The book module, as currently realized, is just inadequate for professionals. While it may have been easier to get started with a constricted workflow based on Blurb, it does not meet the needs of the professional community, especially wedding photogs. First, we need to be able to use a completely custom layout. We need to be able to specify the page size and not be limited to the Blurb page sizes. And we need to be able to have complete control over the page layout i.e. we need to be able to place image windows wherever we want, and we need to be able to re-size the image windows. We need to be able to place text blocks wherever we want, format them however we want, and shrink or grow them. We even need to be able to rotate those elements. And we need to be able to export the finished "custom" books as PDFs to upload to third party printers. The program also need to support third party printer "plugins" that would streamline the production of books specifically for that vendor, and allow direct uploading to their site. Without these capabilities, the Book module is just an amateur tool.
My point exactly. Maybe it's too late in the development of LR4 to make any feature requests, but the book module, as you say, would appeal more to amateurs than professionals. Also, the slideshow module just hasn't changed or been improved at all. No video clips? Limited transitions? No timiline? ONE music throughout? Also, amateur, or actually totally useless.
Custom layouts have been promised for the next beta.
I do not know how many beta-versions will be published this time, but the LR3beta-phase consisted of 5 or so versions, until the final one was released.
So don't give up - the very first beta is used to gather feedback. The final one will have more features, as beta-versions can be deliberately stripped of features as Adobe folks want to concentrate on features & bug reports in a certain area. In LR3beta you had only luminance but no colour noise reduction for a while (or vice versa... Do not remember any more.)
Like it or not, but a beta version is not intended to give us full-fledged functionality at any time, it is not to be used for real work.
To my understanding the substantial difference between a pro and an amateur concerning books is not the quality or flexibility of the end result. I am as much a perfectionist as a pro, maybe even worse, because the time I can spend does not yield my living.
There might also be "2 different animals" regarding crop or zoom to fill: photographers who develop an image up to its real best, let's call them the craft-and-vision-type. They need image frames in book module to be exactly as the image happens to be as the crafted vision they took so much effort to achieve.
Or the ones that leave fine-tuning until they are within the intended output context, the book page, where they decide along the images for that page.
Which is why the opening post has all my support!
RH Francis wrote:
Unfortunately it's not for the Pro. Adobe has their eyes set on amateur's.
OK, let's blame an iPad for grammar that's not too Pro.....
Adobe have said in another thread here that there will be a mechanism for creating custom layouts (if you look in the program files you may be able to figure out how that'll happen). The initial Blurb offering merely reflects Blurb's global presence.
First of all - THANK You Adobe for adding the photo book module. This makes the workflow so much easier.
That said, I have to agree with the comments here -- the lack of customizing options is a real problem. Essentially, I want to add a picture to the page and decide on orientation, size, location on the page. The templates are useful but they are too constraining.
It would also be nice if Lightroom could create a PDF from the photobook. First, this could be emailed or shared with people you dont want to spend $50 for a book on. It may also provide people the option to use non blurp printer -- the latter is less important for me. I tried out one book and quality is good.
Another desired piece of customization:
In US if you want to read the book title from the book's back sitting on a shelf you turn your head down to your right shoulder, so that you read the text from top-to-bottom.
In *old Europe* (i.e. Germany at least) you turn your head to your left shoulder, so you read from bottom-to-top.
In current book module for first LR4beta I do not manage to turn it around. Lack of knowledge/training?
To flip text boxes of vertical orientation might be a welcome feature generally. Following another wish somewhere to be able to rotate text boxes freely would cater for that, too.
Or to type letters from top-to-down individually - might be especially useful for Asian context.