General Questions

 

Why should I choose Blossom?

At Blossom, we don't believe in making an astronomical amount of money off of our education systems. With Blossom, you have no financial commitments, affordable pricing to pass along to your students and parents, and no leftover books at the end of the year. We only print what your students order. In addition to our simple to use software, online order systems, and friendly team - we're here to make this yearbook - your best yearbook!

Our school photos are done by a separate photography company. Can I still use Blossom?

Absolutely! School photographers will provide you with a CD of the student photos to use in your printed yearbook. You're not locked into working with them just because they do your school photos.

What are the deadlines? Wait, there are no deadlines?

At Blossom, we don’t believe in charging you more if you miss a deadline. In fact, we don’t believe in deadlines at all. The only deadline you should have is when you’d like to have your books in hand. We recommend locating that date on a calendar and counting back 4-5 weeks to accommodate for production and shipping times. We’ll do our best to get your book to you when you need it, and you’ll retain the power of submitting your files when they’re complete.

 

Account Information

 

How do I register a new account?

To register a new account, please visit our website at www.blossom-books.com and click on the Get Started button. On the following screen, choose the Create A Blossom Account box on the right and enter your name, organization, email address, and choose a password. This will be your sign-in information for all books you create through Blossom.

How do I register my organization to work with Blossom?

After creating your account, you can search for your organization by entering the school or organization name and zip code. If your organization appears, you can choose to be affiliated.

If your organization is found, but you are the new adviser, you can choose to request admin/adviser rights to the organization from the previous adviser. After your request is fulfilled, the previous adviser will receive an email to provide you with access rights. If you have trouble reaching a previous adviser, please contact Blossom at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat a design specialist to request adviser access to your organization.

I don’t see my organization listed. How do I add my organization?

If your organization is not found, click OK to create a new organization. Even if your yearbook adviser or admin point person may change, your school or organization’s yearbook is always tied to this account and previous years’ books can be located.

I’m not associated with an organization. Can I still use Blossom?

Absolutely! We print much more than yearbooks – including personal photo books, sports books, church directories, military albums, and beyond. You can choose to use our online software to create your book or you can create and send us your book to be printed. To request a custom quote, please contact Blossom at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat a design specialist.

I’ve already created an account. How do I sign in to create my book?

After signing up, you can access your book by going to create.blossom-books.com or by choosing For Organizations: Sign In on the top right corner of our homepage at www.blossom-books.com.

How do I edit my account information?

To edit your account information including name, email, and password, after accessing the book creation software, click on your name on the top right corner of the admin navigation bar.

 

Book Information

 

How do I create a new book?

While entering your new book details, choose a book name, a group or individual collaboration, size, anticipated number of pages, cover type, delivery date, and online store price (if applicable). All fields are required but they can be easily updated later.  To create additional new books, click on My Books on the top right corner of the admin navigation bar. Then choose the Create New Book icon in the bookshelf.

I was quoted a different price than what is showing on the software. How can I get the price of my book changed?

To request a pricing update, please contact Blossom at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat a design specialist. Your pricing will be updated within 1-2 business days.

Do I have access to a design specialist?

Absolutely! You’ll have an individual design specialist assigned to your account to help with any questions or concerns you have during your book creation. At any time, we encourage you to reach out to us a [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat with our helpful team. Any of our amazing designers will be happy to help!

What is the average turnaround time?

Our average turnaround time is 3 weeks (+shipping) for soft cover books and 4 weeks (+shipping) for traditional hard cover books during yearbook season (April-June). Looking to print another month? Need it faster? Let us know, and we’ll work with you to accommodate as best as we can. Contact Blossom at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat a design specialist to find out more about custom turn times.

Can I submit a purchase order for my yearbook?

Of course!  If a purchase order is required by your organization, email it to [email protected] with your organization information, and we will send your invoice appropriately within 1-2 business days.  However, please note that payment is required in full prior to shipping all yearbooks, even if a purchase order has been received.  Please review average turnaround times above to be sure and plan accordingly.

What types of books can I create?

We offer three main types of books and the entire gamut of custom possibilities. Contact Blossom at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat a design specialist to find out more about all of our custom options!
• Soft Cover (Saddle-Stitched/Stapled): 24-40 pages
      o Page count in multiples of 4
• Soft Cover (Perfect Bound): 40+ pages
      o Page count in multiples of 2
• Hard Cover: 40+ pages
      o Page count in multiples of 2

Do I need to use your software to create my book?

Nope! If you’d like to design your book using InDesign, Photoshop, Publisher, Word, or another design program, we’ll be happy to print your book for you! Please request a printing quote and download our PDF Print Requirements under Resources at www.blossom-books.com.

 

Organizing Your Book

 

I’ve created a new book. Now what?

We recommend starting by organizing your book and layout using a book ladder. The ladder will organize your pages and ensure your content will fit in the book properly. After your content is organized, you’ll be able to more accurately determine your page count. Please note that if your page count increases or decreases, your price will change accordingly.

How do I pick a theme or incorporate into my yearbook?

If you’ve yet to decide on a theme, you can choose one of our pre-designed themes to begin. If none of these will work for you, look around your school or organization for inspiration! School colors, mascots, big events, and local activities could influence your decision. You can also look online for inspiration – Pinterest, Google, and even our Blossom blog have great ideas. We’ve also compiled a list of our own Top 100 Yearbook Themes, which can be downloaded under Resources at www.blossom-books.com.

What is the book dashboard?

The book dashboard is the central “hub” for your book-building project. On this page, the adviser or admin can view the book progress, see individual page status (created, assigned, in progress, submitted for review, or approved), edit the book details, and manage important elements of the book-building process in the upper navigation bar.

What is the due date calculator?

The due date calculator is designed to keep you on task for completing your book. The calculator will automatically count the number of days you have to complete your book based on the estimated delivery date and accounting for four weeks of production and shipping time!

What is the book ladder and why should I use it?

The ladder is where you’ll be doing a majority of the yearbook planning and accessing the editor portion of the project. The ladder has rich functionality for planning, organizing, reviewing, and getting your book ready to print!

How do I add or delete pages within my book?

You can add or delete pages or spreads by using the buttons within the ladder section. Keep in mind that if you add a new page, you must continue to create your book in multiples of 2 pages. If your book is under 40 pages, it must be in multiples of 4 pages.

How do I copy or move pages within my book?

You can copy or move pages by using the buttons within the ladder section. Keep in mind that if you add a new page, you must continue to create your book in multiples of 2 pages. If your book is under 40 pages, it must be in multiples of 4 pages.

How can I assign names to a page?

You can assign page names within the ladder by entering names in the blank boxes next to each page thumbnail and clicking Save to update. Assigning page names helps with organizing your book and finding pages in the future as your book grows in length.

How can I assign users to a page?

You can manage and assign users to design pages with the ladder. Editors will only be able to access and edit a page within the book they are assigned. Multiple users can be assigned to each page, but only one individual can access the page at a time. If the lock is green, the page is ready and open for editing. If the lock is red, the page is not available for editing. The current user has to save and exit the page. Likewise, the adviser has permission to unlock a single page or unlock all pages for use.

What is my book status?

The ladder and dashboard will automatically update based on the progress of each page.

Created: the page has been created, but not assigned to a user to edit

Assigned: the page has been assigned to a user to edit

In Progress: a user has started editing the page

Submitted for Approval: a user has submitted the page to the Admin/Adviser
to review, edit, and mark complete

Complete & Ready for Print: the Adviser has reviewed the page and approved it for print

How can I review page for approval?

When a user submits a page for review within the editor, the adviser can review the page by clicking on the Review button within the ladder. The adviser will be brought to the Review screen to approve and mark the page Complete or return to the user with comments and edits.

How do I add members to my team?

If you are collaborating with others to organize and create your book, you can set up the members of your team and assign roles to them according to their involvement with the book by choosing Team on the dashboard navigation. The main role, or Adviser/Admin role, will be held by the individual who signed up the organization (the Admin alone can change the primary contact on the account at their discretion and add other Admins if required).

Click Add User to add a new user to the book. Enter the user’s email address and select the appropriate role for the user. Click Invite to send an email invite to your project.

I've invited my team members, but they haven't received the email.

All emails are delivered instantly.  If a team member does not receive an email right away, please check spam folders and/or add [email protected] to an approved sender/safe list to prevent additional emails from being marked as spam.  Some organizations filter emails from outside vendors; if the email is not found in a junk or spam filter, please contact your IT department.

What is the role of the Adviser/Admin?

The Admin/Adviser is in charge of the book from start to finish! The Admin is the only user who can add additional users and assign/modify permissions by utilizing the Team portion of the Admin Dashboard. The main Admin can invite additional Admins. The Admin/Adviser has the following permissions:

Adding New Users: The Admin can invite new team members to the project.

Deactivating/Modifying Users: The Admin can “uncheck” all roles for users and deactivate them, so they will no longer be able to login and access the project. To deactivate or modify a user, double-click on the user on the team page.

Final Printing: The Admin is the only one who can change book details and submit the book to Blossom for final printing.

Add Book & Determine Price in Online Store: Price will automatically populate based on number of pages added, cover type, and estimated number of book orders. The Admin will have the ability to add a fundraiser amount—increasing the price of the yearbook for the online store. The Admin will be able to open/close online store and view store reports to see how many books have been purchased.

PSPA CD: The Admin has the ability to import photos from a PSPA CD and configure into panel pages

Add/Delete Pages: The Admin has the ability to add and delete pages from the book and assign them to specific users. The Admin can also choose to add page numbers, create an index page, or add a Year In Review (created by Blossom) to the book.

What is the role of the Co-Admin/Co-Adviser?

A user can only be named a Co-Admin if the Admin adds them to that role. This role will have the same features as the Admin role above.

What is the role of the Editor?

A majority of users will fall into the Editor role. These users are assigned a section by the Admin. Editors cannot access the other sections, the Admin dashboard, or import photos. They can, however, also be given the Photographer role to add photos.

What is the role of the Photographer?

A Photographer can upload images for the book but cannot edit pages of the book.

What is the role of the Viewer?

A Viewer can only view the ladder and see a flip or flip-pdf version of the book. The Viewer cannot edit or otherwise modify the project.

 

Using Photos

 

How do I upload my photos?

You can upload your photos from three different locations. Community members who wish to upload photos can access our website at www.blossom-books.com. Photographers can upload via the Upload Images tab in the upper right hand corner. Advisers and Editors can upload either from the Editor screen or from the Manage Photos page.

All uploaded photos will be placed in the left Unassigned Photos column. Advisers can then choose whether to approve the photos and add to the project for others to place on pages or delete the photos and not approve them for use in the project.

How do I create new folder categories to organize my photos?

To create a new folder category for Photos, Backgrounds, or Clipart, choose the Add button. You can then create a category name (Dance, Basketball, etc) and description. When you highlight a folder category, all photos in that folder will appear on the right. The photos can be deleted or changed to a new folder from that point.

I'm receiving an "Out of Memory" error message when uploading photos. What does this mean. and how can I upload?

The "Out of Memory" error message appears if you're uploading more than 200 photos at a time or uploading a smaller amount with larger individual file sizes. The error may also be caused by system and network connection problems, browser problems or incompatible files. To continue uploading, reduce the number of photos being uploaded at one time. Clearing your browser's cache, history and cookies can also solve memory errors within your browser.

How do I delete a photo?

To delete a photo, drag it to the trash can on the Manage Photos page or choose the Delete Photo button from the editor when the image is selected. To delete multiple images, Ctrl+Shift to select images and drag them to the trash can.

Can I add other backgrounds or clipart?

Absolutely! You are able to create backgrounds, pages, and covers from other software, including InDesign and Photoshop, and add them easily as a background to import. Save the file as a .png, .jpg, .gif, or .tiff, and upload in Manage Portraits as a background or clipart to be used within the software.

What file types do you recommend?

We recommend using .jpg, .gif, .png, or .tif files. If you have any other file types and you’d like to use them in your book but aren’t sure how, ask a Design Specialist for help!

What are unassigned images?

Unassigned images are images uploaded by a Photographer (and soon the community!) that have not been approved by an Adviser for use in the book. Once the Adviser moves the images to a folder, they are available for everyone to use.

How do I upload images from my photographer portrait or PSPA CD?

To upload images from your Photographer portrait or PSPA CD, the Adviser will choose the Manage Portraits tab in the top navigation. Two separate files will need to be uploaded. To upload the Index.txt file with all important data, choose Index.txt. To upload photo files, choose Import Portraits. You can also download our helpful Uploading Guide here.

How do I upload my index.txt file?

To upload your index.txt file from your Photographer portrait or PSPA CD, click on the Import Index.txt button on the Manage Portraits page. A pop-up box will appear to choose the file and Import. You can also download our helpful Uploading Guide here.

How do I upload my portrait images?

To upload your portrait photos from your Photographer portrait or PSPA CD, click on the Import Portraits button on the Manage Portraits page. A pop-up box will appear to choose the images to import. Double click to browse images in your CD drive folder. After uploading your images, they will automatically be attributed to the correct student data information.  A pop-up box will appear to choose the file and Import. You can also download our helpful Uploading Guide here.

How do I view the portrait CD data?

To filter your portrait information, choose from the following options: grade, teacher, or homeroom. You can also select if the record has an image or has already been included in a section. This is a great way to make sure all photos are used throughout the book!  A pop-up box will appear to choose the file and Import. You can also download our helpful Uploading Guide here.

How do I view an individual record?

To view individual records, double-click on the name in the record list returned using the filter sorting. This will allow changing of any information that was incorrect on your photographer CD. You can also upload new photos here if necessary.  A pop-up box will appear to choose the file and Import. You can also download our helpful Uploading Guide here.

How do I add a new student or teacher record?

To add a new record (student, teacher, or other person data), click on Add Record button on the Manage Portraits page.  A pop-up box will appear to choose the file and Import. You can also download our helpful Uploading Guide here.

Do I have to regenerate the section after I change the person's name for it to be replaced on the page?

Yes, changing the name on the index file doesn't automatically regenerate the page, or automatically update the rich text element. The name will need to be changed on the page itself if the portrait record and photo section is already generated. All text on the pages themselves is editable.

How do I add uploaded photos and names to the book?

To add a new section, choose Add Section on the Manage Portrait Sections tab of the Manage Portraits page. To create a new portrait section, add a section name and choose the filters that apply to that section – grade, teacher, homeroom (if needed), and the page on which the section should begin. You can also choose a template based on the number of portraits and length of your section. To save section, choose Save. To save section and automatically generate to the book (replacing all content on pages), choose Save and Generate. If choosing Save, when the sections are ready to insert, you can return to this page and choose Add to Book.  A pop-up box will appear to choose the file and Import. You can also download our helpful Uploading Guide here.

Is it normal for the background to disappear when I regenerate a Portrait page?

Yes. It deletes everything that was on the page - all page graphic and text elements and inserts everything that is included in the layout.

What should I do if I have no PSPA CD?

If you have no PSPA CD, you can still upload photos under the Manage Photos category and add to the book by placing the photo and the name caption on a page within the editor. To better align your images, we recommend utilizing the Grid!

 

Using the Editor

 

How do I add a background?

To add a background, choose a background from one of the pre-designed or uploaded backgrounds. Drag and drop the background to the left or right page.

How do I add a photo?

To add a photo, choose a photo from one of the photo categories to the right. Drag and drop the photo to the left or right page. Once a photo has been used within the book, an orange book icon will appear in the upper right hand corner of the photo to make all users aware of its use.

How do I add text to the book?

To add text to the book, click on the capital T on the top navigation bar and drag a text box to the editor. Once the text box is on the page, you can edit with the Effects bar on the right side of the screen.

How do I move an image, adjust size, or add effects?

To add a photo effect, select the image on the book page. You can rotate or adjust the height and width by using the arrows around the photo itself. To change effects, look to the right under the Effects tab.

To move an object in front of or behind another object, choose Bring Forward or Send Backward under the Effects tab. The photo, clipart, or other object will adjust in position accordingly.

How do I delete an object?

To delete a photo, clip-art, background, or another object, hit the Delete key on your keyboard or select the trash can under the Effects tab.

My image, background, or text box won’t move. Help!

Check the Effects tab on the far right. If the Lock Element box is checked, this will prevent the object from moving or having effects added to it. Simply uncheck the box.

To lock a photo, clipart, background, or another object, select Lock Current Selection under the Effects tab. This will prevent the object from being moved or altered in any way.

What are templates and layouts?

Templates are pre-designed pages that you can add to the book easily to continue your theme or help get you started on a page. Templates include backgrounds, clip-art, photo placeholders and text that can be easily changed.

Layouts are text and placeholder pages that allow you to organize your page without using any pre-determined themed clip-art or graphics.

How do I add templates or layouts to the book?

To add templates or layouts to your book, click on the Templates or Layouts button in the top navigation and select a themed page to add to your book. By selecting, the page will automatically refresh your book and replace any graphics or text currently on the page.

What are mattes?

Mattes are square boxes that can be added to the book for backgrounds, image padding, and a variety of other uses. They can have any photo effect applied to them and are very versatile in designing.

Are there grid lines available?

Yes! Underneath the book, change the Snap to Grid function to the appropriate grid size needed. The grid will re-size based on the current zoom level.

What image filters are available for editing images?

More effects are being added all the time! We currently have the following effects available:
• Black and White
• Sepia
• Invert
• Blur
• Sharpen
• Emboss
• Brightness
• Noise
• Tint

How do I preview my book before purchasing?

From the dashboard, choose the Preview tab to see a flipbook version of your book.  You can also request a low-resolution PDF version of your book from your Design Specialist to print out and edit.

Can I get a hard copy proof of my yearbook?

Yes, please contact Blossom at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat a design specialist to request a hard copy proof. Additional fees may be incurred.

 

Selling (& Buying) My Final Book

 

How do I market my book to sell?

Blossom makes it easy to market and sell your book! We start by offering a FREE marketing kit to all organizations who sign up with Blossom. Your free marketing kit includes a 30x60 banner, 20 posters to hang, and a complete yearbook guide. To request a free marketing kit, please contact Blossom at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat a design specialist.

How do I download marketing flyers?

You can download extra marketing flyers from within the book creation software by clicking on Marketing. The PDF flyers will automatically download to be printed and used by your organization.

How is my book price determined?

Pricing is determined by cover type and amount of pages. If you page quantity increases or decreases at any time, your price will adjust accordingly. You can check your book price by using our online pricing calculator. If you have a custom book order, have negotiated a different price with a member of our team, or need to price match, please contact us at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat any time.

How is my online ordering price determined?

You created your online ordering price (sell price to your organization’s individuals) during book set up. If you need to edit your online sell price, you can choose the Edit Book Details options from the Dashboard. Make sure the price you sell your book at covers the cost of your book, so your organization doesn’t end up footing the bill. If you think you may increase or decrease your page count or change book details, account for this when determining your sell price.

How can I use my book as a fundraiser?

When you create your book sell price, you can increase the sell price available to your organization’s purchasers. Blossom will collect all payments. Anything received over and above your book total (invoice amount) will be returned to your organization in check form.

How can individuals (students, parents, etc.) order their book online?

You should direct all individuals to our website at www.blossom-books.com. In the top right corner a link to Order will appear. They can locate your school or organization by searching by name or zip code or with the Book Code provided in your Dashboard. To market this ordering location, please use the online ordering flyers in the Marketing section of the software.

How can I view my online orders?

On the Dashboard, click the Book Orders tab. All online orders will populate in this section. The amount collected in online orders will automatically deduct from your organization’s order total. You can also click to Export all of the orders in this list for your use in money collection or book distribution.

Can I add cash or check orders?

Absolutely! Our Book Orders section was designed to manage all aspects of the ordering process. Feel free to add any cash or check orders to this section to help organize all of your incoming orders. Please note, any of these orders will not deduct from your final amount, as payment has not been received by Blossom.

How can I change the number of books ordered?

On the Dashboard, click the Book Orders tab. Click on your organization book order and update the quantity to your final order amount.

How do I checkout?

When your book is complete and ready to print, click on the Shopping Cart icon on your Dashboard page. Verify your proof is print-ready, view your invoice total, and choose your payment method. Follow all steps to complete checkout. If you have any questions, please contact Blossom at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat a design specialist.

How do I pay Blossom?

When checking out, you can choose to pay your remaining balance (minus online orders collected) with a credit card immediately. In addition, you can also request a paper or emailed invoice from Blossom. Please note: we will not begin printing your book until your payment is received in full! If you have any questions, please contact Blossom at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat a design specialist.

I’ve checked out and realized my book needs a change!

Please contact Blossom at [email protected], 1-800-893-8902, or live chat a design specialist as soon as possible. We will be able to update your book until it starts being printed. At that point, it is too late to make any additional changes.