Our First Year Album :: Blurb FAQ’s

I just finished another digital scrapbook…my favorite so far!  A book of our first year of marriage.  I have also been getting a lot of questions about Blurb…so scroll on down to the bottom of this post for those answers.  DSC_0545I made this book small…a small square…the smallest they make…to capture little tidbits of memories of things we did, things we enjoyed, and things I wanted to be able to look back on and remember in our first year of marriage.   DSC_0547I chose the dust cover to add little flap details and for it to feel more coffee-table-book-like.   DSC_0549 The main difference in this book is my use of words.  This time around the book was about the words and the pictures were the accents.    DSC_0551 I played with fonts…DSC_0554 I added color other than black and white…grays and blues…my favorite shades at the moment…DSC_0555 DSC_0556And I added details and borders to make the wording stand out…DSC_0557 DSC_0558 Like I have said before, the more you play with it, the more your books will evolve.  Each book gets better each time as I learn new features to play with and get the courage to try new things out.  DSC_0559 DSC_0561 Plus this is the first book featuring photos from our new camera…what a difference!DSC_0562 Blurb Frequently Asked Questions:
What version do you use?
I use Booksmart which you download on your computer and can use without being connected to the internet.  Bookify is new and I have not tried it yet.  The main difference is Bookify is online and you upload everything onto the program compared to saving it on your computer. 
Do you use any layouts?
I do not use any of their premade layouts (like vacation, wedding, etc).  I just skip to picture layouts (or text layouts in this case) and go from there.  Within these layouts you can edit the existing layouts to add more text, make the picture spot bigger, etc and then save the layout to be used later.  This is very helpful in creating a unified look that you have designed.  The only drawback is the layout is only saved in that size of book.  For example, this was my first square book so I did not have access to my existing layouts saved under different sized books. 
Why did you pick Blurb?
Well a couple years ago, I wrote this long exhaustive post here explaining my choice.  Basically it is the best quality and price for the type of books I want to make.  My main reason for digi scrapbooking is to do a yearly book which is pretty big.  Blurb offers the best price on big books and to my research and experience, a high quality product for a reasonable cost. 
My books are not coming out as nice as I thought?
Consider your photo quality.  Your book is going to only be as good as your pictures are.  You don’t have to have a fancy camera to take good pictures.  Try to take pictures with lots of natural light (try not to use the flash) for brighter photos.  It takes a lot of time but you can also edit your photos to make them brighter.  If you don’t have a program on your computer Google Picasa is a great free online resource (I make my blog headers using this program). 
How do I get promo codes?
Google them or sign up for Blurb’s email newsletter.  I usually save my finished books until I get a promo code in my email.  You get things like free shipping, free paper upgrades, and percentage discounts off your purchase.  Well worth the wait!
Hope this helps!  Happy scrapbooking!