Recent Photobook experience?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by dodgyexposure, Sep 14, 2014.

  1. dodgyexposure

    dodgyexposure Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    147
    Thinking of putting together some photobooks - recent travel, yearbooks for the kids, that sort of thing. May combine photos with text (travel journal).

    I have read some old threads here, but I'm looking for some more recent experience. I'm after good quality printing and books, options to go significantly bigger than the [apparently standard] 10 pages. Ability to play with design would be handy - my only experience to date is simple books through Apple, and the layout options are very limited.

    So, any thoughts? Are there good Oz options, or do I need to pay exorbitant shipping from the US?
     
  2. Zee

    Zee Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    9,938
    Location:
    SYD/MNL/SIN/SFO
    I'm curious about this too...

    I know someone posted up a thing on Blurb a few months back, I'll post a link if I can find it, but the results looked pretty good, though, the effort also seemed huge.

    Edit - couple of bits of info here and here


    Z...
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  3. OP
    OP
    dodgyexposure

    dodgyexposure Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    147
    Thanks, Zee. I read both of those threads previously, curious to see if there are other options.

    Has anyone used MyPublisher?
     
  4. wiztek

    wiztek Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    349
    No experience but i am probably going to get an ArtisanState book printed now...will let you know how it is.
     
  5. Vladdo

    Vladdo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8,488
    Location:
    Laverton, Melbourne
    I've created 3 photobooks with My Publisher now and have been super impressed.. Infact, if I had more money, i'd create more books..

    Here's mostly a copy/paste from whirlpool as someone else was curious about My Publisher..

    There's either a classic or deluxe size.. classic is basically A4 and deluxe is A3, or thereabouts. You can get up to 100 pages doublesided. Images can be bled and is accurately trimmed. Mypublisher comes with their own software, it is a bit basic, but is more than adequate to place images and text to make a book. Save images as sRGB in photoshop.

    Choose the super gloss pages when going through the checkout. Super gloss pages are almost like a plastic paper, highly glossed, and are scratch and tear resistant. Images pop off the page.. the detail level is excellent, with great contrast as well.

    From the time you upload your book to delivery to your door is about 5-7 business days. Books are printed in New Jersey, US in about 1-2 days, then about 3-4 days DHL delivery.. Postage is usually $27 USD.

    Here's a couple of samples of the books I've printed.. I had an issue with one of the fonts on the cover being screwy, so they gave me a coupon for a reprint, which I used to make up another book..

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/vladdo/sets/72157644236567399/

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/vladdo/sets/72157643625402054/

    Couple of caveats tho when buying from mypublisher. Create an account and subscribe to their newsletter. They usually have a 50-70% coupon every couple of weeks so it makes it very affordable. When you create your book, you're given the option of classic or deluxe size books. It's only when you've finished the book are you given the option to do upgrades. Deluxe sized layflat pages are $45/book and supergloss printing is $20/book. Those are 2 must have upgrades. However, don't add them to your order. Wait until the last step of checkout as they'll come up with a special offer. Instead of $65, its now $26.. So for a 100 pages, super gloss, layflat book, with hard cover wrap around image, you can get it for around ~$135 delivered, if you use a coupon.

    The only real annoyance with mypublisher is that the software is a bit basic, and as such you can't really do any great typographic designs etc.. but for a coffee table book, it's all about imagery, and I'd be hard pressed to find any better printing.
     
  6. kombiman

    kombiman Dis-Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2006
    Messages:
    11,409
    Location:
    viva brisvegas
    Super nice write up and great tips for getting best bang for buck for the deal :thumbup:

    If we had a +1rep you'd be well marked up!
     
  7. Zee

    Zee Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    9,938
    Location:
    SYD/MNL/SIN/SFO
    Fantastic info - thanks for that. Very useful...

    Blurb or My Publisher, Vladdo? What's your pick?

    Z...
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2014
  8. Vladdo

    Vladdo Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    8,488
    Location:
    Laverton, Melbourne
    Without a doubt, My Publisher..

    The only real criticism I can level at My Publisher is that their books are limited to 100 pages.. For me, I like to have LOADS of pages, when it comes to coffee table books, as I like to pick it up and just browse through the images.. doesn't matter where you start or end, but just plenty of interesting photos.. At 100 pages you're limited, but blurbs 240 pages is nicer but let down by no layflat pages..

    That said, my publisher books just have that wow factor.. the wrap around image cover has all the benefits of a dust jacket type cover, yet it's all self contained.. I love the super gloss paper.. it's fingerprint & tear resistant so can take a bit of abuse.. I like the fact that all you have to do is supply RGB images and the printed result was pretty consistent with the original image.. When I created my other book with blurb & indesign, I paid particular attention to RGB->CMYK conversion as any dark blues/greens/browns/reds all shifted considerably, so it was good to not have to worry about that with my publisher..

    Layflat pages are just awesome.. you don't have to worry about breaking the spine (ie blurb).. I like how the binding works.. there's like a plastic film inbetween the binding insert and the page..

    [​IMG]

    To be fair, I've never seen a high end photobook, ie, asukabook, so can't compare.. If you were wanting to do a high end wedding album, my publisher wouldn't cut it.. Then again, a my publisher book would be a fraction of the cost of asukabook so it's apples/oranges.. But for a coffee table book with superb printing and is reasonably priced.. it's a big :thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    I've just had a look at artisan state and they seem to be oranges/apples as well. The biggest size is A4ish and 70 pages, and $370USD! That's well out of my price range..
     
  9. Zee

    Zee Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2002
    Messages:
    9,938
    Location:
    SYD/MNL/SIN/SFO
    That looks pretty good. Coffee table book is pretty much what I'm looking for, so I think the cost/quality ratio is about the ballpark that I'm looking for.

    Z...
     
  10. ItsDanK

    ItsDanK Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,972
    Location:
    Sydney
    Henry Louey does books all the time for his work. I think he'd have some great insight and I'll point him in the direction of this thread.
     
  11. Alessiman

    Alessiman Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Messages:
    1,023
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Gee Thanks Dan :p

    Blurb if you want lots of pages. I have had no experience with Mypublisher but I have been looking at trying one as I get there 70% off emails all the time

    For small page runs < 40 I do like my Artisan State books.
     
  12. pogue_mahone

    pogue_mahone Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Messages:
    554
    Location:
    Ocean Reef, Perth
    I just made a Milk Album for a client. It was the most horrendous and tedious album creation ever.

    Will not be using again.
     
  13. Kafoopsy

    Kafoopsy Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,617
    Location:
    Right Here!
    I've done lots of books with Blurb, so I'll do a review for them.

    They offer a PDF to book service, but I have only used their own software. I found it easy to use and you can make any kind of custom layout you wish.
    There is not a lot of options for book sizes though, but you can get them in anything up to 440 pages. The last book I did hit this limit. However, if you want premium paper, you are limited to 240 pages. The premium paper is thicker and looks nicer, but I can't tell that much difference in print quality. It is a satin finish, not full gloss.
    The service is good, I usually have my books in my hand about 10 days after uploading. Blurb have recently opened a printing works in Glenn Innes, NSW so that may speed things up a bit.
    You can order books with soft covers, hard covers with dust jackets and hard covers with imagewrap. However, you can't have a wraparound image on the cover (at least with their own software, I hear you can with the PDF to book method.
    One thing to note is that the hard covers only have a certain number of 'thicknesses'. This is hard to explain, but the number of pages your book has determines the thickness of the spine part of the cover. But as there are only a set number of thicknesses, if your book has a few too many pages for a certain thickness, they will use the next one up, giving your book the appearance that the spine is to thick for the book.

    Overall in my opinion, Blurb is great for standard photo books. They are certainly not the flashiest looking book and I wouldn't use them if you want a coffee table book, but I use them as an alternative to having all my photos printed at Big W and putting them in albums. It ends up being about the same price but is more compact and looks much better.

    Pros:
    Relatively cheap - a 440 page standard portrait hard cover book cost me about $140.
    Software is quite good and simple and allows for any custom layout.
    Quality of the printed books is good, even on the standard paper.
    Books can be up to 440 pages.
    There are usually always discount codes around to get cheaper prices.
    You can get your book as a PDF for $5 extra.

    Cons:
    Software can be fiddly to get things aligned. For some reason, when you move a container border, the border on the other side sometimes moves as well.
    Books are not lay flat. (If you try too hard, you will break the spine).
    You can't copy pages from one book to another in the software. Many users have noted this but there appears to be no plans to include this ability in the software.
    No wraparound image on the cover.
    Premium paper does not look that much better than standard paper.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    dodgyexposure

    dodgyexposure Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    147
    Thanks Kafoopsy.

    I am currently struggling my way through preparing a MyPublisher book. The software is a bit clunky, but I'm starting to work it out.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    dodgyexposure

    dodgyexposure Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2012
    Messages:
    147
    Well, my MyPublisher book has arrived. Went with the lay flat pages and super glossy printing, and image printing on the hard back.

    The quality is excellent, colour reproduction good, bigger than I expected (Deluxe is basically A3 size). The layflat pages are a great design feature - panorama spreads came out very well.

    Ended up with 50 pages.

    For your first book, they give you a code for 2 for 1 (excl. shipping), so 2 identical books cost about US$237 - of which shipping was US$38.

    The software to composit the book was clunky.

    Might try Blurb next to create an album from some old photos, see how it goes. Does anyone have any guidance on which software is best (they have multiple options)?
     
  16. Eclipsor

    Eclipsor Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2003
    Messages:
    1,485
    Location:
    Hobart
    Using Lightroom then exporting to Blurb was all fairly painless if LR has enough templates for your needs and you use LR already.

    Just be sure to check the book once loaded into your account on Blurb. We did our wedding album up in a large book with nice paper etc. submitted it only to find most of the images not printed once it arrived.

    Turned out the export/upload process didn't work properly and I didn't check before ordering. To Blurb's credit they refunded us the full amount (inc shipping) so I could do it again.
     
  17. manymoments

    manymoments Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2014
    Messages:
    60
    Location:
    Townsville
    I agree that Blurb is good choice. I have made several books using this service. Well priced and lots od printing options. Although the default layout templates can be a little boring, you can quite easily spruce it up by using custom layouts. I am in the process of making a book now, when I get the go-ahead to print it from the boss (hopefully this week), I'll post a link to it here.
     
  18. wiztek

    wiztek Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Messages:
    349
    I ordered an Artisan State book today. Will let you know how it goes.
     
  19. The Moose

    The Moose Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Messages:
    241
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Nice timing. Came to research to make a wedding album (mine). Don't need to spend $500+ and I'll be happy with the quality of MyPublisher by the sounds of it. Though I have used Blurb before for a ~20-page book before and I was pleased with that too. Based on Vladdo's post about the spine and layflat quality, I'll probably lean towards MP for something a little more important.

    Thanks guys!
     
  20. mpot

    mpot Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    5,372
    Location:
    Perth, WA
    I've used their BookSmart software to do a few books (read about my experiences here, and found it pretty easy to use.

    Their BookWright software was released after I did my books - I haven't used it, but apparently it is an improvement over BookSmart.
     

Share This Page