9.5/10! Far exceeded my expections! MY BACKGROUND:
- I'm an amateur photographer trying to turn pro
- I've done design layout before and did all the print related stuff for my weddingTHE $$/DIY FACTOR:
Spending thousands on an album was never an option for me. Why make someone else rich with something I can so myself, right? Two weeks ago, I finally sat down and began the process of sorting though 800 photos and designing the album so we could gift them at Christmas to our parents.WHY I CHOSE BLURB.COM:
Blurb was the only mainstream publisher which had the option of "image wrap" which basically prints my cover design directly onto the book (like a yearbook). This was important to me because the purpose of an album lends itself to a lot of touching by a lot of hands. A canvas or fabric cover would get dirty (and only has a small photo cut-out on the cover--- boring!). A dust jacket (the thick, glossy paper cover around a hard cover book) would get crinkled and fall off. EASE OF USE:
The blurb photo editing software is idiot-proof. In fact, my frustration was that it was TOO user friendly, and not sophisticated enough to allow a person with design experience go to town on their own (boo-hoo, right?). For the advanced people out there, there is an option to design your page layouts and import into the doftware PDF. SHIPPING:
It was supposed to take 12 days, yet arrived in 9 via FedEx (I only paid for ground shipping - $6.99)!
- I chose the premium paper option which (is a no brainer and) yeilded truly excellent results. The pages are thick and rich, and are "bookstore" quality. This is a must!
- People often compain that the image wrap cover isn't as sharp as the dust jacket version as the latter is glossy, and the former is a matte print. This is a fair assessment, however, the quality isn't comprimised in a matte finish.
- Some people complain there is inconsistent colouring throughout the book. First, only highly detail oriented people will notice. Second, if a photo is a little on the darker side (or, if you converted it to black and white yourself), just up the highlights and fill light of the photo (you can do this easily in Picasa photo management software from Google-- it's FREE and very easy to use). Third, it's NOT bad at all. It's not even close to bad.
- The overall product was simply superb. My book looks more professional than upper-end photography books I've seen.