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Coffee table photo book experiences - good and bad

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Old 12-28-2010, 12:42 PM
DannyRaphael's Avatar
DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Near Seattle, Washington, USA
Posts: 6,300
Coffee table photo book experiences - good and bad

My experiences in a nutshell:

* Used for 2 books (printed in 2008)
* Stellar quality; no issues with quality or color (including quite a few BW photos)
* No layout/formatting application (at the time); completely do-it-yourself
* Printing done "in house" (it is not outsourced)
* Order to delivery: 5 working days. 2-day shipping included. Overnight shipping available for additional cost.
* Spendy

Started with WHCC because I'd had very good service / quality prints, prints-on-canvas, etc. in the past.


Based on additional research and desire for more flexibility / ease of use when it came to page layout / book organization over "you're on your own" at WHCC, I decided to give Blurb a try. No regrets whatsoever.

* Used for 2 books (3 copies of one, 13 copies of the second)
* Printed in 2009-10; I intend to use Blurb to publish three more books in 2011
* Paper and cover quality are not as good as WHCC, but still very good overall. No issues with paper or color. One book consisted of almost half black & white photos. They came out great.
* Comprehensive, fairly intuitive, fairly easy-to-use layout/formatting application available ("Booksmart"). Lots and lots of text, page templates (text only, photo only, photo and text... about 90 from which to choose plus ability to create/save your own templates), various format and background options. Auto page numbering possible. Option available to upload .pdf version of one's book in lieu of using Booksmart.
* Active user forum for Q/A, which I found quite useful
* Order to delivery: 10 working days. Faster shipping possible for additional cost.
* Printing outsourced to various printers throughout the U.S.
* About 1/2 the cost of WHCC


If you surf the web for self-publishing you'll find many sites that offer similar services. My advice: Don't get hung up on (and spend months waffling over) "Which is the BEST site?"

Instead, pick one and give self-publishing a go. Believe me by the end of your first project, no matter what publisher you choose, you'll have learned a LOT!

- - - - - - - - -

Resources for self-publishing:
* Somewhat focused on publishing at Blurb, but lots of useful general info / basic topics too:

* Side-by-side comparison of various self-publishers

* More reviews


SO, what have your experiences been?
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:15 PM
4personnen's Avatar
4personnen 4personnen is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Lancing, UK
Posts: 350
Re: Coffee table photo book experiences - good and

I was looking for some user experience for Blurb. I found that they have a very affordable range of product inc. text only books...
So thanks for sharing, I think people like me find hard to decide with no advice...
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Old 12-28-2010, 10:06 PM
skydog's Avatar
skydog skydog is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Carolina
Posts: 1,294
Re: Coffee table photo book experiences - good and

To date, I've made seven books with blurb. I had problems with one book order where the books (I bought two copies) came back far darker than expected. I made a complaint and Blurb finally responded wanting me to send pictures of the product. I never did because the client wanted and was willing to take the books as published...they just didn't want to wait. Since then I've created two more books without an issue. I've ordered their normal paper and premium paper...really didn't seen a significant improvement with the premium. Cost is decent. Book is okay the the cost. I plan to try another publishing house this year for comparison. Coffee table books are great but they do take some time to chose the photos and make the layout.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:41 AM
skydog's Avatar
skydog skydog is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Carolina
Posts: 1,294
Re: Coffee table photo book experiences - good and


I just made another book from Blurb and it turned out great. My last one was awful..very dark. I was told different printers are used and the quality is not always consistent. I've made nine books to date and only had issues with this one time...the kicker was that this was the only time I ordered two books at the same time and they both came out bad!
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