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In the absence of any other guidance from you, Book assumes that you want to use all the pictures in the filmstrip.
So before going to Book, select some images you want to use, create a collection (Cmd N or Ctrl N) and then go to Book.
Also in Book, look at the Book menu and go into Preferences. There you can prevent it autofilling new books.
Thank for the reply John. The point is that what I have in the film strip, or what I have selected is irrelevant - the books selects photos from an utterly random collection for which I have not even looked for 10 years.
"So before going to Book, select some images you want to use, create a collection (Cmd N or Ctrl N) and then go to Book."
Yep, tried that, doesn't work. none of my selected pics appear, only ancient pics from an unknown source.
Then it's probably that these images were added to the book long ago. So go into Book with your collection, press the Clear Book button. That should be enough to clear the old stuff. I would also suggest doing a quick AutoLayout and saving the book now - it doesn't stop you changing the pictures or layout later.
OK, I got a step further. I quite LR, created an empty catalog, added one photo, and could put it in a photo book.Then I went back to my main cat, and tried anotehr 10 times, and eventually through a random set of events, managed to get the film strip of my 400 photos in the collection from my holiday that I want to add (not all obvously) to a blank album. I happily added 20 pics, but noticed that the book was called "unsaved book". So I thought I better save it to not lose it, and I saved it in /books/myholiday. It then saved this book a bit like a collection, but only with the 20 photos I added to the book. I cant now put any of the other 480 photos I want to add some of, because as soon as I click on the colletction which has my photos (in the book mode), it CREATES A COMPLETELY NEW "UNSAVED BOOK" WITH MY 400 PICS AUTOFILLED. So I am back to share one. I guess I have to start all over again, and this time do NOT save it untill its completely finished, or I will lose the ability to add any new photos.
Book is driving me crazy. I has a complete mind of its own, and so far its been impossible for me to add the photos I want to the book.
OK, I googled it, and several people have had the same issue: they saved the book before they were finished, then, to their horror, found that they could only "see" the subset of pics they had already added to the photo book, and lost all the rest. There is no solution to use your pics from your collection, its absolute madness. you cant brows your pics when you have the book open. Its the most crazy UI decision I have seen for many years.
There is a "hack" to workaround this problem. You have to go out of book mode, even though the pics you want are right then next to your books in your oriingal collection, and you have to decide up front which pics you want to add to your album (no browsing, that would bee too easy and useful), and copy them into a duplicate of your original collectoin you tried to make the photos out of in the first place.
now you have the added pain of having to mange two "duplicate" copies of your collection. The one called "myholiday" where you actually keep all the keeper photos of that holiday, and the same photos dupluated under the book name. Now when you want to add some more photos to your holiday collection, you have to remember to add them to the book collection. And as I use the fotki plugin, this also requires its own copy of the collection for publication. So Now you have to remember to manually sync 3 collections when there should only be one.
I just realised that the aspect ratio of every built in template in books for blurb is wrong. So all my photos, which have been very carefully composed and cropped in their original aspect ratio (3:2), dont fit, and there is no viable solution.
Ill try some other software.