Sounds like you need to resolve the issues with your creative suite programs before embarking on a big book project. I’m sure all the bugs and crashes you mention shouldn’t be happening.
I haven’t had any of the problems you mention with PS/Bridge CS4, but haven’t got Indesign here.
Maybe more pertinently, is Indesign is the best choice for designing photo books for Blurb at the moment ?
You do seem to read on the forums of people having problems with fonts and other pixelation issues when much text is printed via single pages that have to be converted to JPGs.
For books with mainly photo content, will it be better to use a different more photo capable software package to generate the pages, eg just Photoshop or Qimage ? I have great reservations about BookSmart’s ability to resize images well enough or get output sharpening correct, not to mention the lack of suitable templates available for photo work.
At the weekend I uploaded my first test book to Blurb and a large portion of it are tests of various packages at different settings to build single jpg output pages of multiple images at different sizes.
I’m expecting that building pages with Qimage will give the best quality photographic results. If so, it’s ‘on the fly’ resizing and sharpening will save a lot of work rather than having to optimise each different image size. OK, probably not a great choice if you’re planning on printing a lot of text, but for me that’s not important.
I won’t be able to say what the results are until I get the book back, maybe a few weeks, but it will be interesting to see what has worked best.
Maybe rather than venting your(our) frustration here, it would be better to lobby Blurb, via their forums, to accept PDF input and significantly improve BookSmart. Other POD suppliers offer better design and layout packages, why can’t Blurb?