Over the past months I've self published several photo books using Mypublisher.com. The latest was about 20 pages with captions and a die cut cover cost less than $15.00 (softcover) They also offer hard cover books and their turnaround time is phenomenal.
I thought a good topic of discussion would be photo books. I searched forums and did not find anything. Maybe I missed it. I have been trying to do a good photo book. I have used Sony Imagestation. Then Ofoto became Kodak Photo Gallery and they offer the same services. Walgreens will also allow me to upload digital photos and have a nice hard bound book made for about $20 for 20 pages which is less then the two I have mentioned previously. Wal Mart Offers this service also now. Wal Mart has the best price however once I spend time uploading my photos they only allow me to keep my photos there for 60 days or spend .74 for every 10 meg of storage space that I might for one year. I guess that is not so bad but after uploading my photos I could not get the book designing part of it to work this time. It must be having trouble accessing the pictures that I have already uploaded.
Since I have long been a PC person I wonder if I will have to concede that mac does this task better? iphoto looks pretty interesting. So there are plenty of ways to get this job done but they all seem to have some hang ups and pretty big ones at that. Imagestation is very slow on the design end and costly. None of them provide me with software that I can use locally to design the book and then upload it once I am all done. That seems like it would be the best method. Even with broadband, editing online is just too cumbersome. Walgreens seeems to make an attempt at providing 'designers' with local design tools (software that runs only on my computer and I can use with out being logged in to Walgreens). You can do some fancy things with your pictures such as adding captions and graphics and all of that. This is only for pictures however. It is not for the actual design of a book should you decide to do that. And although the local stand alone software for Walgreens is nice it is really just a teaser program written with macromedia that tries to get you to buy the more extensive $40 package. If anyone else has any experience with doing this (pro or con) I would be interested in hearing your expreriences with it.
At up to 40 bucks per pop for 20 page books and with Wal Mart, Walgreens, Imagestation, Kodak Photo Gallery, iphoto and many others competing for businees. It would seem that these companies would want to make the process of designing these things a little easier to deal with.