Blurb.com Booksmart in Linux

I’ve been trying to use the BookSmart software from the quite brilliant Blurb.com on my computer running Ubuntu. Their BookSmart software is designed for Windows and Mac only, so I downloaded the Windows version and tried it under Wine. There’s a little trick to getting it to work without crashing once it’s installed.

Add application, then browse to BookSmart

Add application, then browse to BookSmart

Run winecfg (or find “Configure Wine” on your menu), then “Add application”. Browse to where BookSmart has installed, probably on your c_drive, then Program Files.

winecfg screenshot

Use Windows 98 compatibility to run BookSmart.exe

Back on Wine configuration and you will see BookSmart on the list – change its Windows version to “Windows 98″ (it will start as “Use global settings”)

BookSmart should now start up fine – it looks like fantastic software for the one purpose of designing photo books, although Blurb seem to be saying that there’s more they can do with it.

There was one more problem I ran into – I have loads of great fonts installed on linux, but none of them were available to me in Wine, specifically in BookSmart. Something I’d never done before was look in drive_c/windows/fonts – if I put the fonts I want in there I can use them as soon I start BookSmart.

When I’ve finished the book and received it I’ll put a review of the service and pictures. So far I am very impressed – the books seem to be of a very high quality, and the model of having the software to create the book if you want gives someone like me exactly the control I want and can’t really get with some other photobook services.

##UPDATE March 2011

help.ubuntu.com has a very helpful page on running BookSmart natively with Java that I got to work easily when I tried.

  • Paul

    Did you ever get your book published with blurb.com? I’m intrigued because I’m considering them myself but I’m trying to make sure they’re genuine.

  • Jon Rogers

    Yes, I had the book published, got two copies that look fantastic – I was really pleased with the service and the quality of the product.