Whether for travel, special occasions or everyday moments, books are an ideal way to make more of an impact with your photos. With online self-publishing services, you can create high-quality, customized books that reflect your own style from your own computer. In addition to making great gifts, books also can help you improve your storytelling skills, which is just as important to becoming a better photographer as the tech stuff. It’s easy to create custom photo books, with a range of choices for size and finishing.
TRADITIONAL PRINTED BOOKS
The Book Bound EXD line from AsukaBook lets you custom design a slide-in box for your book with images, text and more. Inside the box is the printed hardcover and matching printed book jacket with customizable inside flaps. AsukaBook Maker 2, the company’s design software, has a redesigned interface for faster, simpler use. Just drag the desired template onto a spread and drag images into the layout. The photos are automatically resized and arranged to fit the template. You also can create your own layout. Estimated Street Price: Available upon request.
Bay Photo makes hundreds of customizable page layout templates available or you can create your own using any image-editing app. Hard covers are available in lustre, metallic or canvas surfaces, with satin or glossy laminate, and with optional full-wrap, laminated dust jackets. Leatherette and linen hard covers are also available. Bay Photo’s hinged paper option lets pages lay flat with the book open. Price: $46 (8×10-inch linen hardcover).
Create, print and sell books of your photos using Blurb. In addition to creating professional-looking books, Blurb offers free online tools for sharing, promoting, selling and showing off your work. You can spread the word using BookShow, which can be added to your website, blog or Facebook page and allows friends, family and other visitors to flip through all or some of your book. Price: Starts at $19 (8×10-inch hardcover).
A division of Miller’s Professional Imaging, the largest professional photography lab in the U.S., Mpix offers softcover, hardcover or suede hardcover books, along with three different premium papers that consist of heavyweight cover stock, pearl and linen. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the MpixPRESS software, just drop images and text into one of the many available templates or create your own. Price: $50 (8×8-inch hardcover).
For pros looking to promote their own work or create books for clients or serious enthusiasts marking a special occasion, PhotoBook Press delivers high-end quality and craftsmanship. You can have a PhotoBook Press designer lay out the book or you can do it yourself with Photoshop, InDesign and other programs as long as you follow the submission guidelines. Books can be started, saved and resumed whenever you want. Also available are a convenient "proof" book for events and premium upgrade options like hand-sewn binding. Price: $119 (8×8-inch hardcover).
With the growing adoption of tablets like iPad, electronic publishing is increasingly popular. BookBaby makes your ebook available to digital retailers like Apple’s iBookstore, Barnes & Noble and Amazon, so you can generate some buzz and, potentially, sales of your new ebook. The website’s template system is easy to use and gives you complete design control. Features include drag-and-drop widgets, customizable backgrounds and banner images, social media integration, easy blog capabilities, and unlimited pages, email accounts, mailing list members and bandwidth. Price: Starts at $99.