Designing external pages for BookWright

  • Updated

This article is for authors who plan to create their page designs in an external program, save those pages as images, and then import them into BookWright.

Though we always recommend using BookWright to design your entire book, we understand that sometimes you just really, really, need that one design effect that can only be done in another program. If so, this article will help you get the best results. Though the advice below will be useful, it's up to you, as the author, to ensure your content will print well. (Blurb doesn't review books before they print). Be sure to do the 200% test mentioned below. And if you can instead create a PDF with all your pages, consider using our PDF Uploader

1. Know the dimensions

If you plan to create entire pages and save them as images, you'll need to know the size of a full-bleed layout for the book you're making. You'll use that info to size your images.

For example, if making a Small Square ("7x7") book, I'd select the "1 Photo" layout below (which is full-bleed layout) and drag that to the page where I'll ultimately place my design. Then click on the image container you just created and view its size in the Photo pop-up:

Select the full-bleed layout and drag it to the page...

1 create full bleed.png

...then click the image container you just dragged to view its size. This is what your image size must be. 

2 dimensions.png


2. Size your images

In your design program, create your images at the size of the full-bleed container. For example, if I were creating images for the book above and using Photoshop to design my page layout, my final exported Photoshop document should be 6.88 x 6.88 inches.

3. Export your design

Once you complete your page design, export the page as a high-resolution PNG (not a JPG, since JPG compression can cause problems).  

4. Give the image file the 200% test

Now open the file you exported and give it the 200% test: in an image viewing or editing program zoom in to 200%. Look for any blurriness, softness, jagged text, blockiness, or any other issues. Any problems you see at 200% will look just as bad (or worse) in print. You should do this for any image you plan on putting in your book to be safe.

4. Place the image into BookWright

Take your PNG and place it into BookWright. Drag the image onto the page (into the container you made earlier) and ensure that no text or other important content is close to the trim line. Also be sure the image completely covers the page. Otherwise you could end up with unwanted white edges.

To sum up, if you plan to design entire pages outside of BookWright, you'll need your final page to be a PNG image that's the same size as a full-bleed container for the book format you're making. Review the PNG at 200% zoom before placing it into BookWright. And always order and review a single Blurb-printed copy (the proof copy) before you place a larger order.

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