On Blurb’s site, go to Your Blurb > Your Books

For a while Blurb’s site has let you convert books created with their BookSmart software into eBooks for the iPad. That wasn’t possible with books uploaded from Lightroom’s Book module, which used the PDF to Blurb method.

Well, this afternoon I had left Lightroom uploading a book of my re-enactment photos and  returned to it earlier this evening as I wanted to share it with some of the people depicted. It was then that I noticed that  books uploaded from Lightroom now have an interesting “Enhance for iPad” button. Hm, I wonder when they sneaked that one out!

To use it, upload the book from Lightroom as normal, log into Blurb’s site, and go to the Your Books section. You’ll see there’s a button for converting to eBook format –  Enhance for iPad.

It seems to take a short while – it says up to 30 minutes for a large book – but that may have been that the connection was slow or I just happened to log on at the wrong time. Or it may just be that the job is queued up for the server and crunching through a big PDF takes time. Anyway, just leave it to get on with the job.

And here is the book in iBooks on my iPad

Once I returned and logged onto Blurb on my iPad, it was easy enough to go to the book and and download it to iBooks. It seems about what you expect for iBooks, and fine for many uses. So I’d say whole process works pretty well.

Every so often interesting little features sneak out without any fanfare. This seems to be one of those “soft releases” and [update 18 July] from their tweets Blurb have only been thinking it would interest InDesign users. Well, it’s handy for Lightroom users too.

Even if Lightroom’s Book doesn’t itself allow direct publishing to iPad format (let alone access to Apple’s app store), this seems to be a viable route to selling hard copy and eBook versions simultaneously – and without much extra effort.