Blurb (www.blurb.com) provides five sizes of books, from seven-inch squares up to 13×11-inch landscapes with softcover and hardcover options. Similar to Mpix, Blurb has proprietary online software for organizing and creating your book layout. Additionally, Blurb offers Bookify and BookSmart, two book creation plug-ins for Lightroom. Bookify keeps things simple, letting you add captions and titles before hitting export, where your images are automatically filled into the book format (text and all), and you’re taken to an online preview page. With Bookify, if you want to make an edit to an image, you’ll need to re-export the image to do so. If you want more control over your book creation and photo editing, BookSmart is the plug-in you’ll prefer. BookSmart is set up through Lightroom’s publication manager, and your images are imported as a collection. Once your images are imported to the book layout, you still have full Lightroom integration, where any adjustments made to exposure, color, saturation or contrast are automatically reflected in the book layout and no re-exporting is needed. Blurb offers four paper choices: standard, premium, proline uncoated and proline pearl photo. Blurb also gives you the opportunity to market your finished product through the Blurb Storefront or directly on Amazon.
If you want more options in terms of size, materials and a quick three-day printing turnaround, Bay Photo (www.bayphoto.com/bay-designer) is your publishing site of choice. Sizes range from 5×5 inches to 12×12 inches with multiple square and rectangular options in between. Pick out a photo for your cover, or from 50 other cover material choices. Bay Photo has several ways to create your book. You may be familiar with the ROES software for creating books, as well as cards and other personalized items. But Bay Photo has just rolled out the new Bay Designer software specifically for books and albums. Bay Designer provides drag-and-drop functionality into customizable templates, as well as designer backgrounds and a full suite of easy-to-use tools for creating your own book layouts. If you don’t have time to design a book from scratch, you can use the Wizard feature to auto-fill templates to get you started. Bay Photo offers full professional color correction on all of their products, as well as an option to manage your own color.
AdoramaPix (www.adoramapix.com) is another publisher that provides high-quality materials (with staff inspecting each book before shipping to ensure it’s error-free). Printed on archival-quality silver-halide paper with a luster or high-gloss finish, you have the option of a custom photo and text cover or leather with metallic stamp. Sizes range from 6×4.5-inch portrait to 12×30-inch panoramic with lay-flat pages for no-gutter double-page spreads. The custom PixPublisher software is online-based, so you’ll need a network connection to create your book. There are many themed templates to choose from, or you can create your own. Images can be uploaded from your computer or social media accounts such as Facebook, Google+, SmugMug and Instagram, then dragged and dropped into the template spaces with basic sizing, panning and rotation editing. Webinars and phone support are available.