Did you see...

Building an ebook in Lightroom

Today I thought I would try something a little different.. How about creating a book in Adobe Lightroom 4, converting it to an ebook and publishing it to the Apple iTunes (and Blurb book store). Does that sound different enough?

The finished ebook will be available in the epub format used by Apple iPad and iPhone and should look something like this..

Zooming Feet Wedding ebook

free ebook created using Lightroom 4 and Blurb

So lets get started..

Select the images you would like to use in your ebook and go to the Book module

Adobe Lightroom 4 Book Module

As you can see above, all my images are showing in the bottom panel ready for placement. Before that, we need to set the defaults for our ebook.

ebook settings

Do not be put off by the price in the screenshot above.. Lightroom only understands physical books at the moment and in this example we can create an ebook for free!

I have chosen a square format book for this example, although the Standard Portrait might be a better option for creating an iPad ebook.

So lets get started and create our front and back page..

format the first ebook page

Select the first page and click the little arrow in the Page panel on the right. This will bring up the pre-formatted options. As I want both the front and back covers to be full page photos I choose the 1st option.

Drag and Drop the image onto the page

Drag and Drop the image onto the page

Now, select an image from the film strip and drag it into place on your page. Using this multi page view is very handy for getting the overall order of your images in your ebook, but to fine tune how the page looks it is best to switch to either the double or single spread views

Page Views

With the Double Page Spread view selected I can position my cover image by dragging the image and changing the zoom settings.

Positioning the cover image

Now we can create a title for our cover page by ticking the Page Caption box in the Caption panel.

Creating a Title

There are many formatting options that allow placement and styling of the text. One thing to consider if, as in this example, we are creating for the iPad is the choice of Fonts. Blurb advise that you use one the following fonts to prevent formatting errors when converting to iPad format.

Helvetica, Century Schoolbook, Futura, Verdana, Courier, Arial, Garamond, Trebuchet, Georgia and Times.

I have not used fonts from the selection in this example but Blurb allows you to alter this during the conversion process.

Adding pages could not be easier..

Adding new pages

Keep adding and populating your pages until you have a completed book.

Now Save the book by clicking the Create Saved Book button in the top right..

Create Saved Book

The book is now ready to send to Blurb to be converted to an ebook.

Send to Blurb

This will bring up a loading page for Blurb.. do not be put off by the price as we use this book to create an ebook.

Loading ebook

Be aware that this uploading process may take a while.. make some tea, maybe even lunch and supper while you are at it. When it is finally complete, a web page will automatically open at the blurb website.

Convert to ebook

As you can see there is a link to automatically convert you Lightroom created Book into an ebook. Click the link.

ebook creation page

Click continue and you will be asked to convert any non standard fonts

Change fonts

The Blurb website will then notify you of any formatting issues and help you to correct them

Correcting formatting problems

Click the page number to take you to the page (Page 1 in this case)..

Fit the text

The warning tells us that the text overflows the text box. This is simple to fix by either changing the font size or in this case, making the text box a little bigger.

Publish ebook

Once you have fixed any minor problems with formatting, click the Complete and Publish button in the bottom right.

Blurb Book Store

Test your new ebook by downloading it to an iPad or iPhone to make sure that the formatting looks fine.

Publish to Blurb and Apple

When you are happy with your downloaded ebook, you can now add it to the Blurb bookstore and submit it to Apple iBookstore (if you want your ebook on iTunes).

The submission to Apple can take up to 2 weeks, although can happen much quicker.

Now everything is done! You can preview your ebook in the blurb bookstore and others can download it for their own viewing pleasure.

Blurb Bookstore preview

and for those who want to see the finished result..

Download the ebook from Blurb





I hope you managed to stick with me through this process, it is easier to do than explain!

If you would like to find out more about Blurb and Adobe Lightroom 4 book creation.. Please check out Richard Curtis’ upcoming webinar on creating extraordinary blurb books in Lightroom 


As always, please ask questions or comments below and feel free to share the knowledge.

About Scot Baston (31 Articles)
Scot Baston is a Commercial & Wedding Photographer that lives on the south coast of Devon, that inspires much of his work. Whether it the technical or emotive sides, Photography is a passion that continues to challenge and inspire.

15 Comments on Building an ebook in Lightroom

  1. Harold Gardner // 07/10/2012 at 5:07 pm //

    That is slick. Adobe does good work again!

  2. This looks easy! Thanks so much for the tutorial. Now I know where to begin.

  3. Thanks for the tutorial. Didn’t know I could do that in lightroom.

  4. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I have seen online courses for this with upsells costing a few thousand dollars. But this looks pretty easy.

  6. Abhijit // 08/10/2012 at 10:51 am //

    Definitely worth a try – thanks for sharing this. Did you use Skitch by any chance for the instructions on the screenshots ?

  7. Hi Abhijit,

    I did use Skitch v2 and I have to say that I am looking for a replacement as the previous version was excellent but version 2 has seriously dropped the ball with usability.


  8. This is excellent. thanks for the tips

  9. Harold Gardner // 08/10/2012 at 12:39 pm //

    I really appreciate how visual your instructions are.

  10. pierce higgins // 09/11/2012 at 6:50 pm //

    Have Blurb changed their policy and now charge for epub conversion?

  11. Thank you for pointing this out. Cannot wait to produce one myself.

  12. Not free anymore =(

  13. I thinkn ill try ibook author for mac

  14. Thank you. This is a brilliant tutorial. However, the one problem I have is pasting in and manipulating text. Everything is so very small it is really hard to work. The photos are simple to work with but the text Arghh!!

  15. I used Blurb and it was a 100% fail. While the system was able to upload a physical book, the e-book conversion failed. I worked with Blurb for 10-days only to find that they said the files size was too large and would not work. Their response time was very long – sometimes it took more than 2-days to get a response. I called customer support and was told that each time I called or added a message to their open support ticket it would go to the bottom of the list. I spent 2-days putting together the book – as it had several curated articles as well as photos and all this time was wasted because there is no way to create a file without sending it to Blurb. I am still trying to figure out how to get my e-book, but will likely have to redo everything.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.