I'm disappointed with the book module in Lightroom 4. It seems to be bound to one single publisher (blurb) and while I don't even mind using blurb, the biggest disappointment is that you cannot customize the page layout. (Yes, you can chose different layouts and make some slight adjustments, but you can't, for example, decide where exactly to place a picture.) For me, that is a complete deal breaker.

Anyway, I am now wondering what the best way is to make your photo books starting from Lightroom, which is where all my photos live.

I was unable to find any plugin that does the job.

So now, it seems I have to accept that Lightroom should be used for what it's best at (archive and develop images) and use another software that is best at photo books.

My impression is that this is Lumix PhotoFusion, but it does not seem to integrate in any way with Lightroom, i.e. I'd have to export images from lightroom and import them back into PhotoFusion.

So I'm wondering if anyone has any better solutions.

Perhaps I should mention one of the reasons why I's like a stronger link between the two products: I intend to work on the book(s) over a long period of time, basically pasting new pictures into the book everytime I import new images into Lightroom. So it would be convenient if there was an easy way, for example, to paste undeveloped/ unedited images into the album, to see what they looks like and then do the fine-tuning/ developing later.

  • \$\begingroup\$ and you cant put a black border on those "overlay image styles", annoying \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 1, 2013 at 19:05

2 Answers 2


I don't know if you found an answer to this question, but in case others come across it:

I got a photo book done by Blurb, I was highly impressed by the quality, but I created it using Blurb's downloadable application called 'Booksmart'. It's like a self contained desktop publishing application, and seems to be quite reliable. From within it you can choose your complete layout. I would suggest that you decide from the start all the choices you want, particularly in terms of book size and cover options.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I also did my book using blurb and was very happy with the result. I also downloaded blurb's software. I would suggest taking the time to learn the ins and outs before you get to involved. I spent a lot of time redoing layouts, but was happy in the end. I did have a problem with their Ebook conversion. Some pics transferred while others did not. I'm looking for a good option. \$\endgroup\$
    – user24567
    Commented Dec 7, 2013 at 2:40
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    \$\begingroup\$ but then you lose the transparency in doing extra tweaks and edits in lightroom , being directly reflected in the book. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 7, 2013 at 22:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelNielsen I think the BookSmart app links files. I would create a collection in Lightroom containing all the book images. Then create an export preset that exports to some BlurbbookImages folder of your choice on your computer. You can specify the settings in the export, eg Overwrite duplicates without warning, no dimensions reduction, but set to 240 or 300ppi (whichever Blurb prefers, I think it's probably 240ppi) etc etc. Then edit an image and just re-export it. If you've used it in your book, when you quit and reopen, the changes should show up, or maybe you can refresh links \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 7, 2013 at 22:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ yeah but the great thing in Lightroom is the immediate feedback, just toggle between the tabs. if they added custom pages and image borders, it would be perfect. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 16:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelNielsen that's a useful feature, takes some getting used to working between apps in that way. Hopefully they'll update the Lightoom module. I'd love to do all my work in that \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 16:32

Lightroom 5 supports the creation of Blurb books as well, but it has the advantage that it supports the creation of custom layouts and/or modifying existing layouts.
The advantage of this over Booksmart is, as you say, you can make tweaks to the photo at the same time as designing the book, rather than having to re-export.


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