Picture Snob

April 25, 2008

Battle of the Photo Books: Blurb's the Best for Creativity

blurb.pngThis week we're looking at some key photo book services: Apple, Blurb and Lulu. We've written a bit about Apple already, but it's time to look at these three together. All three companies share a similar quality of printing and even pricing, but the way you build your photo book and the customization options are different.

How You Build the Book: Blurb BookSmart

First you sign up as a user and then they dub you a "Blurbarian" -- heh heh. Then download their bookmaking software, Blurb BookSmart. It's free and works on Mac & PC. BookSmart can tap right into your photo albums in iPhoto, Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa and SmugMug. The interface is great -- intuitive and filled with options. Things are relatively speedy too, since it's all done on your desktop.

Extra Features:
Blurb has a community (of Blurbarians) where you can share and sell your books. From a single glance you can see that it's made up of many photographers showcasing their work, which is a nice testament to quality and design -- that your identity could come through in the Blurb setting. There are many design themes here: cookbooks, journals, text books.

How Customization and Design Weigh Out:
Blurb has got the best customization system, hands down. Overall, their designs feel modern and fresh.BookSmart allows you so many options -- templates from cookbooks and journals to wedding albums and portfolios -- you can alter text color, photo cropping, page layout, you name it. Best of all, you can actually start with a blank book and completely customize it.

Pricing Baseline:
Hard Cover ($29.95 and up)
Soft Cover ($19.95 and up)
Volume discount starts at 10 books

The Bottom Line: Blurb's got a really cool thing going on. If you want the power to create and customize, Blurb is your best bet.

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Posted by Susan Moriarty at April 25, 2008 6:46 AM
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