook from Lightroom 4.1 - Page flipped Vertically after Upload
Blurb Photobook from Lightroom 4.1 – Page flipped Vertically after Upload

Blurb doesn’t like Lightroom’s PDF output …

Lightroom also offers to save a designed book as a PDF file, actually two files – one for the cover and one for the pages. And Blurb allows to order books from a PDF file. Great – let’s bring these two together. But the problem here is that Lightroom’s PDF version does not match the X3-version demanded by Blurb. Thus the roundtrip needed to be extended.

… but Blurb also offers an Indesign solution

Blurb also offers to design individual layouts with Indesign. I downloaded the Indesign plugin and installed it. Quite easy to use – I prepared my document with all pages and a separate file for the cover. After that I imported my PDFs from Lightroom and adjusted each complete page individually in the layout. With the plugin a PDF export option for Blurb printers has also been installed. Again easy to use without fiddeling with any parameters. The output was PDF-X3 which was accepted by Blurb.

Now I’m curious what all the conversion between programmes and file formats did to the colors and image quality.

Edited on 27 August 2012:
The book has arrived, please read my review here

to German Version