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BookWright needs a lot more work

I've been using BookSmart but noticed the new BookWright app and thought I would give it a spin. To me it's been released prematurely as it seems to lack feature parity to BookSmart.

My #1 complaint would be importing photos into it. In BookSmart you can import a folder of images but BookWright wants you to do that individually! What sort of craziness is that?

Closely followed by the lack of external proofing. In BookSmart you can print to PDF and then share that PDF to get more eyes helping you proof the book but BookWright only has an internal preview which means no remote sharing of the workload.

Layout also has a number of shortcomings. Firstly there is a lack on templates compared to BookSmart. When you drop an image into a container it gets this wide border that makes it harder to place the image when you want an edge of the image next to the edge of the container. One day there might be templates with containers that match the ratios of an image.

There appears to be no way to set the page header or change the footer. I also have no idea what font is used for the page number.

You need more templates with provision for captions. Having a mechanism to use metadata in the image as a caption would be good.

You only supply one two page spread and it's a full bleed unlike most of your other templates. You should be consistent and include at least one two page template with white space like the other templates.

Mark Prior

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A problem that I recently discovered was that if you elect to have a Blurb logo page then after you have uploaded your book Blurb will add a sheet with the logo page on one side of the sheet to the book (the other side is blank). You won't see this in the preview so the first time you discover that you have an extra blank page at the end of your book will be when you look at your printed copy. Blurb support couldn't work out a way to get rid of it, for example having your final page blank doesn't help. I normally use that last page so I only discovered them problem when I went to make a book with just double page spreads, and as I didn't need the final page I thought I would go with the discount.

Mark Prior 0 votes
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I also had problems with BookWright.  I contacted Customer Support about not being able to load my book, and ultimately received a response that my internet connection was too slow.  Too slow?  I couldn't even keep an internet connection with BookWright open.  My son could play online games while I was streaming videos, but I couldn't even open my e-mail on the computer without closing BookWright and rebooting the internet  Never had a problem with BookSmart.  Once I reminded the service tech that the stability of my internet connection was a problem with BookWright regardless of whether I was attempting to load a book or not (yep, I tried at 6am, too, and I'm on the East Coast), well, it's been 3 days and counting to get a response.  Guess they just don't want my business.  Maybe 2 books a year isn't enough to make ANY attempt to keep a customer, but they were certainly quick to throw the blame back at me.  Guess Blurb just doesn't want to admit BookWright is messed up.  I have cheaper, easier alternatives to creating my own personal books.  The books may not be as nice, but my two attempts at Blurb's customer service (another previous problem I solved myself) have left me wondering how the company can stay afloat when all customer service does is blame the customer.  Good luck guys!

bfh9510 0 votes
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Bookwright won't allow me to import even a single photo 
I've tried with plenty of different sizes 

sxttx 0 votes
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Carol Renn & Everyone: I am sorry to hear that you're experiencing similar issues and frustrations. And one would think that with these types of serious, grave issues that wipe out people's work and time--that Blurb would pull BookWright, fix the issues, and relaunch it. For this many people to have issues shows that they should not even be advertising BookWright as a book-making tool right now. After my issues, I was given a discount coupon on a future order with a deadline to use it by the end of December. Well... since the software issues have prevented me from being able to recreate the book -- AFTER TWO MONTHS OF TRYING following BookWright wiping out my file, even the backup -- the discount, with an expiration date, is a joke. It cannot be used. I have lost four months of working on this project (two months before the issues, and two  months after), countless hours working on it, and lost revenue. I cannot allow this company to cause my company to go into the ground over known issues it cannot or will not resolve. So I am looking to move on. At this point, what other choice do I have as an owner of an indie press but to move on? I have to be able to, you know, make books! And I have to be able to reduce stress for the sake of my health. If anyone has suggestions on alternate companies to try, I'd love to hear them. If anyone has used Amazon's CreateSpace, I'd love to communicate with you about it. But all of his is unacceptable and Blurb should at least have the decency to issue a statement to its customers.

Tamryn Spruill 0 votes
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BookWright seems to be getting updated a lot. The auto-enhance feature (which for my images was more like auto-destroy) can now be disabled. Yea! You can, apparently, change the size of a book. That update came right after I rebuilt a book from scratch to change the size. Well, yea, anyway!

Someone mentioned "parity," which is a big fat issue in the software business right now (which I work in). When replacing an existing program, do you wait until you have parity, or do you release something early and have it catch up over time, to the inevitable chagrin of many of your customers? Business-wise, releasing early is usually the clear choice, so there we go.

For what it's worth, my exchanges with Blurb tech support were very good, very fast, very informative.

Scott Miller 0 votes
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andrew3002 -2 votes
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My ticket number #507077 doesn't get any replies. I've spent 5 days trying to get an RTF file uploaded without suiccess. I've followed the instructions but  - it's a big disappointment. Nell6y

nelly66nor 0 votes
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I'm a longtime Blurb user and recommender to other people, but I just got a new computer and ended up downloading bookwright.  I am used to booksmart, but decided I have to keep up with the times.  I'm going back to booksmart.  There are so many things bookwright can't do - I hate having to use the same background for the whole book.  I don't like having a different place for backgrounds. I can't see as many pictures.  The lines and the way things line up is helpful in someways, but doesn't always work so not helpful in others.  The pictures seem to take many more steps to get them where I want them to go and showing what I want them to show.  If you are having this issue and want to go back to booksmart, I just googled it and it let me download it.

 

mckenzie29 0 votes
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I am working on a 62 page 10 x 8 softcover book of photos and text which was almost complete. Font: Garamond 12, line spacing 1.0, justified text. Heading Garamond 18, subheading Garamond 14.

Yesterday Book Wright was 'updated'. Since then I have 17 text boxes (starting with my Preface) with the warnings either ‘text overflow’ or ‘flowable text not displayed within book.’ Before the update there were NO iSSUES.

When I called BLURB support I was told by the team member that he had no idea why this would have happened and would send it to tech support...

Has anyone else encountered this problem?

Jean Crankshaw 0 votes
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Falklands, this has just happened to me!!  It is a total headfry as the layout took me forever to get right.  I have to try to find out how to un-install this update!

lisaellery 0 votes
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Lisa, Good luck! If you do find out how to uninstall the update please post here. If I get any sensible answer from Blur I'll post...I think they have changed the page size!

Jean Crankshaw 0 votes
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Lisa, I have also just updated to the new version. Warnings have appeared on a few of my text boxes, and at first I thought they were the overflow warnings you mentioned. But instead, they are warnings that the font used is not supported in eBooks. It looks like this warning has been added by the update.

I've also moved my project from my laptop to desktop to make use of the larger monitor. I was impressed at how easily Bookwright found my images. I've not been very organized about organizing them in folders, and wasn't sure what to expect. I just moved the three folders containing images over, put them in the same folder with the book, and crossed my fingers when opening it. I expected at least to have to guide the program to the new image locations, but miraculously Boolwright found them all on its own.

Coders, I am am impressed. Now, if only you could take a tip from the Sony folks as far as displaying the library of image files - check out Sony Movie Studio. That scrolling bar of images in Bookwright is horrible!!!

Tony Mindling 0 votes
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I have only one Bookwright book with significant amounts of text in combination with images, for whichI use the text flow feature, and after seeing the new comments I checked all my text boxes, but found no warnings, and did not see any difference in page sizes either. As with all the issues, it appears that some users experience them while others don't.   I was very pleased to see the new option to convert Booksmart books, and immediately transferred one of my  Booksmart books---it was very easy.  The only problem was that the text did not import in the same font, so I had to change it. Fortunately there was not a great deal of text in this particular book. I suspect perhaps it was because the text imported as  e-book friendly text and my favorite fonts are usually in the print-only category. But this new feature saved  me a great deal of work, and is a sign that Blurb is working really hard to make  BookWight better and better.    Now, if there were just an option to add borders from within Bookwright, as there is in BookSmart.....

 

Caroline Trippe 0 votes
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While changing all of those overflow text boxes I have just discovered that in the update Garamond has been changed to StempelGaramond. I am NOT creating an e-book and I want to use the font I choose – i.e.  Garamond.

Jean Crankshaw 0 votes
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I'm fed up.  I spent hours yesterday importing rtf files and formatting and editing text, saving regularly, only to find that Bookwright has crashed and lost pretty much all of my work.  I love what Blurb are offering, but if the editing and formatting software isn't robust and reliable, what's the point?

Sam Jarman 0 votes
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I'm new to all of this - Q: Is there the option of putting a CD pocket (with CD) at the end of the book?  It doesn't look like there is any phone support whatsoever...?

artgenius1 0 votes
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I cannot get any reaction from the Download BookWright buttons.  Click on them and nothing happens.  Am I missing something?

J-Caxton-S 0 votes
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@J-Caxton-S - Sorry to hear that! Where exactly is this happening?

Gael 0 votes
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I'm interested to hear that others are having serious problems with the new BookWright, as I'm having similar issues.  I put together a fairly simple 5x8 book in November 2015 using RTF files and MS Word Moderate for the layout.  After the latest BookWright update, the book is completely hosed, with pages missing at the end and very different top and bottom margins.  I tried re-creating the book from scratch and it jumped from 127 pages to 147 pages, with several fewer lines per page.  Yes, I used MS Word Moderate both times and the book is still 5x8.  What's going on?!

 

carltait 1 vote
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instagramjj -2 votes
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I clicked on finished...all I had done was the front and back cover and title.How do I cancel finished so I can add my pages...it thinks my book is complete

Lyle Anderson 0 votes
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