Hit the Books: Notebooks & Photo Books | Webinar Recap

Hit the Books with Dan Milnor is a monthly webinar about all things book-making and self-publishing. This month, Dan will be exploring Blurb’s new custom notebooks and journals—now available in BookWright. He’ll also be chatting with Pattern Observer’s Michelle Fifis and Melissa Schulz about design inspiration and thoughtful gift ideas. If you missed our latest live webinar, don’t worry! We’ve got the entire thing recorded below.

November: Gifting Made Easy – Notebooks & Photo Books in BookWright

  • Explore Blurb’s new custom notebooks and journals
  • Discover inspirational ideas for making a notebook or photo book
  • Get a quick introduction to BookWright, Blurb’s free bookmaking software
  • Find out how to choose the right paper type and trim size

Watch the Webinar

Top 10 Questions from the Audience

1. Why do books make great gifts?

I think books make great gifts for several reasons. Books are inspirational, whether they’re literature based or image focused. They inspire us to learn, to remember, and to imagine. Books are also an inexpensive gift, comparatively speaking. They make great stocking stuffers. Small, light, easy, and customizable for each family member. Sure, you can go online and buy something mass produced or you can make an intensely personal book. Books are timeless, especially when they are about family which is the perfect subject matter for the holidays.

2. How do I find Notebooks in the Blurb software?

Easy! Download and launch BookWright, Blurb’s free book-making tool. On the left-hand side of the Bookwright window, you will see “New! Notebooks.” Click that button and you are on your way.

3. Can I use multiple types of page styles in a single Notebook or Journal?

Yes. This is one of the key elements of Blurb’s journal offering. Notebooks and Journals are completely customizable. You can combine options like blank pages and grids, or narrow-ruled mixed with wide-ruled, etc.

4. What are the Notebook size options?

Blurb offers 5×8, 6×9, and 8×10 notebook and journal options. These are all available as Softcover, Hardcover ImageWrap, and Hardcover Dust Jacket.

5. Are there any other tips you suggest for notebook- or journal-making?

First and foremost, use your own visual content. I use photography, notes, drawings, and other visual ephemera. I drag and drop the content into the layout and then often end up writing over all of it. The “shapes” tool in Bookwright is a great feature. For example, I can create circles or triangles and then drag photographs into those shapes. I also tend to prefer thick journal books, so I normally make my journals over 100 pages.

6. What about photo books as gifts? 

For sure. I’ve been making photo book gifts since Blurb first arrived on the scene back in 2006. Photo Books are more expensive than Notebooks, but they serve a different purpose and are perfect for showing off visual content. So many of us spend copious amounts of time making images, and Photo Books are the single best way of displaying good photography. If we look at the history of humans and photography, we see a clean lineage of the book as a gift and the book as a family album. I really enjoy creating a book about each family member, so that over time, everyone gets a book.

7. Do Photo Books and Notebooks use the same materials?

No, photo books offer their own unique set of material options and the same is true for notebooks. One is not better than the other, so create what best suits your needs and budget.

8. Can I create a custom template for notebooks in Bookwright?

Sure. You create a custom template just like you would for any other book format. Name the template, save it to “my templates,” and you are good to go.

9. I tend to make books with Lightroom. Can I use Lightroom to make notebooks?

Currently, no. The best way to make a notebook or journal is with Bookwright.

10. Do you have any advice for using the notebook as a Journal?

Yes. Be creative, take chances, and use all the tools we used as kids. Scissors, glue, markers, paint, tape, etc. Write as if nobody will ever see what’s inside. I find journaling to be a very therapeutic endeavor.

Stay tuned for our next webinar in January 2019!

Custom Notebooks & Journals
Ready to make a completely custom notebook or journal? Choose from three sizes and mix and match blank, lined, square, or dot grid notebook pages. Get started today.


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