8x10 Landscape, Hardcover w/flaps, premium paper, 142 pp
I just wanted to drop a note with my thoughts, including lessons learned, on the quality of this book.
Here’s the blurb link: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/600140
and here are some actual pics of the book: http://www.flickr.com/photos/djkianoosh/sets/72157615123807175/
I used a combination of Lightroom and Photoshop on the source image files and all of them were exported at 300dpi, so the resolution and color looked good. Overall I’m pleased with the book. I’m very picky with colors, sharpness and quality, so I do notice a couple things that could be better.
Cover : It’s nice and colorful with the dust jacket, however if you don’t like the dust jacket slipping and sliding off your book, you may want to go with another option. It’s a minor inconvenience, but that’s all personal preference too.
Sharpness : I noticed that on the photos where I applied the most sharpness (as in unsharp mask), these were the best, damn near perfect, photos in the book. Conclusion: I would sharpen my photos more than I usually would for on-screen presentation. Even if they look a little too sharp on-screen, that’s probably good to make the photo pop in the book.
Color : It’s not 6 color printing, but it does a good job. Some of my photos admittedly had some color noise that I didn’t take care of in my source files, but that’s my fault (or I did it on purpose). Color representation was quite good going from either my dimly lit PC monitor or my bright iMac screen to the book. I have a lot of blue skies, and sunset shots and lots of different colorful photos and they all came out real nice.
Brightness & Black levels : Despite the complaints I see on these boards, brightness was good. I think the arguments here are similar to arguments about black levels between Plasma and LCD televisions. Personal preference goes a long way here I think. I have a lot of photos with shadows and dark areas and silhouettes and they came out nice. The premium paper doesn’t give you that glossy super black, and depending on what kind of light source you’re viewing your book under, you’ll get a different black level, so your mileage may vary. Again, black wasn’t super deep black, but that has more to do with the paper quality, rather than anything in the photos or software.
Binding : I used black backgrounds throughout my book, but I can see the white book binding in between every page. This somewhat ruins the effect of the black background. Maybe this is because of the heavier premium paper? Maybe it’s because of the size of the book? Not sure about this one. I didn’t have any 2 page spread so I was lucky there, but if I did, this would not look good. I’m sure I’m the only one that would notice this with "my" book, but i’m a perfectionist, I guess.
So, there were some bad things and some good things. Overall I liked it. I will try maybe another service to do a good comparison (hey competition is always good), but I think, given the features of BookSmart (despite not having full 2 page spreads and right-to-left language support) and the ability to sell my books online, I’ll use blurb again.
I also experienced the white in the gutter on 2 pages spreads with premium paper on 10×8.(this did not happen on standard paper) Premium came from Ma. and standard from Seattle.On the 13×11 no white gap.Go figure