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Thread: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

  1. #1

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    Re: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

    I tried Shutterfly once, about ten years ago...
    I had a "Groupon" for an 8x8" hardbound, glossy cover book for $10, so why not?
    I was happy with the binding, and the reproduction was "ok", but the paper was definitely not photo-book quality.
    Ten years on, the edges of the pages are yellowing.
    I got my $10 worth, but I'd recommend doing research into paper longevity for a serious project.

  2. #2

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    Re: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

    I've made two books through Blurb. The printing quality has been acceptable- better than I'd expected. I expect that achieving better printing quality (from anyone) will come at a significant cost increase. That said, I look forward to reading of other people's experiences.

  3. #3

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    Re: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

    I used Blurb to print my B&W Photobook a year ago. I'm overall satisfied, and compared to some of the big and expensive photobooks that I own it has nothing to envy them. But I printed black & white... I can't provide feedback on colour print.
    For my book I went with hardcover option and chose their "Luxurious" :-) Mohawk Superfine Eggshell paper. I like it and will recommend it for photo books. I then print one copy on their Premium Luster but found it not as good as the Eggshell paper.

    Next I'm going to print a small photo book (magazine?) on my own using the Canon Pro-1000 and double sided Moab Entrada Bright 300 paper. I use Adobe InDesign for design the layout.

  4. #4
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

    I have used Blurb and their subsidiary Magcloud for a couple of projects with mixed results. If your project is black and white it will be printed CMYK. That can be tricky--images can become tinted quite easily and vary in tint if the balance is not right on. Although not print-on-demand, I have had better back and white quality from Bookmobile. They have a minimum quantity that is pretty reasonable and they actually send proof pages for approval before the press run.

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

    The problem is expectation

    And venders change constantly

    Do a test
    Tin Can

  6. #6

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    Re: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

    I've had a couple books printed by Printique (Adorama). Pricey but I've been happy with the quality.
    Never is always wrong; always is never right.

    www.LostManPhoto.com
    www.MarkStahlkePhotography.com

  7. #7
    Tim Meisburger's Avatar
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    Re: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

    So, what I gather from this thread is that Blurb is the best option, considering price and quality? I've been thinking of doing photo annuals for my kids, so this could be useful.

  8. #8

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    Re: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

    I have made 3 Blurb photo books and been involved with 2 of their magazines. I have used their software to assemble the books and found it quite intuitive. These were all paper covers and used as show catalogs. I have been very pleased with both color and black and white rendition. On a reorder of one of these the cover colors were messed up. Initially Blurb faulted me but after an email exchange made it right by letting me keep the faulty cover books and issuing a credit for more the the original order…quite generous. When factoring in the cost of the printing and the gallery share for selling something these are about break even for an artist. That said it it pretty great to make a nice publication and be able to order 1 or 50.

  9. #9
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    The problem is expectation

    And venders change constantly

    Do a test
    My experience with Magcloud was they printed a small booklet (8x8, 20 pages if I recall) that came out fine. Then, with the same file plus some new ones, they printed the same booklet (now 40 pages) and it was considerably lighter. I complained, sent them side-by-side photos, they said it was within the range of acceptability for the (not for me!) but offered to reprint. It turns out they have several facilities with different standards and possibly different equipment.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Your experience with "on demand" photo book printing services?

    Quote Originally Posted by jprofita View Post
    I have made 3 Blurb photo books and been involved with 2 of their magazines. I have used their software to assemble the books and found it quite intuitive. These were all paper covers and used as show catalogs. I have been very pleased with both color and black and white rendition. On a reorder of one of these the cover colors were messed up. Initially Blurb faulted me but after an email exchange made it right by letting me keep the faulty cover books and issuing a credit for more the the original order…quite generous. When factoring in the cost of the printing and the gallery share for selling something these are about break even for an artist. That said it it pretty great to make a nice publication and be able to order 1 or 50.
    I had similar thing with Blurb when the photos came out too dark. But they let me change it for nothing and get a second printing.

    Does anyone have experience with longevity with Blurb papers?

    They have a special right now with a deep discount if anyone is looking to do something currently.

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