General Interest

Other bookmaking sites

Hello everybody. Blurbs seems to be great. But I was wondering if anybody knows any similar internet sites were you can make your own photobooks. Just to comapare!

 

Cheers

/Max

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
Maxvadvilldu
Mar 31, 2009 6:19am PDT
Permalink
Maxvadvilldu
 

Try a Google search.  Expect to pay consideraly more or take less quality.

From what I have read, Lulu has poorer quality and there are a couple of sites that probably do better work than Blurb, but a large format book that runs about $100 on Blurb runs between $300 and $400 on those sites.

 Blurb continues to be the best bang for the buck, and the customer service is outstanding.

Posted by
deanej
Mar 31, 2009 10:48am PDT
Permalink
deanej
 

I did my first couple books at MyPublisher. 

Cons: MyPublisher, IMHO,  poorer print, cheaper covers, and I don’t think the assembly is as good.  In addition, it is substantially more expensive, and cannot bind nearly as many pages.

Pros: MyPublisher has better paper and the three sizes of books they offer are all proportional.  You upload your book, and you can print it in any of their sizes without modification or reuploading.  This is particularly nice for Wedding or Anniversary albums where the happy couple get the large expensive book, and parents/grandparents or special guests can be given an affordable copy.

Mike

Posted by
Charybdis
Mar 31, 2009 11:05am PDT
Permalink
Charybdis
 

I have used Bob Books.  The print quality is better, the paper is lovely, and the binding allows you to open the book flat without losing image into the gutter.  Also the software is great and allows a variety of double page spreads.  The other nifty thing they offer are flickbooks made from segments of video.

On the downside, it costs literally twice as much, the only cover option is hardback image wrap, it is not compatible with Apple Macs and there is no bookstore facility.  I think Bob Books is only available in Europe.

I haven’t tried any others, but I have read good reviews of myphotobooks.

It depends on what you are looking for – for a beautiful book of landscapes, just for me or as a gift, I would probably pick Bob books; as a cheerful album of a family reunion that I want to share,  I would go for Blurb, because of the price.  For an album of pictures of my sons’ rugby season to share with the team I am using Blurb because the quality is decent, the price is much better and the bookstore means that anyone in the team can order the book without me having to collect money and hand out albums.  Horses for courses I would say.

Posted by
Jaybird456
Apr 2, 2009 1:48pm PDT
Permalink
Jaybird456
 

I have used Lulu, My Publisher, Shutterfly, Walgreens and Blurb.  The quality of Shutterfly and Lulu were disappointing and the price was much higher.  The quality of the paper and colors for MyPublisher are very good, but the price is high.  I usually use them if I have a coupon for ‘buy one, get one free’ and I want to do more than one book.  I usually use them for wedding albums. Their layouts are really nice, especially for wedding.  Blurb has good quality and by far the best prices especially if you are doing more than 20 pages (the base price for most of the oher ones).  The one thing I really like about all the other ones other than Blurb is that you can view the whole book.  I did one on Shutterfly and I can send the link to anyone and they can view every page of the book.  For MyPublisher, you can share the book with family and friends – you send an email to them and they need a password from you to view the book – a little more cumbersome, but works to view the whole book.  I have some relatives who could not afford to buy the book, but will view it online over and over.  Blurb is a good place to do a ‘proof’ book and see how the layout is and then you can do a better version of it on the higher quality paper (I haven’t tried the new paper, yet).  Whatever way you do your book, the most amount of time is spent in the layout, so make sure you are happy with that part of it and watch out for the outer edges and the binding areas – allow plenty for both.  Blurb is a great way to start out. Wendy 

Posted by
wjukich
Apr 19, 2009 9:01am PDT
Permalink
wjukich
 

Max – here is a how Shutterfly does their ‘book preview’  link: http://community.shutterfly.com/gallery/post/start.sfly?postId=/gallery/1/post/GMGDJgwZOGDJs3bgqmgx7a    – you can also do a ‘full screen’ view which is nice.  This a book I did on both Blurb and Shutterfly – the one on Blurb is lots more pages due to the pricing.  I love the ‘stars rating’, the ‘comments’ area and the ‘preview’ features of Shutterlfy.  Blurb has a better binding – the binding on the Shutterfly doesn’t go all the way to the edge, so it is ‘flimsy’.  The cover is thinner, but the pages are a little heavier in Shutterfly.  I like the ‘wrap around’ cover in Blurb versus the cover with a view window in Shutterfly.  The photos seem to be more grainy in Shutterfly, but the book is also a little bigger (8 1/2" by 11").  The colors seem to be about the same.  I used shutterfly because I had a gift certifcate from my co-workers, so it was a good chance to try it.  Shutterfly is $29.99 for the first 20 pages and then $1/per page after that (that’s about what MyPufblisher is, too).  So my book with 55 pages was $65 there and would be $35 on Blurb.  That’s a big difference when you do a lot of pages.  Wendy

Posted by
wjukich
Apr 19, 2009 11:17am PDT
Permalink
wjukich
 

you must have to cut and paste to get the whole link – only part of it gets highlighted for linking.

 

http://community.shutterfly.com/gallery/post/start.sfly?postId=/gallery/1/post/GMGDJgwZOGDJs3bgqmgx7a 

Posted by
wjukich
Apr 19, 2009 11:21am PDT
Permalink
wjukich
 

I’ve looked at the others, decided on Blurb, and happy I did.

 

It would be nice if Blurb had some more options though, especially in layouts, lol.

Posted by
koolkat
May 12, 2009 5:25pm PDT
Permalink
koolkat
 

Thanks to those confirming my suspicions – Blurb is the best !

Posted by
Bobpeabody
May 31, 2009 5:48am PDT
Permalink
Bobpeabody
 

I’ve used Blurb & Lulu several times over the last couple of years.  A few points of note:

 - Lulu  I’ve used for heavy text with photos soft cover books.  Quality was fine – no issues with print quality and photos were good quality.  Big plus was the ability to upload pdf files rather than using Booksmart.  This meant total control.

_ Blurb. I’ve used for large heardcover photo books with a quality feel. Print quality was good especially on the heavy duty paper.  Every hard cover I’ve received (don’t want to overstate this – five of them) has had finger prints on it on the white background. On the plus side a clean eraser cleaned them up. I’ve tried using InDesign pdf exports but the resolution of small text was very jagged and poor quality.

Posted by
aop27
Jun 2, 2009 1:42pm PDT
Permalink
aop27
 

I also agree that Blurb is the best, especially for the price. I believe the layout choices in Blurb give you a lot more freedom than the other companies of comparable price. Plus the new BookSmart2.0 is supposed to allow you full layout control! (Shoot, now I want to make another book! Hah!)

Posted by
jbshephe
Jun 18, 2009 3:13pm PDT
Permalink
jbshephe
 

I’ve recently used a site called Inkubook, I’ll compare it to Blurb’s offerings here.  In a comparison of Landscape to landscape, the Inkubooks are a touch bigger at 8.5×11, they are a touch cheaper ($5) less than blurb (Inku’s hard cover vs Blurb’s hard cover dust jacket) and they also use the premium paper.  Their shipping is also less expensive.  $18.99 to ship to canada, for a single book compared to blurb’s estimate of $26.  Each additional book is $4.99.  But their maximum length for a book is 120 pages.  

With their software, you upload the photos as you go, rather than download the software, which makes ordering the book easier, but if you have a slower connection can make creating the book rather annoying, with long wait times, when you want to get moving.  if you have to upload lots of photos at once.  Uploading a few 10-15 at a time works best.   

Their website uses microsoft silverlight to operate the software.  Mac users will have to make sure they are using an Intel Mac to be able to use the software. With the slightly wider layout, Inkubook has a few more interesting 3 on a page designs than Blurb, but this is greatly offset by Blurb’s new 2.0 software with the flexible layouts.  Similarly, I found many of the text boxes constrainng, but I found the same thing with the old blurb, so this comparison isn’t really fair.  

In summary, if you are doing a shorter book, and don’t have a truly astonishing amount of photos, (Like a family cookbook for instance) With inkubook, you can get something similar to an "ImageWrap" Hardcover book (their default format) for less money than you can with blurb.  BUT you’ll have to keep in mind their software limitations.  Especially since Inkubook is alwas handing out discounts.  With careful timing, you could probably save at least $10 off of every order.  I’ve had them e-mail three promotional codes since I had my book printed, not counting the one I used on the first book. 

If you are doing a longer book, more than 120 pages, Blurb offers you far more options.  Their software is also much better, though the caveat here, is beware the long upload times at the end.  

I haven’t received my book from Blurb yet, so I can’t compare the image quality, or binding, but I’m happy with my Inkubook.  I’m especially happy with the price, & the coupon codes. 

Summary of the Summary:  Inkubook is less expensive, especially since they currently give out promotional codes on a regular basis.  Blurb has better software and larger page capacity. 

Posted by
Schmidt007
Jun 19, 2009 7:56am PDT
Permalink
Schmidt007