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Morning all

 

For a number of years now I've been making photo books for friends and family (my Mum absolutely loves them). Usually I've used the book-printing service in iPhoto on the Mac.

 

However, now that I've got an M9, I'm wondering if it's time (or possible) to up the ante in terms of print, paper and binding quality. Anyone know of any services that are better than Apple's?

 

I was in the Mayfair shop last week and had a look at the last Leica Forum charity book - I was impressed with the quality. I understand this was produced by Blurb - has anyone used them? Any good or bad reviews in terms of product and service?

 

Thanks in advance

 

K

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You are correct, the forum book was produced using Blurb. There is an option to use a better paper, but our book had too many pages for that.

 

Perhaps you could try making a book with just a few pages to see if you're happy with the quality?

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Recently I produced my first book, on INDIA. I used Blurb. I avoided their standard templates in preference for Adobe's In Design to do the layout. I did the conversion from rgb to cmyk. That book was 218 pages so could not use better quality paper.

 

Blurbs service was fast and efficient. Printing quality was pretty good.

 

My second book on FES is 150 pages and I selected better quality paper. It is due for delivery tomorrow. The turnaround will be seven days between America and Australia!

 

All things considered I think Blurb is good at what it claims to do. Better alternatives are not within the reach of 'single' or low volume producers.

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FWIW, I made my very first photobook with Blurb and had a very bad experience (poor print quality, thin paper, terrible colors, etc.) , although to be fair that was probably 3+ years ago and I'm sure they must have improved a lot (note to self: mmmm, perhaps time to try them again?)

 

Anyway, I then switched to MyPublisher and never looked back. Although 2-3 books out of nearly 20 had occasional issues, they were reprinted straight away, with no questions asked. Likely less flexible than Blurb (particularly the 100 p. limit) , but the paper and print quality are great IMO for a non-pro printing service. If you want to try them, MyPublisher runs promotions very frequently (typically -30% to -50%) so make sure you take advantage of those.

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Ecar, I too had some bad experiences with books I bought from Blurb some years ago, and they did reprint immediately without question. They have improved since then. Later today (I hope) I will see the quality of their superior paper with my own book.

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I used the better paper for my vanity book earlier this year and was very pleased with the results

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Ecar, I too had some bad experiences with books I bought from Blurb some years ago, and they did reprint immediately without question. They have improved since then. Later today (I hope) I will see the quality of their superior paper with my own book.

 

Thanks - hope it meets your expectations. Please post your comments once you have reviewed it.

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Well, the book arrived exactly on time. I made some mistakes which rest squarely with me. eg. font for page Nos. too large, omitted one small block of text which nobody will miss.

 

As for Blurb, they fitted the wrong colour end papers. I ordered dark grey and got light grey, which mismatches the cover. The overall look of the book is a bit 'flat'. I am being super critical but that is how I judge myself as well. I would rate the book 80-90 out of 100 for Blurb. I will re-assess it again tomorrow to see if I have been fair.

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Thanks for the replies everyone, most useful. MyPublisher looks very nice, although shipping costs to the UK add a fair bit to the bill.

 

Going to try Blurb first off, will let you know what I think.

 

K

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Blurb have a gallery and showroom just off Oxford Street if you are ever in the West End and they have examples of all sorts of books, sizes and finishes, etc, and very helpful staff.

 

Just East of Oxford Circus, at the end of Titchfield Street, IIRC. Near Market Place.

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Well, the book arrived exactly on time. I made some mistakes which rest squarely with me. eg. font for page Nos. too large, omitted one small block of text which nobody will miss.

 

As for Blurb, they fitted the wrong colour end papers. I ordered dark grey and got light grey, which mismatches the cover. The overall look of the book is a bit 'flat'. I am being super critical but that is how I judge myself as well. I would rate the book 80-90 out of 100 for Blurb. I will re-assess it again tomorrow to see if I have been fair.

 

This thread got me interested in Blurb again - if only to have a (cheaper) alternative to MP and higher page count options.

So, I checked their website and realised they now have a ProLine range (currently limited @ 160 p., but with two much better paper options.

Just curious: did you use one of these for your book?

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This thread got me interested in Blurb again - if only to have a (cheaper) alternative to MP and higher page count options.

So, I checked their website and realised they now have a ProLine range (currently limited @ 160 p., but with two much better paper options.

Just curious: did you use one of these for your book?

 

Yes I did. I found the 'choosing' software for the options a bit clutsy, but that could be just me. As I said before, I got the wrong end papers and I believe I got the wrong paper quality as well. I ordered the 'best' paper, but I think I got the 'middle' quality by 'some' mistake. Busy currently but I will attempt to retrace my order to find the source of the mistake. Mine or theirs.

 

All commenters to date have been very complimentary about the book, but that is not necessarily critical assessment.

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Blurb have a gallery and showroom just off Oxford Street if you are ever in the West End and they have examples of all sorts of books, sizes and finishes, etc, and very helpful staff.

 

Just East of Oxford Circus, at the end of Titchfield Street, IIRC. Near Market Place.

 

Thanks Andy, will be in the area on Thursday so I will pay them a visit.

 

K

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Recently I produced my first book, on INDIA. I used Blurb. I avoided their standard templates in preference for Adobe's In Design to do the layout. I did the conversion from rgb to cmyk. That book was 218 pages so could not use better quality paper.

 

Blurbs service was fast and efficient. Printing quality was pretty good.

 

My second book on FES is 150 pages and I selected better quality paper. It is due for delivery tomorrow. The turnaround will be seven days between America and Australia!

 

All things considered I think Blurb is good at what it claims to do. Better alternatives are not within the reach of 'single' or low volume producers.

 

 

Hi Erl !

Erl I have seen all your two BOOKS.

Both books Look great wth very interesting Phtos and I felt I if I was there. Congrats. and happy shootings!

 

Cyril

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Blurb have a gallery and showroom just off Oxford Street if you are ever in the West End and they have examples of all sorts of books, sizes and finishes, etc, and very helpful staff.

 

Just East of Oxford Circus, at the end of Titchfield Street, IIRC. Near Market Place.

Wish they had more of these, on the content for instance.

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