A Review of 4 Photo Books – Plus 20% Discount For Your Very Own Book

Do you have a computer full of special family photos, holiday snaps, baby photos, school plays (and the list goes on) that you have not found the time to print yet?

Until recently I struggled to find the time to prepare a photo book or even print photos, but over the last few months I finally put together not one, but FOUR books documenting the last four years of our family’s life. The kids love going through them over and over again!

I thought I would share my experience (very briefly) of the four companies I used. I have included a short summary of elements I liked as well as things that I didn’t like, with the hope that it helps those who want to start their book but are overwhelmed with the many choices available.

Also to help you get started, there is a 20% discount offer for you from one of the companies I used!

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 Note: whited out section in the photo above was added for privacy reasons only

 

Ok, lets get started.

Each photo book company offers different book options but I will only go through the actual books I produced.

The four companies I used:

  • Moleskine + Milk
  • Nushots (Australian company)
  • Artifact Uprising
  • Blurb

General Information

  • With all books, I chose to limit wording as I prefer a clean and simple look.
  • While all companies offer ‘auto-fill’ where the program automatically fills out the book for you, I selected a format I wanted for each page.
  • All companies allow you to import photos from your computer, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook and Instagram.
  • You get warnings if a photo’s quality isn’t appropriate for the size you’ve chosen on the page. You can then correct the photo size.
  • All companies allow you to save your project so that you can add to it or complete it when you are ready.

 

1. Moleskine + Milk

Specs for my book:  Milk Photo Book, Medium landscape, hard cover,   9.25 x 7.4”  (23.5 x 18.8cm)

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This book was relatively easy to put together, although the main page that you work from was a little busy. Sometimes it was difficult to see if you had duplicated a photo (I had a few hundred photos to add to the book).

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 Note: whited out section in the photo above was added for privacy reasons only

Things I Like

  • It is a beautiful looking book

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  • I love the binding
  • It looks professional

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Things I Don’t Like

  • The cover photo sits on top of the hard cover front page. I think in ten or so years with many people handling the book, it may start to peel off the front.

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  • Every page (bar the large landscape template option) has a section for words. If you choose not to add words, your page will still show up with the dots under the photo where words would have been. It’s not a major issue but I prefer my books clean and simple.
  • The fabric I chose was light grey and while looks nice, with lots of handling may look dirty in years to come (choosing a darker colour may be better in the long term).
  • Whilst the matt paper feels nice, it does lack a little depth when compared to the Nushots and Blurb books.
  • I love adding double page spreads for great impact but this option isn’t available with this book.
  • There also isn’t an option to completely fill a page with a photo which I often like doing.


2. Nushots

Specs for my book: Paramout Book,  A4 hardcover 

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 Note: whited out section in the photo above was added for privacy reasons only

 

Nushots is an Australian owned company and all books are printed in Bayside (Victoria, Australia). They offer a range of products and sizes.


Things I Like

  • A beautiful looking book.
  • Paper is matt and has a smooth sheen with photos looking vibrant and rich.
  • Easy to navigate and add photos.
  • Is Australian made.

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Things I Don’t Like

  • The only thing I could think of as a negative is that it is more expensive than the other 3 books to produce (approximately $40 over the Blurb book).

 

3: Artifact Uprising

Specs for my book: Soft cover 8.5 x8.5’  

Artifact Uprising is a relatively new company based in Colorado, USA. They use 100% recycled paper for the inside pages of their books.

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After working out how to import photos and projects into their program I was able to complete the book relatively quickly.

I’ve decided that this will be my annual creative black and white book, for my favourite photos.

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Things I Like

  • A nice creative looking book.
  • Cheaper to produce due to the soft cover.

Things I Don’t Like

  • Not as intuitive for a first timer – A little more confusing to set up the book but once photos are loaded into the program it is straight forward.
  • The recycled nature of the paper results in photos not being as rich as the Nushots and Blurb books. I have not printed a colour book with this company but expect that the results would be the same.

Hint for this book: Create a gallery (under the ‘My Gallery’ tab). You can then see all the photos on the bottom of your screen as well as flick through the page layouts and change them if needed.

 

4.Blurb

Specs for my book: Standard Landscape – 10×8′,  Hard Cover Image Wrap, Premium Lustre paper

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Special Note: whited out section in the photo above was added for privacy reasons only 

 

Blurb has joined forces with Adobe and has made producing a photo book so easy with Adobe Lightroom (a photo storage and editing program). I was able to go to my ‘book’ tab in Lightroom, select the book I wanted and simply drag and drop the photos straight into the book in Blurb.

Producing a book with Blurb is easy even without Lightroom. You simply download the program for the book type you want, and go from there.

For me, this was the easiest book to prepare and my favourite overall.


Things I Like

  • Matt paper looks great with photos rich and vibrant
  • The double page spread option looks fantastic
  • I love that I can put the book together through Adobe Lightroom and not need to upload photos to another program (as mentioned above though, I am told that downloading the Blurb program is quick and easy).

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Things I Don’t Like

  • Whilst the binding looks professional, I think it could be improved especially for books over 100 pages

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Do you want a photo book of your memories and experiences?

Blurb have generously offered a 20% discount for all readers.

Add the promotional code  JULY20PERCENT at check out to receive your 20% discount. This code is only valid for July (2013) and can be used once per reader.

CHANGE TO ORIGINAL POST: The original promotional code has been changed by Blurb. The new one as noted above is JULY20PERCENT and now active. It is only valid for July and not till December like the previous code. Blurb informs me that they regularly have promotions so if you have a book to print after July, just subscribe to their emails and you’ll be notified when their next promotion is on.  My apologies for any confusion.

What a great way to help get you started on your photo book. 

If you’ve found this post helpful head over to my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/christinajackphotography), click the ‘like’ button so you can stay up to date with other reviews and offers.

Also, feel free to share this link with family and friends so they also can take advantage of Blurbs generous discount offer.

Have Fun!

7 Responses to A Review of 4 Photo Books – Plus 20% Discount For Your Very Own Book

  1. AJ says:

    Unfortunately, we had a very different experience with MILK. It was so negative that that we set up a blog just to help get the word out and caution other buyers: https://bewareofmilkphotobooks.wordpress.com/

    The image quality of our cover photo was terrible (the ones inside weren’t amazing either, to be honest – just not worth complaining about) and customer service was of absolutely NO help to us. The response we received from Jacinda was:

    1. Both monitors that we used “disguised the fuzziness”, making the images look clearer than they were
    2. The original images were already blurry (they were not – even if they were, the printed image was way worse)
    3. Customers are expected to zoom into every single photo even if it already looks fine in the normal view
    4. Customers are expected to read the support pages before purchasing/printing a book (as in BEFORE you know you even need support)
    5. Milk shouldn’t be expected to produce a software that is capable of identifying when an image will not print well

    I’d say that all these excuses alone should be enough to make any potential customer head towards a different vendor.

  2. Mark says:

    Hi Christina, would you like to review our start-up company “TouchingPrints” as well? Recently we’re in special promotion and would love to give you one more frame for free. Please let me know what you think, look forward to hearing from you!

    Best,
    Mark

  3. Sharon Geake says:

    Hi – I understand you have published a Blurb book by Bill Bruce: A Shearers Life. Is it possible to obtain a copy through your website?
    Thanks
    Sharon

  4. Angela Martinez says:

    Hi! I’m currently working on a MILK medium landscape photobook, and I was wondering, is the paper white? Or is it truly the beige/ivory color that appears in the preview? Also, did you use any of the image borders, and if so, did they look as they did in the preview as well (particularly the keyline white frame)?

    Thank you!
    Angela

    • admin says:

      Hi Angela
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, the front cover is definitely cream. The paper isn’t true white but close to. I didn’t use any borders at all as I prefer my books clean and simple. The dots that are under every photo are where you can add comments. Whether you add comments or not, the dots show up which is annoying.
      Hope that helps. Let me know if you have any further queries.
      Would love to hear how your book turns out.

      Kind regards,

      Christina Jack

  5. Gerald says:

    Great review. I agree with your concern on the longevity of the Milk + Moleskine covers. I’ve had several of the Moleskine (made by MILK) books printed. The print quality of the books was very good but I had to have two reprints done because of the cover quality. Whatever process they’re using to adhere the cover photo is, in my opinion, lousy. Their customer service was great about accommodating me, but I was left truly disappointed. I hope they come up with a better method for photo covers. I have a book from Artifact Uprising on the way – I’ve heard great things, so I’m excited to see how it comes out.

    Gerald
    http://www.geraldpatrickphotography.com

    • admin says:

      Hi Gerald.

      Thanks so much for your comment. Would love to hear how your new Artifact Uprising book went.
      I’m about to start my family’s 2013 books next week and think I may include a creative book from Artifacts (just my favourite Black and White photos).

      Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

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