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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blurb.com Photo Book Review

As you may remember, I chose to order a honeymoon photo book through the website Blurb.com a couple of weeks ago.  We finally got it in, and it's time to review it!
Yay, it's here!

TYPE:

The book is an 8 1/2 x 11 Hardcover book with a dust jacket, and I also upgraded from regular paper to Premium Paper, which is supposedly "35% heavier, superb opacity: matte or lustre finish".

First flap of the dust jacket, personalized with text and pictures -- apologies for the terrible lighting!
The last flap of the dust jacket, again personalized
CREATION:

Overall, the book was very easy to create using Blurb's BookSmart software.  I was able to pick from a variety of templates (as well as create my own, which I did a few times) and place my pictures where I wanted them to go with ease.  I believe it took me just a couple of hours to complete the first book, cover to cover, and that includes the time it took to learn how to use the software.

Example of two templates I created using BookSmart
More interior pages
CRITICISMS:

I do wonder if I should have actually gone with the largest (12x12) size instead of the 8 1/2 x 11 size because my pictures are pretty small on the pages, but I knew they would come out small because I intentionally positioned them so none of my pictures would be cut off during printing.  I also am not too incredibly happy with the design of the dust jacket cover, but I felt I needed to go with a smaller picture design since all of our honeymoon pictures were taken on a regular point-and-shoot camera, meaning they aren't the best quality and probably wouldn't have looked great on a giant wrap-around picture cover.  That issue is entirely my own, however, and obviously not the fault of Blurb in any way.



Pictures are rather on the small side, but I crammed a lot on the pages and wanted to make sure none of the photos were cut off during printing.

OVERALL:

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the product I received for the price I paid ($33.95, with free shipping!).  The paper weight is good, and doesn't feel like it would easily rip as someone flips through the pages.  There were some things I didn't like, but  it's not like it's a truly professional, hundreds-of-dollars kind of photo book.  Basically, it is a wonderful coffee table book and conversation piece.  Plus, once I get the second book in (I should be done making it soon), they'll take up less room on a shelf than a traditional photo album -- a great plus considering how many photo albums we're already racking up from vacations and wedding activities!

Back cover with another picture and more text
FINAL SCORE:

7/10, would buy from again, and would recommend to a friend.

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