ISBN in LR Book module

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I have made a few Blurb photo
books using the LR Book module over the last few years.  One glaring omission though is that it does not allow you to get a free ISBN from Blurb or even use your own if you have one.  Using the InDesign Blurb plugin you can and using the Blurb BookWright software you can.  I have been in contact with Blurb support and they verified that you cannot if you use LR though.  I was told:


The reason for Lightroom being unable to assign the free ISBNs is that Adobe set that tool up and is responsible for support for it so it doesn't have all of the same integration as our other tools do.


I have also made a couple of books using the BookWright software for this main reason.  However, after spending weeks just trying to do what is so easy in the LR Book module I am loath to use BookWright again.


In the LR Book module I can easily auto create a book with photos and I can have it put one photo on a page, it will take the caption from the IPTC caption field of the photo file, and it will automatically align the caption properly under the photo with all photos and captions formatted exactly the same even though some photos are portrait orientation, some are landscape orientation, some are 3:2, some are 4:3, some are 1:1, and some have other aspect rations depending on cropping. With BookWright I spent days trying to get my photos centered on each page and creating text boxes underneath, retyping all the captions, and then struggling at 100% view trying to get each caption perfectly aligned under the photos, and spaced exactly the same under each photo.  And trying to get each photo centered on the page. Even after tons of work I never was able to get it perfect. With LR it took about 4 seconds to do all of that automatically.

 

BookWright also allows me to create one book, but have up to 4 cover designs (Hardcover dustjacket, Hardcover imagewrap, Softcover, Ebook).  With LR though I have to create 4 separate books which means any slight change such as fix a typo, change some wording, move a page to a different location in the book, change a photo, etc. must be done exactly the same in 4 books!  With BookWright none of this is necessary since it behaves reasonably in this situation.

 

As you see, perversely LR and BookWright each have serious flaws that the other doesn't in just making a simple photo book.  Either one could fix these but years, decades go by and they aren't fixed.  In my opinion, Adobe is much closer though since if they would just give the option to get the Blurb ISBN and allow more than one cover then it would take care of the problems.

 

I am sorry for the long post, but my hope is that:

 

1.  Someone will show me that I have missed something in LR that allows me to handle the ISBN and allows more than one cover and book type.

 

2.  Alert Adobe to this in case they don't know so maybe they will address it.  Yet, how could they not know?



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kakizo

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Posted 4 weeks ago

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Photo of Laura Shoe

Laura Shoe, Champion

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If you have your own ISBN, @kakizo, you can import it into Lightroom (if it's a JPEG, PNG, PSD or TIFF file), and then add it to your cover as a photo. Lightroom Classic 7.5+ and 8.x allow you to add a photo cell anywhere, so right-click on your back cover, choose Add Cell>Photo, then drag the ISBN photo from the filmstrip into the cell and size the cell as needed.

You can duplicate your saved book collection and change the cover type in the duplicate, but as you write, you do have to apply any typo fixes and other changes to each book, so it would be important to get the first one all set before you duplicate it.

Adobe folks read this forum, so you have alerted them.
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kakizo

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Thanks for the reply, Laura.  I am using LR Classic, currently 8.3, but I have been using LR for quite a few years.

I am using the free ISBN from Blurb and that is what I prefer.  Purchasing them just isn't worth it to me since I am not planning or expecting to make lots (any?) of money from photo books that I create.  It would be nice to have the option of having Blurb put them on Amazon though (the Blurb website allows you to select that option) and Amazon requires an ISBN, the free Blurb ISBN is okay.

I didn't mention it earlier but, yes, I try to be very careful so that if I have multiple duplicates of a book that are only different in their cover type that I make sure the pages of text, captions, page order, etc. are all perfect and for eternity never will be changed. :-)  And then I make a duplicate.  Yet, being human I sometimes discover some small issue later that I want to fix or change.  I will note that in decades of reading books, even highly praised books by renowned writers with staffs, professional, experienced editors, and multiple proofreaders that very regularly I find typos or other mistakes.  Often in later editions some of them are fixed, but still others remain or new ones inserted.  So, having only one copy of a LR book for multiple cover types is really advantageous. :-)
(Edited)
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kakizo

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The plot thickens. :-)  On the Blurb website they say that for photo books an ISBN is optional, but for trade books it is required.  Not long ago LR added trade books to the Book module.  Does that mean that a trade book made with LR gets an ISBN?

Do I need an ISBN for my Blurb book?

https://support.blurb.com/hc/en-us/articles/208322286

I made a test photo trade book in LR and uploaded it to Blurb.  I verified that it gets an ISBN assigned, but a photo book does not.
(Edited)