Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them. –Bob Dylan
Photo books, digital scrapbooking, digital photo albums… whatever you call them, this modern method of putting memories to ink and paper has completely changed the way that people interact with their memories in the digital age. Pictures, in super high quality, printed and set down in professional looking photo albums, on archival grade paper that will last longer than any of our lives. It’s a really cool process. But for every really great, quality site for publishing photo books, there is one that puts together cheap, thin, inferior photobooks. Avoid these and go with a quality photo book publishing source like MiDesign@Michaels(TM), and you can be sure that you’ll never have to worry about these seven photobook deal breakers.
1. While photobooks should cost what they are worth, you should NEVER have to pay just to sign up on the service online. Avoid subscription sites so that you can feel free to play around on the interface and take a look at what the service offers before you put money on the table.
2. And for that matter, the site should ALWAYS have a creator portion. This means an interface that lets you start with blank pages or template pages and plug in your photos and captions. Avoid sites that force you to upload your entire finished photobook document. These are basically just printing presses, and they will make your process much more difficult.
3. Make sure that whatever site you use has a TON of embellishments. Even if you don’t use them for one project, you want to make sure that they will always have images, pictures, captions, borders, and effects that match whatever theme you want in the future. This means going with a site that includes THOUSANDS of available embellishments. The good news? MiDesign@Michaels(TM) has over 12,000 embellishments and counting!
4. Good photo uploading options. A good photobook printer should let you upload not just from your computer or other devices connected to your computer, but also through mobile or through online photo albums like Facebook or Flickr. Not having to re-download every picture you want can save a LOT of time.
5. Good paper is hard to find, and it is unbelievable expensive. By good, of course, I mean ‘archival grade’. Archival grade paper is noticeably thicker and sturdier, but still very smooth and almost like silk. It has none of the harsh acids used to produce regular paper, which in turn allows archival grade paper to sit for years at a time without fading, yellowing, or growing brittle.
6. Fair prices. Digital photobooks are a great time to make and they are worth an investment (especially for special occasions) but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t search for the best prices you can find for the quality you should expect.