Book Versions in Lightroom Classic


Today’s Question: I recently created a book using the Book module in Lightroom Classic and your Mastering Lightroom Classic video tutorial. I’ve completed the first draft of the book and uploaded it to Blurb for a proof copy. Can I start a second book but still retain the existing one for future updates? I don’t want to start a second book and lose the draft of the current one.

Tim’s Quick Answer: The first step is to make sure you’ve saved the original version of the book within the Book module. When you’re ready to start working on an updated version, you can duplicate the saved book collection to use that as a new starting point, preserving both versions of the book in the process.

More Detail: When it comes to preserving a book layout in the Book module in Lightroom Classic, the first thing to know is that you can save your book layout. To do so, after at least creating the initial book, click the “Create Saved Book” button toward the top-right of the book preview area. This will create a new collection featuring the images included in the book and will preserve the layout for the book as part of that collection.

Note, by the way, that once you’ve saved a book you could also start on a new empty book. You can, for example, navigate to a new folder or collection that contains the images you want to include in the book. Then you can click the “Clear Book” button at the top-right of the image preview area, or the “Clear Layout” button in the Auto Layout section of the right panel, in order to create an empty starting point for a new book.

After saving a book you can return to the book layout to continue working on it at any time by selecting the collection from the left panel in either the Library or Book modules, and then update the book within the Book module. Changes you make will be saved automatically to the collection representing the saved book. You can also add images to the collection in the Library module to make them available on the filmstrip when working on the book.

If you want to preserve the initial draft version of the book and create a new draft that you’ll update, you can simply duplicate the existing collection representing the saved book. To do so, right-click on the collection representing the saved book and choose “Duplicate Book” from the popup menu. The default name will be the name of the original collection with the word “Copy” appended to it, but you can rename this duplicate collection by right-clicking and choosing “Rename” from the popup menu.

This will create a copy of the original collection, featuring all the same images and the same book layout. You can then work in the Book module to refine this additional version of the book, and changes will be saved to the collection for the book automatically. As long as you don’t modify the original saved version of the book you will preserve the original draft while being able to create additional drafts based on the first version.