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Old December 6th, 2006, 04:20 PM
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Post Photobooks - 3 Reviews

I just received my first photobook from Shutterfly.com and thought I would share my opinion of three photobook publishers with y’all:

Shutterfly.com – They offer square format books in two sizes 8” and 12”. Picture quality is nice and book binding seems nice (but I don’t know how it will hold up), and I did not need to resize my 12x12 layouts for the 8x8 book. The covers are very nice, and allow for pictures on both front and back. But not full bleed pictures on the covers.

They do tend to be a little heavy on the cropping, but my practice of not putting important elements within a ½” of the edge of the page paid off. They do not compensate at all for the gutter (side where the book is bound) so the inside edge of all the pages get a little lost. Software was relatively easy to use, but upload times were a bit lengthy and the book has to be assembled on-line. Overall grade: A-





MyPublisher.com – They do not offer square format books at this time. They currently have only three sizes available. Book binding quality is fair – shows some cracking after a year, but generally holds up well. (I’ve been using them for almost 4 years now) The covers are adequate but nothing to get excited about. Picture quality is good. Software is easy to use, and book is assembled off line. You only upload your final project when you are ready to print. Overall grade: B- due to lack of size options and less than exciting covers.




Viovio.com – They offer a large assortment of book sizes. I have only used them for 9x7 soft cover books so far. They do offer hardcover books now and just started offering an 8 ½” square format book. You can select photos for the front and back covers – and if you cropped a scenic shot could make it look like it wraps around the book. (Great wow factor for gift giving!) Picture quality is good. You can upload a zip file of everything you want to include in your book, but overall their software is a bit cumbersome especially if you have a large number of pages. They are continually tweaking and upgrading their software and it has gotten easier to use over the past year. They are definitely the cheapest option I have found. Overall grade: B+ - software needs to be more user friendly, but price and book size options make up for it.




Don't pay any attention to the quality of photos in the samples I posted - I just snapped them quickly so you could get a rough idea of how they looked.

So there you have it - my unsolicited opinions. Feel free to take it all with a grain of salt.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 04:25 PM
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kayser kayser is offline
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Jane- Thanks for taking the time to do this! I'm in the process of doing a heritage book for my mom and wondering where to get it printed. I'm also grateful for the reminder about the margins and the gutter. I need to check my designs!!
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Old December 6th, 2006, 04:42 PM
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Jane ...

That is good of you to review them all ... thank you

Wendy
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Old December 6th, 2006, 04:50 PM
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Jane, thanks for the reviews. I have also used Photoworks for a Photo Book. I had a 5x7 soft cover done several months ago. I found it to be very comparible to Shutterfly but I think I prefer the Shutterfly one. It has better page layout options.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 05:02 PM
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I did a shutterfly 8x8 book for the parents of the bride (2 copies) and they are thrilled. I thought shutterfly did a really nice job of it. I was concerned that some of the pics might be too small, but it's a nice memory book for them.

The father of the bride said to his wife "good -- one for me and one for you". She said, "no! One for the bride and groom". He said she could give her copy away, but he's keeping his!
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Old December 6th, 2006, 05:51 PM
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Jane,

Thanks so much for your reviews of these 3. I have been waiting to hear what you had to say about them as I only have experience with Shutterfly and that was just from this last promotion.

I am just about ready to order my free 8x8 and chose to do mostly photos with a few layouts. I have been very happy and did receive the 3 additional books I ordered for Christmas presents and those also turned out great!
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Old December 6th, 2006, 07:18 PM
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I would be interested in hearing from those who might have used apple's product (thru iphoto) compared to other books. I'm patiently waiting for my first book (done thru apple's i'photo) to arrive. A Christmas present for my inlaws from Yosemite National Park. 30 pages covering a week's time there at a family reunion. Hopefully it turns out well.
~bruce.
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Old December 6th, 2006, 08:55 PM
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Thanks, Jane

I was very impressed with my Shutterfly book-for you Mac users, I just sent a book off to Apple done with iPhoto-absolutley none of the waiting time for uploading photos to the album, very fast transfer to Apple, totally easy to use. The only downside so far is that there aren't as many design choices as Shutterfly, but the ones they have are slick, and it was just so nice to not have to sit and wait for pictures to be added. Now I'm just waiting to see what it looks like...
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Old December 7th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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I've also done the small (5x7) paper back book from Kodak - it was okay, but I like the bigger size options for paperback (6x9) that Viovio.com offers. Plus Kodak didn't offer any selection other than white for the cover of their book.

And with Viovio you can place your book up for sale - which is what I did with the family reunion book I made this summer. Then it was up to each person to order and I didn't have to worry about collecting money and ordering.
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