Recently I got the chance to chat with Trevor Ehle, the Senior Product Manager at Blurb who’s been working on BookWright, Blurb’s great new way to make a book, but, more importantly, a magazine. I’ve always fancied making a Cassiefairy magazine, all about thrifty living and crafty projects and as an avid Blurb-user, I’m already familiar with the software (I made my Pieday Friday recipe book with it, below) but let me share his insider information about the new things you can do with Blurb that make it pretty easy to make a magazine—whether you’re an experienced designer or not:. Apparently, getting started with putting together the words and images for your magazine in BookWright is pretty much the same as making a book with Blurb—but there are some differences he said you should keep in mind before you get started. Take it away, Trevor:
- The magazine format has the option of printing images and or text on the inside of the front and back cover. We think this is a nice design addition that is exclusive to this print format. You’ll find it in the “Covers” section of BookWright.
To keep printing costs as low as possible, Blurb requires that all magazine page counts be divisible by four—so keep that in mind when setting up the content for the pages portion of your book. You can always add blank sheets at the end to make your magazine fit this page count. But don’t worry—BookWright will let you know on upload if your magazine’s page count is incorrect.
The magazine’s spine is relatively small, even at larger page number counts, so it might be best to use an image, background colour, or texture on the spine in place of text. Given the limited space that is available and the variation of the printing process, you are more likely to get a final product you are happy with if you stay away using text.
BookWright has soft proofing built in. If you have ever visited our colour management page you know how complicated this can be—yet it’s an important part of your book design process. We’ve taken Blurb’s ICC Profile for colour management and integrated it directly into BookWright to help save you time and make it available for everyone—regardless of technical ability.
As you drop images into your book, we automatically apply the colour profile to help manage colours more closely. (However, this can also be disabled in your Preferences view, if you wish to work without it.) If you are designing an ebook, BookWright will disable the profile automatically so you see the true colours, since digital files do not, obviously, need to be calibrated for print.”
I’m sure you’ll agree that these tips are very useful when starting out making magazines and I’m seriously considering giving it a go when I get a few hours to myself during the school holidays next week. Maybe I’ll just try printing one for myself and see how it goes before I start my very own ‘Mollie Makes’-esque empire 😉 Thanks for the info, Trevor!