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Print-on-Demand Photo Book

Discussion in 'Printing' started by Laserguy, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. I've recently developed an itch to have a book printed of some pictures I've taken of the town, Greenbelt, where I live. I doubt that anyone other than myself and my tolerant wife will bother to look at said book, but I thought I'd make a copy for myself and a copy to drop on the bookshelf of the local coffee shop. Greenbelters have a tendency to be obsessed with their little town, so maybe a few folks will page through it and enjoy it. (In my dream world, of course, I'll be deluged with calls and emails from people looking to by signed prints and copies of the book; I look like Brad Pitt, drive a Veyron, and have a pet magic flying unicorn in this world.)

    As Mother's Day gifts for my wife and for my mother, I recently used Snapfish (the printers that are linked to Flickr) to print up books of pictures of my baby son's first few days of life. The resulting books were perfectly satisfactory for their intented purpose (huge hit with my mom), and my ill-trained and uncritical eye couldn't find anything wrong with the printing quality, but the rote layout and cheap paper and binding gave it a distinctly amateurish feel. So, I'm looking for something classier, like a cloth-bound hardcover with a dust jacket and nice paper.

    A print-on-demand company called Blurb got a front-page mention at DPReview yesterday (savvy bit of marketing work, that). They seem to do exactly the sort of books I want, and their prices seem vaguely reasonable; does anyone have any experience with them? Can anyone recommend a better/different custom photobook printer?
  2. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Yes, I've done a major project with them for the Olympus Photo Safari Group :

    <param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.blurb.com/assets/embed.swf?book_id=522280" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="450" height="300" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object><div style="display:block;"><a href="http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/522280?ce=blurb_ew&utm_source=widget" target="_blank" style="margin:12px 3px;">Exhibition Book One by Brian Mosley and Safari Group</a> | <a href="http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/522280?ce=blurb_ew&utm_source=widget" target="_blank" style="margin:12px 3px;">BOOK INFO</a></div>

    They're a first rate company to deal with... I highly recommend Blurb. :2thumbs:


    • Like Like x 8
  3. Thanks for the information! I'll try printing a trial book to check them out.
  4. BillN

    BillN Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    SW France

    Brian, that is something to be really proud of - wonderful images
    • Like Like x 3
  5. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    If you have access to Apple's Aperture or iPhoto they make wonderful books.:2thumbs:
  6. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Thanks Bill, the exhibition was a huge learning experience... but I'm really glad that we have the book as a legacy for all the hard work which went to make the group a success.


  7. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Amen, to what BillN said, Brian - wow!!:bravo-009: to you and your group of photographers!
  8. Harbo

    Harbo New to Mu-43

    Jul 20, 2011
    Get your own photobook software

    It is about great images... and getting these images printed in a photo book offers a extra dimension to your memories and is also easy to share with family and friends... I have just developed an online photo book software.. which I sell for website owners that print on demand.... so why am I telling you guys?... I'm looking for some feedback on the user experience. You can choose how many pages you want in your book.. and crop your images into different shapes and add text bubbles. It's really made to make children's picture books..but try it to combine your images with artwork and text online..and make a fun picture book... this is just a DEMO site that sells the actuall design software application but you can save your books to the shopping cart and get unique links for your books there when you press add to cart.. if you wish to share the books you made made.... Try it here >> Flash Book Designer v.2011 | Children's book designer | Photo book printing | Book design software | Design your own book

    We will keep developing on this web-application and aim to have a new version out every year.


    main app.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    upload function:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Crop your images into different shapes like Circles, Hearts, Stars...
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Drag and scale your image
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Add text to your book
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    You can even use text boubles
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Try this application here >> Flash Book Designer v.2011 | Children's book designer | Photo book printing | Book design software | Design your own book

    Let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

    Best Regards/
  9. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Different, yes. Better, I don't know. My wife has done at least 15 books at Shutterfly and really likes their layout tools and options. Production quality has been quite good and they quickly and cheerfully reprinted one book where there was a production error (one color page rendered as black & white). She did one book at Kodak (someone else's photos were uploaded there) and felt that the layout tools and options were very inferior to Shutterfly.
  10. drp

    drp Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    A magnificent achievement Brian. And BLURB looks like a go to site.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. sylvesterii

    sylvesterii Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2011
    I have made numerous photobooks with Blurb, and have been nothing short of amazed. Especially their new "pro" line and papers. The software is a little buggy, but you can upload your own pdf file now if you don't want to use it. I had two books taht had print problems in a run, and they ordered and shipped out new books, and just asked me to return the problem ones to them after the fact. Great customer service.

    I have had the opportunity compare them to the quality of both Shutterfly and Walmart, and it is no contest. Blurb hands down.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Yes Jan, we had a couple of copies which were replaced on request - I will definitely use Blurb again.


  13. docfox

    docfox Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 26, 2011
    Hatfield, PA
    another source for photobooks - Adoramapix

    I have had very good luck with photobooks from Adoramapix.com. They are having a terrific special for the next two weeks - their 14 page 8x8" hardcover book for $8.99 (plus postage)! I made up two of this size under a prior offer and they are really nice. I got four copies of each for $10.99 postage and they arrived (nicely packed) in about a week. You can review one of these books (More Classic Catography in detail at: 8X8 Classic Catography II - AdoramaPix

    Adoramapix manufactures their books in a different way than most other printer/publishers. They call their method Leporello Binding and it offers some benefits (and drawbacks). Their books have very thick and stiff pages (with images on each side). They are produced by printing all images on one side of a long strip of paper with adhesive on the back. Then the strip is "Z-folded" and the first and last pages are bonded to the hard-cover jacket (which has its own wrap-around images on front back and spine). This results in a "lay-flat" design where images may run across two facing pages, if desired. The inside surfaces of the hardcover are the first and last printable "pages" of the book. As a result, there are no "end papers" in their books. Their books are only available in 14, 26, 38, 50 and 76 page versions. (I'm really fond of the "short" 14 page format and have used deliberatly "washed out" B&W images as inside covers and/or end papers for a more formal look. They offer a wide range of page sizes and the usual cover options.

    The Adoramapix book make-up software is (in my opinion) head and shoulders above the competition. You can enjoy true "drag and drop" operation while composing a book "on your own" (my favorite choice) or use any of a host of templates they offer. When you choose to go it on your own, you drag an image to a page in its entirety without any imposed height/width framing constraints. (Most competitors seem intent upon force-fitting your 4/3 images into 3/2 frames.) You can size, arbitrarilly rotate and position images where you want them. You can stack and overlap images, bringing one forward or sending back as needed. You have the same spacial freedom with text boxes. In short, I swear a whole lot less when using Adoramapix software than when composing on MyPublisher (my second favorite), Shutterfly, Snapfish, Lifepics, or at my local brick & mortar photolab (Cardinal Camera, Lansdale, PA).

    Give them a try - I think you will like the result. ;<) George
  14. Rhys

    Rhys Guest

    Sep 4, 2010
    I'll give another vote for Blurb. I did myself a small hardback book a couple of years ago, but recently made a 435 page book of family photos from the last 120 years that I gradually scanned over 4 years, and the result is just superb. I think it was £125 per copy including postage from the USA for their largest size hard backed, image wrapped cover. The result looks like it could have come from any bookshop. Worth every penny.
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