The Perfect Photo Book….
….is something I have been seeking for the past week. Having used the iPhoto service previously with mixed results I’m now looking for something a bit more flexible. And if I’m honest, a bit cheaper. My quest started with an 80 page album of a holiday to San Francisco and Las Vegas earlier this year. Through the iPhoto service this book, with hard cover and custom dust jacket, will cost around £65. I’m also buying a second copy for friends who came with myself and Mrs Basshead, so that’s a lot of money for holiday albums.
Just about every service that prints photo’s is now offering photo books, and the software some provide has become genuinely impressive. Snapfish has a pretty slick web based book creating system, but prices are still around the same as through iPhoto. Bobbooks looked a lot more promising, with a similar 82 page book priced at £43. Unfortunately the software they use wouldn’t run under Snow Leopard on my hackintosh.
The service I settled on is Blurb, where a 41 to 80 page hardcover with dust jacket book is £19.99. That’s the kind of pricing that makes me wonder what the down side is, but so far I haven’t found it. The software Blurb provide didn’t work under Snow Leopard but there is a patch in the FAQ section that gets it working. Designing a softback or hardback book with dust jacket is very easy, and the software allows the creation of custom page templates as well as the huge variety of built in examples. The design only becomes complex when you choose an imagewrap cover, where the design is printed onto the cover. This loses around 1/2 inch around three sides of the page which gets wrapped over the cover, so I had to try to position the photo and text so it is in the right place when cropped.
Apart from the flexible book creation software, Blurb offers to sell your books, where you choose how much to charge on top of Blurb’s cost per book. They keep the base cost, you get the profit that was added on. There are thousands of shared books available to buy through the site, ranging from amateurish holiday books to professional albums of top quality images. It’s a nice way to make a book available to family or friends, and many people are using the service to share their wedding albums.
I’ve ordered my first book, and specified the premium paper option which bumps the price up to £24.95. Delivery is £10.37, but this doesn’t change when I specify 10 books, so ordering several together is the way to go. I will update this post and add some photo’s of the book once it arrives.