Book Printing

There is a lot of SATISFACTION in the forums

As with most aspects of life, you tend to hear more in these forums from people that have complaints and less so from people who are satisfied. Human nature I guess.

But there have been quite a few recent posts from people are are happy with their book.

Now I’d like to add my name to that list! I’m absolutely gob smacked at the quality.

Being somewhat nervous about the quality having read most of the recent postings in these forums I decided to do a trial book first. So I did the first 20 pages of my book and used the opportunity to trial different fonts, font sizes, repeat the same full-bleed page developed in Photoshop exported both as jpeg and dng to compare the text. I had already calibrated my monitor and, for interest, I softproofed some of the photos using the Indigo colour profile but left others as they were.

The book is an 11" x 13" hardcover and records my trip to Ecuador including the Galapagos Islands and the Mindo Cloud Forest in the Andes near Quito. It is (or will be when I finish it) mainly about the wildlife, but some travelogue as well.

I uploaded last Monday night, got the order confirmation Tuesday, the book was completed and shipped Friday and it arrived first thing this morning (Tuesday), so just 7 days from upload to opening the package. The only downside was that the UPS tracking number given in the shipping notification e-mail wasn’t the one on the package, so I got a nice surpise when it arrived this morning.

It was well packaged in a thick cardboard shell, Amazon style, there was no damage to the book. The book itself is well made, it is stitched, there are no loose pages, no printing problems that I can seeand the dustjacket looks great.

My photos have come out much better than I was expecting. So far I cannot tell the difference between those I soft-proofed and those I didn’t, they all look great, I’ll take a closer look this evening and do a detailed comparison. They even manage to make me look like a good photographer :-)

I had read that some people found their photos coming out darker than they expected, I found that not to be the case, probably as I calibrate my monitor once a week and am careful with the lighting in the room when I’m working on the photos.

When softproofing I found that some greens (plant leaves) were showing as out-of-gamut. I adjusted some photos and not others but all look good on the page. I will probably check for out-of-gamut in the rest of my photos but unless it highlights large areas of the photo as such I will probably leave them as they are.

The book was produced using BookSart’s Darkroom theme and the black pages really show of the photos well. So I’m going to stick with that theme for the final book. I used white lettering which looks great, I still can’t make up my mind on which font/font size to use though, they all turned out well. On the pages using BookSmart’s templates both the serif and non-serif fonts look great, 9-point is a quite readable size.

On the pages I created in Photoshop I think the sans-serif have the edge, though it took a really close look to compare the quality. The text in the pages saved a .PNG are noticeably sharper than those saved a .JPEG, but if they were not side-by-side in a two page spread I wouldn’t have seen the JPEG variant as having problems.  Again the smallest font I used was 9-point.

All-in-all I am definately a SATISFIED customer :-)

I now have the confidence to start on the rest of the book, so what will I do differently?

Probably do more page layouts in Photoshop, BookSmart’s templates will probably meet most of my needs but I would like room for a few more lines of text in some of the photo captions. I’d like room to say something about Blue Footed Boobies, not just put the name.

Do some more photos that flow across two pages, they look stunning. I did not get the sizing of the overlap due to the gutter quite right so I’ll make use of the templates generously provided by Robin (rlmaly), They were not available when I started. http://forums.blurb.com/forums/4/topics/2042

Thank you Blurb!

And an especiall big thank you to those of you in the forums who have shared your experiences (good and bad) and answered my questions. The success of this book is very much down to the lessons I have learnt from you.

......Tony

 

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
tfrankland
Jan 29, 2008 3:06am PDT
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tfrankland
 

p.s. It was printed in The Netherlands.

Posted by
tfrankland
Jan 29, 2008 3:10am PDT
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tfrankland
 

Hi Tony;

An excellent post…

I would like to add my name to the list of SATISFIED Blurb users…

My overall experience has been very good; and I continue to believe that currently Blurb IS the best value-for-money print-on-demand vendor around…

There will always be more we will want (glossy-paper, better text handling etc.) but overall Blurb does do a good job, and, equally importantly, even if things do go wrong (as they have done for me) then Blurb’s customer-service comes to the fore and gets things put right…

Cheers;

Lee

Posted by
lkb-28
Jan 29, 2008 3:33am PDT
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lkb-28
 

Add my name to list of extremely satisfied customer.

Also I like to thank Lee and Tony for being such big part of the forum, what would we do without you?

Keep smiling

Posted by
pictureme
Jan 29, 2008 1:03pm PDT
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pictureme
 

I’ll add name to the satisfied list, too. I know I’ve been pretty vocal in the forums about quite a number of book production topics. And I’m pretty sure support is quite tired of hearing from me.

But, I’m sitting here holding the book is ordered as a proof and I can’t stop paging through it. The computer-generated images came out great, with the huge, full-bleed color backgrounds looking smooth and silky. I just added the book to the bookstore and informed the 29 contributing artists (!) that our collection is now a BOOK!

Thanks, Blurb, this project wouldn’t have been feasible any other way.

Posted by
MtnViewMark
Jan 30, 2008 12:23am PDT
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MtnViewMark
 

I am so glad you guys are very happy. I do not want to thrash Blurb just to thrash. But after a print and a reprint falling apart I loose hope a bit.

I WANT to believe, because the prints are beautiful, I love the dustcover, the format is great. It is just that the books fall apart after 3 viewings or less.

 

Posted by
fschling
Jan 31, 2008 10:08am PDT
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fschling
 

I just received my first Blurb book and I am very satisfied. It was ordered on the 22nd of Jan. and received on the 30th. The dustjacket is very nice, the photos in the book were much better than I expected. On Blurb’s recommendation I had printed one first but just ordered an additional 11 to pass out to family members.

Thanks, Blurb

Posted by
debbi_18830
Jan 31, 2008 2:22pm PDT
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debbi_18830
 

count me in as a very happy customer  (as already mentioned on some posts). book arrived BEFORE expected arrival date and quality was MUCH BETTER THAN EXPECTED

fschling – same here, this was the only downside but BLURB did replace my faulty copies (printed in the NL) with new ones

 

Posted by
naftalina007
Feb 12, 2008 12:30pm PDT
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naftalina007
 

TotalIy satisfied, too!

I had my first Blurb book in my hands within a week of the day I published and ordered it! The quality was great, printing and production was quick and of good quailty, shipping fast and convinient, I’m totally satisfied! I’m waiting for my second Blurb book, should be arriving any minute!

Thank you Blurb, great job!!!!

:-) Zoe 

Posted by
grrrlie4
Feb 14, 2008 6:49am PDT
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grrrlie4