Book Machine

Using the Book Machine to create photo books

Creating a Photo Book using our Book Machine is Easy

We designed this process to allow you to create the final output you desire from your gallery images. This step by step instruction guide assumes you are creating your book from gallery images and not a PDF. Please see the PDF Wizard if you wish to upload a complete PDF document.

First, you should be aware of what our Book Machine does well. There are two ideal use cases:
  • Uploading individual pages of layouts created using Photo Book Software
  • Creating a book out of a lot of images, and wanting some (or all) of your favorite images to be full bleed, and the others to appear as multiple images per page.

If you are interested in an advanced Drag and Drop interface, try our Book Designer.

So, let's get started!!

First Create Your Photo Gallery and Add Pictures

After you register, click "Upload Photos" under the yellow Photos tab. After you upload your images you can arrange the images in any order you like by using the Image Order link.

Next, Click through our Product Builder

After your gallery is set up exactly as you would like, you are ready to create your photo book. Browse to the gallery you wish to order as a book, and select the "ImageOrder Photo Book" link. This will place you in the Product Builder "Step 1 : Book Machine Options". Here you will make selections for your Book Size, Layout, and other interior options.

Book Size:
  • There are many sizes from which to select. Just use the drop down arrow to the right of the "Book Size" field to select the final output size you prefer. You can come back and change your size if you wish to try several selections.

Layout: Several options are available with the layout.
  • Image Per Page option: you set the number of images that display on each page. The most exciting option here is the "Gallery Image Order" option. This feature allows each page to have an independent number of images. For example if you want to layout one image on page 1, 5 images on page 2, and 2 images on page 3. You would simply number your images in your gallery as 1.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 3.1, 3.2, etc. See the green numbering on this picture to see the final result.
  • Full Bleed option: If you want your images to full bleed to the edges select the check box, if not just leave it blank.
  • Captions option: You have 3 options here (No, Smart, or All). Select Smart Captions if you would like the titles you keyed to print below your images but don't want the camera image titles to print (ex: DSCN0415). Titles are printed below each image (30 characters or less).
  • Full Bleed Favorites option: If you set any images as a Favorite in the Image Order area and you want it to print as full bleed in your book select the check box.

  • Auto Crop select if you would like the Book Machine to crop images that have an aspect ratio larger than the page. The aspect ratio is the width of an image divided by the height of the image.
  • Print Chapter Pages is used if you have sub galleries and would like the title of the sub gallery to print within the book.
  • Print Detailed Image Pages is used if you want descriptions to display below an image and you want the image to appear on a page by itself. Descriptions are printed below each image (200 characters or less)

Cover Image: Select the check box if you would like the cover image to display within your book.

Click the NEXT button when you are ready for the Product Builder to build your book. Please allow the Product Builder to process through. You will receive status updates keeping you informed as to where in the process the Product Builder is at each step. We convert your images to a press ready PDF and to a low-resolution preview.

Preview your book! You want to verify that the pages, book dimensions, interior layout, binding and price are all correct. If you want to make changes, simply click the RECREATE BOOK" button and make your changes. Once the interior looks good, click the "CREATE COVER NEXT" button.

Proceed to Step 2 of the Product Builder to create your cover and complete your product.

Photo Book Creation

How do I access the photo book wizard to create my book?

To access the photo book creator you must first register and log in. Then you will need to upload your images. On the gallery page select the "order book" icon, which will compile your book and allow you to preview it. If you are satisfied with the layout you can continue and order a book. If you decide to make changes you can go back to your gallery — reorder pages, change descriptions, upload new pictures, or delete pictures if you decide you would like. Then you can select the "order book" icon and view that book again.

How do I get multiple images on one page?

We offer an image layout option for multiple images on the page. You can select this during the bookmaking process. All you need to do is select the "order photo book icon, select the advanced option by the layout feature, select the drop down menu to the left of the Images Per Page feature. You can then select the number of images per page you desire. Here is an example of a a member who has created multi-up images.

How do I rotate an image?

You can rotate your picture by selecting the image you plan to rotate and clicking the "edit image" icon (paper and pencil). Scroll down and you will see the rotate buttons.

How do I batch rotate my images?

Select the gallery in which the images are stored, click the "image order" icon. Select the box to the right of "batch select" for each image you wish to rotate, then select the rotate direction in the "batch command for checked items" field at the bottom of the page (there is a drop down arrow to select). Finally, select save changes. Often, after rotation, your browser might have the old thumbnail images cached. To clear the cache, hold down the SHIFT key and click reload while viewing your gallery.

Can I auto rotate my images?

Yes, if your camera keeps track of your picture orientation, auto rotate will adjust your images so they appear upright. Auto rotate is available in the image order area, the image edit area, and on upload.

How do I designate my gallery / cover image?

In order to choose the cover image begin on your gallery page. In the upper right of the screen you will see a row of icons. Select the "image order" icon. The image order page is layed out in three main columns: "Thumbnail", "Title and Position", and "Miscellaneous". In the miscellaneous column there are three options for each image: gallery image, favorite image, and batch select. Select "gallery image" for the image you would like as your cover. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and select save changes. When you create your photo book this image will be the cover, and this can be changed anytime you want. You can choose to display or not to display the cover image within the book body during the book creation process.

My book is created and in my web store. How do I change the cover image?

Follow these steps to change out covers
  • login, and select DASHBOARD
  • select the BOOKS AND PRODUCT
  • MY PRODUCTS--- Click the product you want to change
  • Click Step 2 COVER DESIGN
  • select the browse button in the front image section of the page, browse to get the new cover image
  • select the UPDATE COVER button.

I assume that my first image will print across from the inside front cover and then the other pictures will fall in behind. Is that correct?

Yes, the first page will print on the right (opposite the inside of the front cover). Here is a link to a picture of that layout.


How do I create a page with text only?

Currently, we cannot accept text documents in the Book Machine. However, you can in our Book Designer!

You can add considerable text to your page by uploading a blank image i.e. small white square then enter text in the image description.

How do I add image captions to be printed in my photo book?

To add captions to your images all you need to do is select the gallery that contains the images, select the image to which you wish to add the caption, and select the "edit" icon (paper and pencil) located in the upper right of the screen. On this edit page you can set the image title, write a description of the image, change the image, rotate the image, reduce the image size, set the security level, and key a travel location so that your image shows up in the travel section.
Note: To see image captions in your book you must select the smart captions option. The images with captions will then be printed with a white border and the caption centered below the image. Images that do not have captions will automatically be scaled to full bleed. If you want the border that goes with captions yet don't want text you will need to fool the system. You can accomplish this in one of two ways. You could either add spaces in the description field or add an HTML no-break space, which is:   in the description field.

Is it possible to setup a book where most pages are single photo to a page (some with comments, some full bleed) and others with multiple images?

Yes. There are several options to have mixed single and multiple images on each page.

  1. If you add text to the long description of the image, and select the "Print Detailed Image Pages" you will get "1-up" pages with just a single image, even if the rest of the book is multiple images per page (called multi-up).
  2. Or, in the "Image Order" while editing your gallery, you can select "Favorite Image" next to the images you want to be Full Bleed. Then, in step 2 of the Advanced Book Machine, you can select "Full Bleed Favorites"

Using the techniques above, you can have a variable number of images across multiple pages. Here is an example of how this would work.

  1. Say you upload 13 images to a single gallery
  2. Add detailed text descriptions or select as Favorite Image to images 4, 9
  3. Choose the Advance Wizard with "3 images per page" and make sure you check "Print Detailed Image Pages" or "Full Bleed Favorites"
  4. click "Create Book". The PDF will look like:

Page 1: first 3 images
Page 2: Image 4 with a description (or full bleed favorite)
Page 3: next 3 images (5, 6, 7) together
Page 4: image 8 full bleed
Page 5: image 9 with a description (or full bleed favorite)
Page 6: images 10, 11, 12
Page 7: Final image full bleed.

The EASIEST way to determine number of images per page is to use our "image order" feature.
Edit your gallery and select the "image order" icon. While in the image order section you number your images so they fall within the book in the order you prefer. If you would like one image on a page you do not add an extension to that image. If you want 2 images to a page you will have an extension on the image that you want to fall as 2 to a page. Here is an example 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 (3 images on page 1) 2 (one image on page 2) 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5 (five images on page 3) You can have any number of images per page from 1 up to 48 images. If you set it up to display 48 images on a page they would be very small :)

REMEMBER to save when you finish numbering :) Also, you will need to select "gallery image order" as your "Images Per Page" option during the bookmaking process.

Note: The inside cover of the photo book is blank (white). Image number one will print on the right when you open the book. Images two and three will face each other when you turn the page, and so on (evens are on the left, odds are on the right). Here is an example: inside cover and page one

What are the layout and bleed options for my photo book?

We offer two types of image bleed for your printed pictures - (smart and full). For smart bleed your images will be scaled down to have a white margin and include your title and description. If there is no title or description, they will be scaled to full bleed to cover the entire page. For full bleed images that have the same orientation of the book size will be scaled to go to the very edge of the page. Images that are portrait in a landscape book will be scaled to the top and bottom edge, but will still have a left and right white margin. Images that are landscape in a portrait book will be scaled to the right and left edge, but will still have a top and bottom white margin. Here are some example bleed images: smart bleed with portrait left and landscape right, full bleed on right.

Can I stretch an image across two pages or do I need two cut it in half then upload it?

If you want an image to stretch across two pages you would need to upload the images separately and then make sure they fall one on the left and one on the right when you preview your book.

Can I stretch my cover image across the front and back of the cover?

Yes, the full stretch cover option is in the book making process. You select "order photo book" make your interior selections, review your preview, hit the create cover next button and on that page there are 3 tabs. On the Advanced tab is where you select Stretch front image across entire cover.

Is your software compatible with Max OSX?

Our software is web based so we are compatible with all operating systems, including Mac OSX. You can use any browser you like. In fact, we have many mac users and our company uses a lot of Mac and Linux computers.


Bookmaker Workflow

by Kenneth Smith, 15 Feb 2011 (22:30 UTC)
I have decided to publish a photo book with significant text through PrestoPhoto. I have read through much of your documentation and concluded the following workflow is optimum for my project. I will create individual templates and pages with Photoshop, Indesign and onOne plugin software converting each page to a separate jpg file. I will order the pages full bleed but will not increase the sizes of the page by 1/8" around for trim (your bookmaker will automatically scale and add this extra dimension to the page). I will not have to be concerned about fully embedding fonts into each file since they will be jpg not pdf files. I will upload each page into your bookmaker, but I'm uncertain whether this is Book Machine or Book Designer.

Please let me know if I should modify my workflow to achieve better results. Also let me know whether I should use Book Machine or Book Designer as the preferred tool. Thank you, I look forward to beginning this project with you.


Re: Bookmaker Workflow

by PrestoPhoto Support, 16 Feb 2011 (17:35 UTC)
Greetings from PrestoPhoto and thanks for your interest.

You would use our book designer

Here's a link to a screen cast for our book designer :)

Let us know if you have anymore questions!

PrestoPhoto support

using template

by Kelly, 27 Sep 2010 (23:27 UTC)
I wonder how how to use photos that I've already uploaded in a template? I can't figure out any way of doing that other than re-loading all the pictures all over again.

Re: using template

by PrestoPhoto Support, 28 Sep 2010 (16:59 UTC)

Greetings from PrestoPhoto and thanks for your interest.

Are you using the book designer or the book machine? I ask that just because you commented on the book machine page but mentioned templates :)


PrestoPhoto support

save my work

by cynthia Pitta, 22 May 2010 (02:47 UTC)
i have loaded pictures and can add photos to my pages but i am not sure how to save my work, there is no way i can build and edit all in one sitting

thanks for your time


Re: save my work

by PrestoPhoto Support, 24 May 2010 (17:05 UTC)

Greetings from PrestoPhoto and thanks for your interest.

To view your products..just login, hover over the dashboard icon, scroll down and hover over the "books & products" then "My Prodcuts". Your work is saved automatically!

Let us know if you have anymore questions!

PrestoPhoto support

Re: save my work

by Lauren Bernstein, 08 Feb 2011 (20:51 UTC)
I also could not figure out how to save my work, and followed the advice above, but i do not think my changes are there!! I'm looking for changes to the album Morocco New. Help!!
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