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10 top tips for designing your first photo book...

If you are making your first photobook, it can be a bit daunting to know where to start. Here are my top 10 tips to keep in mind when making your first photo book.

1. Tell a story.  Every book should have a beginning, middle and end. How are you going to tell your story? What is the reason for making this book?

2. Organise and ruthlessly edit your images and text. Save them together for easy access when designing. You'll enjoy the book making process so much more if you photos are all ready and you can concentrate on the layouts and design.

3. Pick a format. Which type of book suits your project? Bob Books photo books come in hardback or paperback covers, with 5 different paper type and 7 sizes to choose from.

4. Choose your design tool. If you have Adobe InDesign, then our new PDF-to-book option has been created especially for you. Most of our customers opt for the free Bob Designer desktop software. This means all your books are stored on your desktop and you only need an internet connection when you are ready to place your order. If you prefer not to download the software, you could use the Online Book Creator, or even let us do the work with our Design Service.

5. Ask for help. The Bob Designer software is very powerful, but if you aren't a technical genius, it can take a wee bit of practice to get to grips. We've got some really helpful (short) video tutorials that are a great place to start. If they don't get you back on track, just get in touch. Chances are we can get you sorted out in a snap. You can reach us by phone, email, live chat, twitter and facebook.

6. Look around. Don't be afraid to borrow design ideas. Look through other books taking note of designs you like. A good place to start is the Bob Bookshop and our Inspiration and Ideas. Or why not checkout the photo book section in your local bookstore or library. Take note of how fonts and layouts have been used in the books.

7. Less is more. Give your photos some room to breathe. We often get asked 'how many photos can I put in my Bob Book?'. While there is no limit to the number of images you can put on each page, there is probably a limit to how many photos you should put on a page. While a photo collage can be a fun way to show off your 'outtakes', if you're putting more than 6-8 photos on average on a page, you are going to struggle to see each of the images. Let your star images shine by giving them a page or spread of their own.

8. Mix it up - but just a little bit. It could make sense to show just one image per page if you are designing a portfolio book, but if you are creating your holiday photobook, you'll probably want something a little more dynamic. We offer hundreds of different layouts in the Bob Designer software and you can even design and save your own layouts to re-use.  I recommend that you find a set of 4-8 different page layouts that work well together and use these throughout your book. This will keep the book interesting and cohesive.

9. Including text. Including text in your book is completely optional. And again, there is no limit to where you put it and how much you can add. Captions, locations, names, dates and other details can help enritch your book and keep the story flowing. Opt for a classic font and make sure it is ledgible, but that it doesn't over power your images.

10. Publish and share. When the book is ready and you've hit the order button, now it's time to share your hard work. Publish your book in the online Bob Bookshop for free and pass around copies of your book to friends and family.

Have I missed anything out? Comment below if you have any top tips for making a photo book.