Book Printing

Book production quality in Europe?

I have read quite a few posts about poor production and quality control of books in Europe.
I am a complete beginner with Blurb – just started my book a couple of weeks ago and so far have been really impressed with the customer support, software and online tutorials etc

The posts about production quality really concern me. I am making a book for my grandmother 100th birthday and don’t have time to do a test run and I want a high quality book – not a cheap one. I am happy to pay extra for good quality and to be sure my book isn’t bound upside down and have pages fall out.

I am very interested to hear recent experiences – or should I switch from Blurb to another publisher before it is too late?

Any tips in terms of book size or anything else to make sure the quality is top notch? Can I request that a book be printed in a location that has the best quality record?

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Posted by
AnnaKR
Oct 29, 2009 11:33am PDT
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AnnaKR
 

I just recieved my order of 20 imagewrap books and was delighted, read my more detailed opinions here:

http://forums.blurb.com/forums/5/topics/7527

I did however previously order a softcover book and was very disappointed (the covers curled terribly)

 Im in the UK, i believe there is one central printer for blurb in Europe as my books were shipped from Sweden.

Posted by
superjim
Nov 4, 2009 8:42am PDT
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superjim
 

As far as I understood the quality problems occur mostly in the USA. The European printer is located in the Netherlands, and does a great job. I myself live there, and the 2 (hard cover) books I’ve made so far where excellent! In the forums I have read only positive reactions regarding our Dutch printer. But I’m afraid you will not be able to choose a printer yourself…

Posted by
barmsijs
Nov 16, 2009 6:13am PDT
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barmsijs
 

I’m in the UK and have had 2 hardback books printed so far and they are both awesome. So pleased that all the parents and aunties Christmas presents this year are going to be photobooks. Now if I can just find the time to put them together!

Posted by
Bushgirl
Nov 18, 2009 7:58am PDT
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Bushgirl
 

FWIW, my books printed in the Netherlands have always been much better than anything printing un the US.

Regards,
  bret

Posted by
bret
Nov 25, 2009 11:34am PDT
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bret
 

Well I’ve just had my first two books printed (2 of the same copy) in the 8 × 10" format. I’ve not checked the second yet but I have to say I’m pretty pleased with the result, looking at the first copy. The colour reprodiction and image quality are both very good- not quite as good as with a glossy photo print but very good nonetheless. I’m particularly pleased with the colour rendition- it is very true to both my screen results and printed versions of the photos. The printer has handled well png files containing both text and graphical elements created in PS3.

My only little niggle so far is that, despitte adhering to the guidelines on Blurb’s software, and creating the majority of my images in exactly the same dimensions as specified in the picture layout image box that I used (Full bleed for most pages 2888 by 2475 pixels I think) there has still been some loss of image through trimming primarily on the gutter of the pages and the exposed right hand edge. This is also despite it previewing fine both on here and on my screen. The has thankfully not adversely affected the photos or text, as I didn’t place any key content so close to the edges. It has however, meant that some of the borders that I used have been cut off . I think I might have lost about 4 or 5 mm.  It is a pity that this has happened. Overall I’d score blurb 8/10.  I would certainly use them again, but would be even more cautious with what I place on the edges of the page.  

Regards

 Jo.

Posted by
kittykat23uk
Dec 7, 2009 6:47am PDT
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kittykat23uk
 

I just got my first book, and I’m very happy! It was shipped 5 days ahead of the estimated shipping date, and arrived via FedEx to my home in Sweden 3 days later. I DID pay extra for quick delivery in order to get it before X-mas, but I’m still pleasantly surprised. The hardcover looks and feels awsome, and picture quality is very good.

For my next project  I’ll probably choose a larger format (all pics look better big!) and I’ll avoid small sized photos, unless they show close-up details or faces. I will also spend more time on the accompanying texts, and I’ll make sure no essential details are too close to the edges…

But all-in-all, this was a great experience, and I’ll be a returning customer!

Posted by
Xonz
Dec 7, 2009 8:40am PDT
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Xonz
 

Don’t assume that just because you order from Europe, your books will be printed in Europe. I ordered from the UK and mine were printed (very well) in Seattle, USA.

Posted by
matt_sefton
Dec 12, 2009 3:37am PDT
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matt_sefton