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Thread: "Best" printed bound books?

  1. #1
    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    "Best" printed bound books?

    I am looking for your opinions on the "best" bound printed photo books for making personal albums from vacation photos. I have used Shutterfly and Apple and they're okay, but the print quality is somewhat lacking and there's no color management to ensure output consistency. I joined AsukaBook to see what their pricing is, and it's geared toward the wedding photographer who will pass along the cost to the customer, so the books are $200+ each and that's too much for personal use. I am looking for a good balance of print quality and price. I don't expect the prints to look as good as the ones I produce on my 4800, but I don't want a cheap dithered look either.

    Any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Duper
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    Terry's Avatar
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    Re: "Best" printed bound books?

    Have you looked at Blurb ??
    I haven't done my own with them yet but the ones I've bought are very nice quality

  3. #3
    JLockard
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    Re: "Best" printed bound books?

    I like White House Custom Color press printed books, for a very nice upgrade from the apple books that I have tried. Not sure if they are in a price range you would be interested in or not.

    www.whcc.com

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: "Best" printed bound books?

    I've used Blurb. I love the concept but was a little disappointed in the printing quality ... very hard to color manage. I haven't tried to nail things down, because I've seen blurb books that are really nice, but in my case the exact same files used in an mPix calendar looked good.

    I just spent 2 days at the WPPI show, and there were at least 30 book vendors there. Most are doing high end books like Asuka.

    One book that struck me as perhaps the best quality for the money was by Adoramapix. They are using actual photo paper printed on noritsu's, but are using a special very thin paper from Fuji specifically designed for books. This means the pages are sturdy but not overly thick like most of the other books using photo paper. A 26 page 12x12 book is around $70.

  5. #5
    DougDolde
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    Re: "Best" printed bound books?

    Blurb is not too bad if you use premium paper. Also I'd recommend using the inDesign>PDF workflow rather than their Booksmart software. I've had spot-on color reproduction using this method and while the image quality isn't as good as what I can print on my Epson 7900 it is fairly good. Set your images up as sRGB jpgs (at least level 10) and let their printer do the CMYK conversion.

    I have had bad results with a dustjacket hardcover; their printers can't seem to get the cover folds in the right spot. Better option is Imagewrap as the cover image is integrated into the hardcover. Softcover is usually OK too.

    Blurb will replace bad quality books but I'd much prefer better QC in the first place. They farm out printing all over the country and the QC seems to be pretty poor.

    Another problem with Blurb is the pricing is too high to be able to sell the book for a reasonable price and make any kind of profit.

    Another option if you want to use a printer that can get you integrated with Amazon and Barnes & Noble online is to use http://www.lightningsource.com/

    They are cheaper than Blurb as well (after the upfront set up charges) but have no premium paper option. Color image quality is fair but not as good as Blurb on premium paper.

    I have two books. Western Dreams is printed by Lightening Source and Painted With Light by Blurb.

    http://douglasdolde.com/book.html
    Last edited by DougDolde; 10th March 2010 at 15:14.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: "Best" printed bound books?

    I just got an email from Blurb - they are implementing color profiles!
    ---------



    Dear B3 Members and those on our B3 waiting list,

    Thank you for participating in our B3 charter program. Because of feedback from customers like you, we’ve decided to implement a calibrated color management profile across our global print network – and to make it available to all customers.

    This new quality improvement will be in place on March 18, 2010, at which time we’ll discontinue the B3 charter program. We wanted to personally thank you for your participation, whether you simply signed up for the program or took advantage of its services, such as printing a Custom Workflow book.

    Effective immediately, all of the printers used in our print network are being routinely monitored and calibrated. You can order your book with images soft proofed using either the original B3 or our new Blurb ICC profile and get the same results. At no additional cost.

    * If you want to reprint a book you created using the B3 profile, rest assured that it will continue to be properly calibrated to all of our network print devices.
    * If you have a Custom Workflow book in the Blurb Bookstore, no need to do anything. Your book will automatically revert to standard, non-custom workflow prices.
    * If you have a book in progress that you were intending for Custom Workflow, no need to worry. Finish it using the B3 profile and order it like you would any other book. Your book will go to our global print network calibrated with our new Blurb ICC Profile. Again, we have verified you should see no discernable differences between these two profiles.

    If you’d like more details or to learn more about color management for the Blurb platform, please visit our new Color Management Resource Center on March 18. This work-in-progress resource center will host videos, how-to guides, and more. If there’s anything else you’d like to see in this resource center we’d love to hear from you.

    While we will be discontinuing B3 phone support on March 18, our first-rate customer support team will be standing by to help you with any questions during this transition. You can reach them at blurb.com/help and they will respond to your email within two business hours if not sooner.

    Again, thanks for taking part in the B3 charter program. We couldn’t have made this significant, network-wide quality improvement without your participation and feedback.

    — The Blurberati

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