CREDITS: Blessed Life by Amber Shaw; Font: The Sidekick.
I made my first book at Adoramapix recently. The end result was a stunning lay-flat book, and a list of 9 tips for a better photobook building experience for us all.
1) Don’t click OK while your pages are still uploading. It interrupts the process and sometimes results in multiple copies of the same files uploading. Wait until you get the ALL DONE message and button. If it says PROCESSING, it really is still processing. 😉 (Yes, I do learn things the hard way!)
2) SAVE OFTEN! This was probably a browser (or, ahem, user) issue, but in Safari, I accidentally swiped the track pad while working on my book. It sent me back a page without the option to go forward again. I ended up losing my work (TWICE!). So, as with any project, save often!
3) The upload process took a long time, so I ended up resizing my layouts down to the book size I was printing. They uploaded much quicker this way, so the time I spent resizing was well worth it. I resized to 8.25 wide for single pages and 8.25 tall for double pagers. I actually do adjust all my pages for bleed as well, but that’s another post!
4) As I began dragging my pages onto the AdoramaPix interface, I had to choose Fit Spread vs Fill Spread.
I wasn’t sure what the difference was, so I did a test. I imported an 8.5×11 page and tried to place it on a square book. Here’s what I learned. FIT will size it so that the longest side goes edge to edge, with extra paper on the other two sides.
Fill will enlarge the page to fit all sides, cropping any extra layout off.
One would think that there wouldn’t be any difference between the two when using a square page on a square book, but I did see a slight difference. So, I was sure to choose FILL TO PAGE for single page layouts or FILL TO SPREAD for double page layouts to ensure the entire bleed area gets filled.
4) I had originally planned all my pages thinking that Page 1 would fall on the right, like a traditionally-bound photobook. But after I got started, I realized Adorama pages start with a left-side page of a two-page spread. So, I had to make some adjustments and move some of my single page layouts around to make sure the double-pagers stayed together. To rearrange pages, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping the thumbnails beneath the workspace.
To swap a left and right page on a spread, use Mirror Spread.
6) If you want to replace one image for another, just drag it from the photo bin over the old image and it will auto-resize to fill the page/spread.
7) You can make a copy of an existing book, so if you create one book with tons of pages, make a copy first. Then, you won’t have to click resize to fit on every page. Just drag and drop the new pages on top of the old pages and they auto fill the entire page. You can also create a copy of the book in a different size as long as it’s the same aspect ratio (ie. 12×12 to 8×8.)
8) Photos will load in alphabetical order, so name your files in by the order you want to place them to make it easier. If you add more photos later, they will appear at the end of the list. You can always hover your mouse over the image to see the filename. You can also show the names permanently by clicking VIEW OPTIONS and turning that feature on. You can also opt to show the used photos (which appear with a check mark) or hide them (when the option is off).
9) If you ever have any trouble and need to get out of the interface without saving, click FILE>EXIT. It will back you out so you can revert any unsaved changes and go back in. This saved me a lot of time in several cases where I had imported duplicate images and lost track of what I was doing! Click BOOKS and COMPLETE BOOK to get back in.
So those are 9 discoveries I made during my AdoramaPix adventure. Do you have any tips? Leave them in the comments!