Years ago, we used to create lots of photo albums. Since we have digital camera’s most of the photos ends on the harddrive.
For the last holiday my wife and I decided that we wanted to create a photo book. There are a lot of companies that allow you to create these books and they provide software that helps you to create them. There are, however, very few companies that provide Linux versions of the software. Some of the companies allow you to send in some PDF files (one for the content and one for the cover) which they will use to print the book.
Using the software, provided by the company, makes it very easy to create a photo book very fast. It is easy to select the right format of the book, they provide borders and backgrounds and you know that when you have send the book, it will be printed correctly. The biggest disadvantage is that you don’t have full control over the layout of the book. You can’t create master pages that are used for every page and you can’t use custom borders.
When you can create a PDF you have full control. You can use almost every word processor (like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org) or publishing processing software (like Microsoft Publisher, Adobe InDesign or Scribus). Most of them will allow you to create a PDF file natively, for others (especially older version) you need a PDF printer (which you can find on the internet).
Although full control is mostly an advantage, it can also be a disadvantage, because the possibilities can be overwhelming.
Because there are not so much printing companies that have support for Linux, I have decided to look for a company that support PDF printing. I will use Scribus to create the book and export it to PDF. Then I will send the PDF to Blurb.
Since this will be the first time I use Scribus and Blurb, I will post my experiences when I am finished.