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December 01, 2011

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That's very good suggestion. But what about print quality, color reproduction, etc? How do these services compare? Can you share some information, based on your own experiences?

Frank,

Rather than launch into a full review, let me refer you to a comparison I found useful. Briefly, I find the print quality between My Publisher and Blurb to be a toss-up. Shutterfly is acceptable and perhaps a better choice for those who value simplicity over versatility. Blurb offers the most options for layout. My Publisher falls somewhere in the middle.

Overall, it's far more important to select high-quality photographs than the highest possible reproduction quality. It's also a good idea to keep the layout simple. Generally, the fewer pictures on a page the better. Multiple photos on a page should have an obvious relationship to each other--the same child in different outfits, for example. Keep the same thought in mind for two-page spreads: The photos should either complement each other or form a pleasing contrast. I could say more, but I think I'll save it for a future post.

If you're interested then my advice is go for it. If nothing else, you'll be giving a gift that's highly personal, individual, and lasting.

Hi Gordon,
This is partly in response to Frank's question. I have made two books, one with Blurb, and one with My Publisher. The Blurb book was made after a trip to Bhutan and used both text and photos; Blurb's program was easy to use and allowed for a variety of set layouts and for the ability to create one's own. The My Publisher book was a photo book, with almost no text; I found their program to be less flexible and it would have been more difficult to create a book similar to my book on Bhutan. However, the quality of the reproduction of the photos was far superior in the My Publisher book.

If I were doing a book about something, with supporting photos, I would use Blurb. If I were doing a photo book, I would use My Publisher. I was very pleased with the quality of the My Publisher book (they were pleased with it as well, as they asked if they could use it as one of their featured books, and that pleased me even more).

Now, just to add some doubt, and a disclaimer, to the above, I understand that both companies have updated their software since my books were made (about a year ago), and the differences may have evened out somewhat.

I did a Blurb book last year of pictures of the first year (well, 8 months or so) of my son's life. It turned out very well and it was extremely enthusiastically received by his grandparents and mother. I plan to do one such book every year indefinitely.

I've used Blurb and MyPublisher as well, but the majority have been with MyPublisher. My most recent was a large format book with one photo per page on lay flat pages, beautiful.

I haven't noticed any major difference in quality between them, but I find that MyPublisher has a lot of specials which are very useful.

Hi Gordon.
I must live in a different world, I'd never heard of either My Publisher or Blurb, and have made only one book with Kodak, which I thought was pretty good. I'm tempted to go back to Kodak, because, frankly, I feel sorry for them. I know, that's not the best reason.
Does anyone out there know how Kodak compares to the above mentioned, or any of the others out there, like Shutterfly and Apple?

Thank you Gordon for the wonderful idea.

I used My Publisher a while back to do a book of some of my father's WWII photos that I'd scanned. They did an excellent job and I was going to use them again this year for my holiday cards. However, when I tried to compile the cards on their website, it kept telling me I needed to update my Safari or Firefox browser in order to utilize their web site. But I am running the mac Tiger OS (4.11) and the updated browsers were all for more recent versions of the mac OS and I was unable to install the browser(s) update and use My Publisher (or else I was overlooking the obvious, which is quite possible). I ended up using Shutterfly for the cards this year.

cfw

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