Design Your Books With Ease in Lightroom With a Blurb Plugin

Design Your Books With Ease in Lightroom With a Blurb Plugin

Do you keep forgetting to do your photographs justice and print them in books? Well, no excuses now because Blurb offers an easy way to design your photography books straight in your Lightroom Book module through its built-in plugin.

I know the feeling. You have created beautiful photographs from various trips and photo sessions, they silently lay on your external drive or float online, and yet you never seem to find time to sit down and sift through them to create a coherent finished product that you can actually hold on your lap and feel with your fingers. Personally, I feel there is no better way to feel accomplished and proud than seeing your work in physical print format. Whether it's a portfolio you created through a workshop, or just your visual everyday musings of what goes on in the world around you, or maybe a street photography or outdoors trip, the work will sit together beautifully in a finished and thought through format. 

I used to design books in InDesign. However, as it wasn't for commercial purposes per se, I couldn't afford or justify paying the monthly fee for it, so after seeing that Blurb, an all around good printing company especially for personal work, now has a Lightroom plugin in its Book Module, I realized it'd be a shame not to give it a go. While InDesign and other more advanced design programs will offer you a greater variety of tools and customization, for personal portfolio purposes or simple photography books this plugin will give you enough to get you started. As long as you use the latest Lightroom version already, you will find the Blurb plugin in your Book Module on the righthand side and you can start designing your book immediately.

A photobook on a chest of drawers.

The first thing I liked immediately was that you can do it all in one program. No need to go through folders of exported photographs that you then import your chosen files into the book design program. Instead, you simply drag and drop images from your currently open catalog. This plugin offers a variety of customizable page layouts to choose from, you can also add text and choose the type of book, its size, and paper. After you're done, you simply tell Lightroom to send the book to Blurb to finish your upload and pay for it. For people who aren't looking to create anything too involved, this is a great tool that doesn't require a lot of time to learn how to use it.

An open photobook

As I have always said, printing your work is important. It gives you a natural feeling of "this is it" as you finish a project or a portfolio. Think about it, if you were to lose all your files one day, wouldn't you want to have at least a couple books of your work that you can enjoy and pass down the generations? Don't think about perfections and waiting years to capture that one breathtaking image because it may never happen and you may have put down your camera meanwhile.

Also, if you don't have Lightroom yet, Blurb and Adobe offer you to become a Creative Cloud Member with a 15 percent discount for its All Apps Membership. Offer is valid until September 23, 2019 for Blurb registered customers only. You can see more information on the Adobe website.

Do you enjoy creating books of your work?

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Steve White's picture

Anete, in your booster post for Blurb, you might have told us that it requires a full Creative Cloud "all-apps" purchase at $45 a month.

Richard Tack's picture

Steve White "It" does not require a $45 per month subscription. Lightroom has a built in Blurb module for creating photobooks; comes with, no extra charge. What Blurb is offering, *if* you want "All Apps," is 15% off your 1st year of "All Apps."

Duane Dinham's picture

Yeah, my LR book module goes directly to Blurb. I just have the Photographer package from Adobe: LR & PS, no cloud storage extra. I currently see no need for me to have any more Adobe apps. If you already have Lightroom, you can use Blurb. Sweet.

Richard Tack's picture

I notice that Blurb and some other photobook printers use CMYK offset printing. This process uses a series dots to make the tonal graduations results in a grainy print sometimes with banding.

Alexander Petrenko's picture

Paper selection and print quality of Blurb is for not that demanding clients. And surely won’t present your photos in all their glory.

Probably Adobe gets their share from LR initiated sales but for most of customers it’ just a menu item we press erroneously. And Adobe, probably, knows it :)

Floyd Cantrell's picture

I have used Blurb and the paper and Pictures are the utmost quality. I made a large 11 x 13 book with 107 pages and 256 photographs. I used Premium Luster paper, they will send you a small sample of the different types of paper they use. All the photos are fantastic and everyone that looks at the book raves about it and the pictures. The book was of an African Safira photographed in several placed in Kenya Africa. I show the book on my SmugMug site if you want to see a sample of the type work they do,

Richard Tack's picture

I made a book from Lightroom with Blurb, 30 pages, not so hot quality: It's typical offset printing with multiple dots used for the tone graduation; take a look: