Photo Book with Blurb

I finally got a photo book created through Blurb. It has been a good experience, with a few ups and downs along the way.

I started using the tools provided by Apple’s Aperture product. It’s a good product that I use to store all my photos. The options for photo books are much less limited than in iPhoto but still a little constrained. It’s fine if you want to use the built-in themes but much less flexible if you want to move beyond that.

I finished the book after spending quite a lot of time arranging things and putting in finishing touches. I had something that was almost ready quite a few times but always found something else to change.

Once it was finished, I priced it up using Aperture. One hundred and seventy two dollars. And twenty six cents I needed to spell that out in words since the number was so big! NZ$172.26. Plus shipping, I expect.

That was a little too pricey. Way too pricey, even.

I’d looked at a few other options over the past few months. There are lots of companies that do this sort of thing. However, most of them that I found only let you design a book using a web application. I didn’t really like the thought of that. All a bit too fiddly.

Blurb was a bit different. They offered a native application on the Mac and PDF upload. I started using the BookSmart app bit I found it a little limiting for a photo book. Seemed pretty good for a proper book but not so good for a photo book.

So, I went back to using Aperture. There was a template that I downloaded for Aperture and I started with that. It wasn’t quite as easy as it had been with the Apple template but it was a good start. I got a 62 page book created in a few hours, using the design that I had previously used as a starting point.

Uploading the book to Blurb was a bit of a slow process. ADSL might be ok for downloading from the internet but it’s not so good for uploading. It took a few minutes to upload the cover (12MB) but over an hour to upload the contents of the book (260MB). Once uploaded everything was pretty smooth. I order a couple of copies and also put the book on sale. With a discount code that I found on the internet, I got the 2 books for US$128, including postage, which is about NZ$153. Not cheap but nowhere near as expensive as with Apple.

I’m still waiting for the books to turn up. Should be at the end of next week. That’s about two weeks from ordering. Not that quick but not that slow either. I’m expecting it might be a little quicker than that. Hopefully I’m not disappointed.

Maybe next time I would create a smaller book to keep the cost down a little. The hardcover 13″x11″ book is probably going to be pretty large when it turns up!

If you want to see what I’ve designed, have a look here:

I think it’s pretty good. You should even buy a copy! Yes, you!

Guatemala is a very beautiful country and I’m trying to share the experience with as many people as I can. I’m guessing the price tag will put almost everyone off though—hence my desire to create a smaller book and keep the price down.

The full preview is available on the site. Enjoy.


3 thoughts on “Photo Book with Blurb”

  1. I hadn’t really looked for somewhere cheaper, especially since I haven’t made any other similar books since. I did search the web for a Blurb discount code which got me about 15% off at the time.

    Snapfish was pretty good as an alternative and was a fair bit cheaper. I think that the quality wasn’t as good as Blurb but was certainly good enough as a memento and to share with people.

    Also, two things that appealed to me about Blurb that other companies didn’t provide were:
    1. the ability to offer the book for sale, and as a side effect share a preview of the book with friends (not that anyone has actually bought it but I expected that), and
    2. the ability to upload a PDF to create the book rather than using a Flash-based book creation tool.

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