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Is it possible to merge multiple books?

Now that Bookwright exists and there is the ability to import books from Booksmart (http://www.blurb.com/guides/bookwright/booksmart-or-bookify-importing) is it possible to import MULTIPLE books into a single Bookwright project?  Or is the term "import" really just used to mean "convert" in the above webpage?  In January it wasn't possible (https://blurb.zendesk.com/entries/25323704-Is-there-ANY-way-to-copy-pages-between-books-) but I'm wondering if it is now.

I have made photo books each of the past 7 years.  I want to merge them into a single book (and add more pages to the beginning for the first three years) and then republish it as a special 10th anniversary book.  I do not want to recreate all 7 books, though!  (They run 40-90 pages each!)

Thanks!

Beverley

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This workflow is not recommended by Blurb as if done incorrectly can result in your project becoming corrupted. While there is currently no way to import two book projects together within BookSmart or our BookWright software, I will pass your feedback along to our development team for future consideration as a feature. 

Padraic

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Bookwright won't let me add pages (at 20 pages long!!) and crashes - I also can't go back into BookSmart due to Java issues. Can I make new Bookwright books and merge them?

beverly webster 0 votes
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After reading David's reply on https://support.blurb.com/entries/21604759 about creating mirrored layouts more easily by directly editing the XML, I tried opening the .book file with an XML editor -- and had some success.  I was able to merge books #1 and #2 by combining the contents of the bookObjects and pagesList sections (after also copying the contents of the library folder from the two books into my new merged book)

 

However when I try to merge in book #3 as well, it just completely ignores it.  Has anyone else had any success with manually combining books?  I tried adding in the CategoryContentsList section as well which wasn't necessary to bring in for the first two books but it didn't make any difference.

Beverley 0 votes
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I've made a bit of progress.... the first four pages for book #3 had identical guids to the first four pages for book #2 and I think that is related.  I had success for a few minutes getting two pages to import but then I tried to start from a fresh copy so I could reproduce the steps -- and I couldn't reproduce it!!  So now I'm not entirely sure what I did that was successful the first time and not successful the second time.

 

The first time I did this:

- open both books and export them

- rename bookexport file to .zip

- extract .book file from zip file and work from that copy

- delete HardCover and CoverPage sections out of second book

- copy entire bookOjbects section and two pages from pagesList sections from second book to first book

 

I did the same thing (I think!) the second time but it didn't work.... possible I didn't go back to exported copies so maybe they're on different versions of the software or something with slightly different syntax in common sections??? Not sure.... still working on it.  But no more for today!

Beverley 0 votes
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My underlying problem was the conflicting GUIDs.  I'll post the exact steps I have taken to merge my books later, but I'm up to four books in one file now (186 pages) and it seems to be working well.  One thing that was very confusing is the fact that if it detects something wrong with your .book file (e.g. two pages with identical GUIDs) then it silently falls back to the .backup file by the same name.  So if you rename the .backup file before attempting to open the .book file, then at least you'll know if you've got a corruption going on!

Beverley 0 votes
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Okay, here's the process I've been following.  It seems to be working well, except sometimes I don't have the text imported on some of the boxes in the photo book, while others do come in just fine.  I haven't had that problem occur with the last few books though so perhaps it has something to do with the version of the software originally used to create the books?? 

I have NOT tried ordering a book created with this process so if you try this, do so at your own risk -- and using only COPIES of your original books in case of horrible side effects I haven't discovered!  :)

How to combine multiple Blurb BookSmart books

 

  1. Start a new book project that is the same size as the books you want to combine.  This will be your mega book.
  2. On the Open Book Project screen, remove unused images from the book you are merging in.
  3. Open the book.  Use the Duplicate Book function to create a copy of it.  Modify the copy as follows. 
    • Unlock all locked spreads to avoid getting blank pages inserted you don’t expect.
    • If you’d like to preserve your covers in the new books, create normal pages in the book that mimic the layout.
    • It doesn’t seem to import Caption text boxes properly, so you may want to go through your original books and change all Captions to Body if you’re not using the styles differently anyway.  Also any boxes that show up as “Select a style”.  Although I did this and it didn’t help so I’m still missing something here.
  4. Exit BookSmart.  Make sure it really has exited by checking Task Manager.
  5. Copy the contents of the Library folders from the copy of the book you created in Step 3 into the Library folder for your new book.  E.g. C:\Users\<username>\Documents\BookSmartData\<bookname>\library.  If there are any file name conflicts you’ll have to figure it out later which pictures went haywire, so take screen shots of the error messages of the files it complains about.  Booklogo_interior is fine to skip since it is the same in every book.
  6. Make backup copies of both .book files in case you mess anything up in the next steps.
  7. Open the mega .book file and the .book file you want to combine into it in Notepad.
  8. Check for GUID conflicts by comparing the values in the bookslist section in both .book files.  If you find any, it is easier to recreate the pages within Blurb in one of the books than to deal with it through XML.  Use Excel to help you find duplicates.  The final page can be a duplicate & ignored since you won’t be copying that one.  If you have any duplicates, recreate those pages and delete the originals in one of the books before moving on.
  9. Optionally, in book #2, delete the very last item out of the pagesList section (it is the back logo page) after first searching for and removing any sections elsewhere in the book that refer to that GUID.
  10. Copy the contents of the bookObjects and pagesList (not the one within the HardCover section) sections from your first book into the new book at the end of those nodes.  For the pagesList, paste the contents one line before the end so that the back logo page is still the last entry.  For the other sections, order doesn’t matter.
  11. Save the file, but don’t close it yet.
  12. Look for any .backup files and rename them to prevent BookSmart from disguising any issues with your book by reverting to the previous copy.
  13. Try opening the file in BookSmart.  If the file won’t open (and you get a message about a corrupted file), you likely have a GUID conflict.  Go back to step 8 and check more carefully.  Make copies of the pages in the original book and repeat the import process.  It’s easier than figuring it out manually!
  14. Carefully compare what is in BookSmart with your original printed book to make sure you’re not missing any text or photos.  If you had issues with any GUID conflicts you may want to go back through the previous books as well to make sure nothing got screwed up.
  15. Make a backup copy of the .book file so far in case you make a mistake with the next book and need to revert to this stage.
  16. Repeat with next book starting at step 3.
Beverley 2 votes
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It has been over a year since this original post- did anyone end up having luck publishing a book in the manner listed here?  Very interested to find out.  

SpiderChmbrs 0 votes
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Yes!  I was locked out of my support account (hint: don't try to change your support/forum email address and bookstore email address to be the same thing!) but just changed them back and now I can comment again.  

 

Anyway, I ordered my mega book and it turned out perfectly.

Beverley 0 votes
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I used the steps described in the thread below and it worked. THANKS to whoever figured this out (... amazing!!!) and then took the time to share with others. I really, really appreciate this! I had called the Support Phone No and was told that this was not possible

I was intimidated by the instructions, since I have no html knowledge, but if you follow carefully they do work!  Thanks a million!

 

How to combine multiple Blurb BookSmart books

 

  1. Start a new book project that is the same size as the books you want to combine.  This will be your mega book.
  2. On the Open Book Project screen, remove unused images from the book you are merging in.
  3. Open the book.  Use the Duplicate Book function to create a copy of it.  Modify the copy as follows. 
    • Unlock all locked spreads to avoid getting blank pages inserted you don’t expect.
    • If you’d like to preserve your covers in the new books, create normal pages in the book that mimic the layout.
    • It doesn’t seem to import Caption text boxes properly, so you may want to go through your original books and change all Captions to Body if you’re not using the styles differently anyway.  Also any boxes that show up as “Select a style”.  Although I did this and it didn’t help so I’m still missing something here.
  4. Exit BookSmart.  Make sure it really has exited by checking Task Manager.
  5. Copy the contents of the Library folders from the copy of the book you created in Step 3 into the Library folder for your new book.  E.g. C:\Users\<username>\Documents\BookSmartData\<bookname>\library.  If there are any file name conflicts you’ll have to figure it out later which pictures went haywire, so take screen shots of the error messages of the files it complains about.  Booklogo_interior is fine to skip since it is the same in every book.
  6. Make backup copies of both .book files in case you mess anything up in the next steps.
  7. Open the mega .book file and the .book file you want to combine into it in Notepad.
  8. Check for GUID conflicts by comparing the values in the bookslist section in both .book files.  If you find any, it is easier to recreate the pages within Blurb in one of the books than to deal with it through XML.  Use Excel to help you find duplicates.  The final page can be a duplicate & ignored since you won’t be copying that one.  If you have any duplicates, recreate those pages and delete the originals in one of the books before moving on.
  9. Optionally, in book #2, delete the very last item out of the pagesList section (it is the back logo page) after first searching for and removing any sections elsewhere in the book that refer to that GUID.
  10. Copy the contents of the bookObjects and pagesList (not the one within the HardCover section) sections from your first book into the new book at the end of those nodes.  For the pagesList, paste the contents one line before the end so that the back logo page is still the last entry.  For the other sections, order doesn’t matter.
  11. Save the file, but don’t close it yet.
  12. Look for any .backup files and rename them to prevent BookSmart from disguising any issues with your book by reverting to the previous copy.
  13. Try opening the file in BookSmart.  If the file won’t open (and you get a message about a corrupted file), you likely have a GUID conflict.  Go back to step 8 and check more carefully.  Make copies of the pages in the original book and repeat the import process.  It’s easier than figuring it out manually!
  14. Carefully compare what is in BookSmart with your original printed book to make sure you’re not missing any text or photos.  If you had issues with any GUID conflicts you may want to go back through the previous books as well to make sure nothing got screwed up.
  15. Make a backup copy of the .book file so far in case you make a mistake with the next book and need to revert to this stage.
  16. Repeat with next book starting at step 3.
Lynn Morstead 2 votes

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