Lord please save me from BookWright

You have to love it when a trusted and reliable company throws a complete spanner in the works for the sake of progress.  For the past week or so I have been trying to publish my latest year book imaginatively named 2015 with Blurb.  I use their Booksmart software to create the book but for reasons best known to itself the software just wouldn’t upload the book to Blurb.  Eventually after trying everything else I decided to delete the software and reinstall.  This is a pain but it was the last thing I could do (Blurb have still not answered my question to their support system so goodness only knows what they might have suggested if I had rung them).

I logged onto the Blurb site and clicked on the download software button without giving it much thought.  Instead of downloading the Booksmart software instead I downloaded the new Bookwright software instead.


It wasn’t un til I was waiting for the software to install that I noticed the different logo.  “Oh”, I thought, “they’ve changed the logo.”  Oh they’ve changed the logo alright and the software as well.  According to Blurb “…BookWright is built with the latest technology, it runs smoother and faster, and incorporates new features that are not available in BookSmart. We encourage you to try out BookWright because it will meet the needs of most book-makers….” I am sure it is unless you have used Booksmart then it really isn’t.   I am not alone in this as I found out when I searched Google.

Anyway to cut a very long a frustrating saga short I eventually found the download page for Booksmart through a Google search rather than on the Blurb website, installed it and was able to upload the yearbook which you can see by clicking on the link below.



What is really worrying is that Blurb really does think that Bookwright is the way forward and I suspect that if you are coming at this a new it is.  However, if you are used to using Booksmart, and clearly I am not alone in this view, then it is a backward step.  How long Blurb are going to pander to us is another matter – perhaps they might take the hint and make Bookwright much easier to use for all us dedicated users of their service – I don’t hold out too much hope!

About Guthlac

An artist, historian and middle aged man who'se aim in life is to try and enjoy as much of it as he can
This entry was posted in Art, Publishing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Lord please save me from BookWright

  1. Pingback: Bloody Blurb! | Simon's Blog

  2. Peaches and Paprika says:

    Hi Simon, we had a similar experience just now with Bookwright vs our old friend, Booksmart. Tearing our furs out over it. Love your title. Right now we’re having a major war making a cover. How did you ever resolve printing your book? Thanks in advance for your reply. http://www.peachesandpaprika.blogspot.com

    • Guthlac says:

      Thanks for this…if it is any consolation every week this is the most viewed blog on my site – so you are not alone. I am not entirely sure what you are asking but I’ll have a stab and if I am wrong then please feel free to ask again. As for the cover problem all I did was go to the icon in the top left hand corner of the program called Covers and clicked on this and that seemed to work. Bookwright is frustratingly one of the least intuitive pieces of software out there and it took me a awhile to work that one out. I hope that helps. As for printing I just click on the upload button and work through the Blurb process. I know you can create a PDF to act as a proof which of course could be printed separately but I wouldn’t recommend it as they deliberately alter the quality of the images as well as place watermarks through the book. If this is what you want to do I would suggest using Adobe Acrobat Pro or whatever it is called now.

      It is a while since I moved over to bookwright so I have got used to its idiosyncratic style and workflows. The one aspect that still defeats me is the way that text flow is handled – instead I find myself handling each paragraph as opposed to the whole text as one. Fortunately this doesn’t cause too much of a problem and so I guess this is why I haven’t tried to master this skill.

      Anyway I hope that answers the question(s) – if it hasn’t then feel free to ask further questions.

      • Peaches and Paprika says:

        Thank U for your answer…OMG U r so right. TOTALLY non-intuitive disaster filled with bugs. HOWEVER since I did need to finish my book & this is only good book ware around (I think) I did develop one great workaround. 1) I create the book cover and first 10-20 pgs in Booksmart. That gets me over the “unfriendly hard to create cover software in Bookwright”. Then I upload via Booksmart and THEN import back in Bookwright and finish the book. I haven’t got my first BW book back yet so I’ll let you know if it worked. Yeah the wierdo text flow errors did not always make sense.The staff tries really hard to help but they can’t do everything.
        I’ll check out your site! Carol, Peaches & Paprika

  3. Having used Booksmart for years I too am not impressed with Bookwright. It seems the “new” Bookwright is unable to blog slurp like the old Booksmart, which was simple and easy to use. Tech support’s advice is to download each individual URL, which I’m not likely to do for a few hundred posts. So now I’m unfortunately looking for alternatives.

  4. Rob Story says:

    Made the same mistake!! Updated to BookWright, put the effort into creating a new 100+ plus page project and the next time I opened it its gone!!! Into an endless cycle of a
    being asked to upload, install the software, create a Desktop icon, etc. None of which actually happens, just endless “link doesn’t exist”, “you don’t have access permission” etc. error messages. Blurb’s supposed Help desk is not responding. Probably buried under the flood of similar complaints or the staff may have all quit. Do I bother going back to BookSmart or just dump the whole thing and move onto the competition?

    • Guthlac says:


      Since I wrote this post I have come to terms with bookwright. I suspect the only answer is just to stick at it – not the best advert for some software. I don’t know what you project was – mine are always photobooks. If this is the case then if you have Adobe Lightroom you can post your content straight to Blurb. I have never used this service and so haven’t got a clue whether it is better or worse than what you are experiencing at the moment but it is an option. Best of luck with your endeavour.

  5. Rob Story says:

    Now I see even the comment upload doesn’t work correctly!!

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