I have had lots of questions about the specifics of how I put my books together so I thought I would write a post detailing my work. I started with Ali Edwards “Love You Because” templates from Designer Digitals. I am a PhotoShop user, but I’m pretty sure this will work in PhotoShop Elements too- the exact steps might be a tad different. I did a little research to find a book publisher that would allow me to upload full page photos to all of the pages and the covers. Shutterfly fit the bill! I wanted a square book so I chose the 8×8″ hardcover. I also wanted to stick with their standard 20 page format so I designed the book accordingly. Knowing that I was tackling five different books with a specific deadline I tried to really organize my thoughts. I created a template showing me all 20pp. at a glimpse so that I could organize my photos and reasons (I’ll upload it here tomorrow)- basically, Reason #1=page 1, Reason #2=pages 2-3, Reason #3=pages 4-5, etc.) I started making a list for each family member of reasons I loved them and photos I’d like to use. You will notice that reason #1 is only a single page. I did this in order to make my 10 reasons fit in 20pp. This also left an additional single page at the end of the book. I decided to have each family member write something they loved about the others. I scanned those in and assembled them in Photoshop. However, there are a million different things you could do with that last page. I gathered my photos in separate folders for each person and then I was ready to go!
I decided to make new book templates from Ali’s original set so that I could easily open new documents for each of the 5 books. I added a .25″ bleed to all the pages since I wanted them to print as full page bleeds (edge to edge). I recommend dragging your guides over so that you can see where the bleed begins on each page. That way you will not lose anything important on the edges. I set up the cover, page 1, page 20 and the back cover as 8.25×8.25″ @ 300dpi. All of the double page spreads were set up as 8.25″x16.25″ documents @ 300dpi. I opened Ali’s templates and dragged the word art, number and frame to each page. I copied each frame, rotated it 180 degrees and added it to the opposite page. Now you are finally ready to begin designing the pages! I will create a PhotoShop quick Reference sheet and upload it tomorrow for beginner Photoshop users.
Once you have designed all of your pages you need to prepare them to upload to Shutterfly. The single pages (cover, page 1, page 20 and the back cover) are easy. Just flatten each page and make sure it is a jpg. The double page spreads are a little trickier. Open each spread, flatten it, then set your crop tool to 8×8″ @ 300 dpi. Crop from the top left corner all the way to the botton of the page. You will notice that this selection includes a sliver of the opposite page. This adds the bleed area and it will print perfectly. I saved this jpeg as the page number + the letter A. Crop the other side of the page (including the bleed) and save it as the page number +B. You will upload each 8×8″ photo to Shutterfly and place as a full photo on each page of the book. I had to play with the cover photos a bit, but I got them to work.
I think that is about it! I have a couple of worksheets I’d like to share, but I can’t get to them until tommorrow. Stop back later in the day and I should have them posted. If you have any questions feel free to ask! I’ll answer as best I can. I had as much fun making these books as my family had receiveing them. I encourage all of you to take on this project!
Edited to add Planning Worksheet . . . click here love-you-planner1