When customers select the photo printing company with which they intend to customize and print the photo book of their dreams, there are two attributes that play a major role in the final decision: the editor has to be easy to use and the final product must be of the highest quality. In an ideal world these two attributes come hand in hand, but sometimes compromises have to be made in order to ensure customer satisfaction.
This is the case of both MILK Books and Blurb, two photo printing services that couldn’t be more different from one another. MILK Books concentrates on producing photo books that provide that sense of high-end albums, while Blurb’s main focus is to make the creative process fun and get quality photo books to its customers for cost-friendly prices.
|Book Editor Features|
|# Pages||40-160 pages||20-440 pages|
|Social Media Import|
|Book Sizes, Covers, Shapes|
|# Cover Types||3||3|
|Shipping Time & Options|
|Processing Time||7-21 days||4-5 days|
|Pricing & Discounts|
|8x8 Softcover Price||$77 (linen cover)||$14.99 (7x7)|
|Standard Shipping Cost||$14.99||$5.99|
|Extra Page Cost||$1||$0.20|
|Money Back Guarantee||14 days||14 days|
|Bulk Discounts||(Individual quotes)|
|Refer a Friend Rewards|
|Available Payment Methods|
|Headquarters||New Zealand||California, U.S.|
|Languages||EN||EN, DE, FR, IT, ES, PT|
Whereas most photo printing companies provide builders with which creating the desired product is always a pleasure, the online editor of MILK Books is rather bland, even compared to its smaller competitors. However, don’t let the editor’s primitive nature deceive you, because it does include some advanced features: for instance, the program warns users about any low-resolution photos, while layouts can be changed with keyboard commands.
Granted the software may not too convincing, but the final printed products definitely are. First of all, pages are stitched instead of being glued, and even the simplest of available photo paper is fingerprint-resistant. Secondly, MILK Books come with premium linen covers by default, which can be upgraded to even finer materials without paying an extra amount. These books are even available in all sorts of shapes – square, landscape and portrait – and they cover virtually all sizes.
This top-notch quality comes at a price, though: even the smallest, most basic, 40-page book costs $57. However, thanks to a wide variety of (mostly temporary) coupons and discounts, a free online copy of the ordered book, and super-fast shipping, MILK Books’ value for money is one of the best on the market.
Blurb is one of the few photo book companies that offer the choice to create your photo book either in an online editor or with the downloadable software.
The online builder is recommended for those who want to put together a very simple photo book. Unfortunately this means that there are few customization options available, but this is more than made up for by the unique options to use PDF files as the basis for the book, turn the photo book into eBook format or upload the finalized product to Blurb’s own online store and earn money by selling it.
The real success, however, is found in the downloadable PC-only editor. Not only does it possess all the features of the online version, but it provides fully customizable text boxes, 12 templates and extra layouts. And to top it all, this software has a built-in spellchecker and is able to add videos to any created eBooks.
The starting price of the smallest 7×7 book with 20 pages and a soft cover costs only $14.99, but there are various upgrade options to choose from, like selecting any of the other four sizes, switching to hard cover or adding up to 440 pages to a single book.
Although there are not too many similarities to work with, the comparison between these two is ideal for understanding the differences between a company that focuses more on the final product and one that tries to convince customers through its building experience and cost-friendly prices.
MILK Books is a company that doesn’t stand out when it comes to its online building tool, but is the undoubted champion of manufacturing products of the highest quality. Not too many photo printing services can claim to create photo books with semi-layflat pages and finer material covers by default or the option for free of charge upgrades.
Blurb, on the other hand, focuses more on the user experience by allowing customers to create and further customize their photo books or eBooks both online and offline, and then even sell their creations within the same environment. And if that’s not convincing enough, the company’s affordable prices surely will.
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