Do you *know* what your customers "need" or "want"? How much extra income rides on climbing this hill? How much will customers in your area pay for this form of output? Do you find that lack of a book option will lose the entire client $$? I can't answer the questions I pose but you may have figured this out already. InDesign will alow more flexibility so if your competitors are making simple books now then 1. some of them will graduate to InDesign, and 2. you have to have a better product to compete right out of the box.
When I made some books I found the easier tools had limitations but that they would accept big PDFs or JPEGs (depended on the software) created from Photoshop to incorporate, say, type on an image, a feature not in the service provider's interface (at that time). So there are "in-between" solutions that might avoid a full InDesign training regimen.
I have decided that I have to learn InDesign for a few reasons. I admit I have not tried Blurb's interface inside LR. I am not shoooting weddings right now. There are other clients that will want books, though, including commercial (still photo) companies. I'd better carve out some time. I hate that feeling of helplessness at the beginning: like running in quicksand.
good q's!!!!"Do you *know* what your customers "need" or "want"?"
----I am second year into the game here, so I am in that weird place of - there's what my current clients want...then there's what my future clients want. My current ones would probably go with a $100-300 album. But, next season I foresee that changing, (my guess is they'll be wanting something in the $400-800 range, year after that, the $600-1300 range. As another wedding photographer in the area told me (he does sell $1300 albums) --- if you wantt o sell them in the future you have to have them now ---that means I kind of have to put the cart before the horse now because I don't want to be in a position where I'm in last minute mode learning software for a large album purchase ---I wanted the learning done now (and yes, sample albums too!!!)."How much extra income rides on climbing this hill? How much will customers in your area pay for this form of output?"
---I know there is a market for $1000+ albums here. It may not be every client, most will opt for smaller - but - if 5 wedding clients per year go for a $1000 album and the cost to me is $300-400 to print ---that's a good $600 profit per album, x 5 - that's $3000...then there's the other side...most weddings come from referrals...what are those referrals gonna think? Gee, I saw his work on your computer, or that one wall print...vs...wow, i just saw so and so's album...not only do i want that person, but I want an album like that!
As to indesign, I been playing with it and learning --I like it! And, it does have more uses...just did these real quick for the website (a blog post). I did this type of thing in PS before, and PS while it's an amazing tool is really too much for this kind of thing. Kind of a pain, in indesign, making collages went so much smoother
So with all that in mind, thinking I should ride out this trial period, see if I can learn enough of it in the next 3 weeks or so to order a sample album, then, I get married have a honeymoon - then I jump into that freaking cloud.