- Foolproof editor
- Various customization options (large books)
- Cost-friendly pricing
- Worldwide shipping
- Discounts, loyalty program
- Efficient customer support
- Slow, lagging software
- Terrible save feature
- Insufficient size–cover/binding/paper pairing
U.S.-based MyPublisher was founded in 1994, and since then it not only joined forces with one of the leading picture printing services, Shutterfly, but it also manages to sell over 120 million photos each year. Despite being fully merged into Shutterfly on May 15, 2017, the company never stopped till the very last moment in further developing its services and making new and old customers satisfied.
After downloading the software, you can quickly create your photo book from scratch or from 12 design elements. You also have the option to choose from 4 sizes, 6 different covers and order your books with different paper types and layflat binding. Other than the usual treats, the program has built-in features with which you can be sure that your book will be perfect. And once you are ready, you can simply buy your books for rather cost-friendly prices and get them shipped within 8 business days from the 2–4 day production time. But if you still think MyPublisher’s prices are high, you can always reduce them with many coupons and other discounts.
MyPublisher doesn’t provide an online editing tool, which means that a mobile version is out of question. So you have no choice but to download separate software for your PC or Mac.
Even though this way you are able to create photo books without an account and sign in later, there are still a few inconveniences. The first thing is that you still need a stable internet connection to download certain elements. The second thing is that the program often lags, which is especially annoying because the software doesn’t have an auto-save feature. Furthermore, for some unknown reason, our projects completely vanished once we exited and reentered the software, so we suggest you to export the projects you are working on as often as you can – which is another challenge considering how slow the software is.
Aside from the above problems the software works fine. Before you start you can choose a blank template or one with the layouts of MyPublisher, the book’s size, its cover, the color of said cover and the optional foil stamping. Thankfully, if you change your mind you can always change the above features, and if you are not satisfied with the preset layout, turn on MyStyle. With this feature you can add whatever you want to your book: more photos and/or text boxes, new backgrounds, stickers, two-page spreads, and completely new layout arrangements. Newly added photos can be moved, rotated, flipped, auto-corrected, filtered, and even auto-fitted to their respective boxes, but you also have the option to auto-build the entire book with a single click.
By default MyPublisher has the bleed/clip margins feature turned on, but it also has useful hints boxes, a built-in spell-checker, and a separate feature which checks your book for all errors before you purchase or share it. Speaking of the latter, during the whole creating process you can check the final price of your book and share the link directing thereto via email. And as a little extra, you can always have a live chat with the personnel should you have any questions.
If you are not a fan of spending hours arranging everything in a blank photo book and prefer preset, spectacular styles instead, you will be very disappointed in MyPublisher. Because unlike many photo book editing and printing solutions, this company only provides 12 preset themes under 4 categories: Everyday, Travel, Wedding and Baby. All these categories have 2 different themes with the exception of Everyday, which is the biggest out of the four with 6 styles in total. If you create a book from the themes, they usually set Bestseller or Just Photos as default styles.
But as we mentioned before, these themes are not permanent: whether you choose them before creating your book or you do it later in the editing process, the themes can be modified any time you want. Furthermore, there is no such restriction like in the case of covers and sizes – which we will talk about in a moment – so when you choose your style, only the sky is the limit.
Although the names of the 4 available sizes are pretty self-explanatory – Mini Book, Pocketbook, Classic and Deluxe Hardcover – it is their sizes that are completely unconventional: the sizes are 2.75×3.5, 5.75×7.75, 8.75×11.25 and 11.5×15 respectively. We’re not saying the rather unusual size is a problem, quite the contrary: this way MyPublisher truly stands out from the rest. The problem is that the number of sizes is very low; books can be ordered in landscape shape only and not all sizes can be paired with all cover and paper types.
The Mini Book can be ordered with paperback cover, standard paper, 20 obligatory pages and 21 photo holders. Pocketbooks, however, can have a photo finish cover, and you can customize end sheets, have unlimited photos on 20–100 standard or layflat pages. The world “opens” with the two bigger books: you can have a photo finish, book jacket, linen and two leather cover options (the latter even with foil stamping), on standard or layflat pages from standard or premium weight papers with two paper finishes.
The lowest-priced Pocketbook costs $12.99 for which you can have 20 pages or less with unlimited photo holders. You can also add up to 100 pages for $0.49 per new page, and change the default cover to photo finish for $7.00. The Classic and Deluxe Hardcover books are $34.99 and $64.99 respectively and they come with a linen cover. Layflat pages cost at least $15.00, Premium papers and end sheets are $2.99, while super gloss printing is $8.00. Shipping of a paperback Pocketbook, which is produced within 2–4 business days, is $6.99 with $2.99 for each copy up to 24 after which each additional book is $1.49.
MyPublisher mostly provides temporary coupons and discounts, therefore it does not pay much attention to the permanent ones. Granted, you have the bulk order discount for the copies of the same product and the option to buy e-gift cards, but what’s more interesting is the loyalty system called Simply Rewarded. The rules are simple: purchase products for at least $100.00 per year and, depending on your total spending, you get exclusive rewards like free photo books, discounts up to 40% and more.
Support & Shipping
MyPublisher’s customer support only consists of the most necessary support options: you have telephone assistance and the live chat (available every day) next to email support. The latter has a guaranteed 24-hour response time, while responses via live chat arrive within seconds. The company also has a refund policy through which you can return your book within 14 days from getting the product if said book was damaged due to unforeseen circumstances. Aside from these options, you only have an FAQ, because MyPublisher’s social media pages aren’t frequently updated and if they are, they are used for promoting the latest discount offers.
As for shipping there are 3 options: Standard, 2nd Day and Next Day. The Standard traceable shipping is usually 2–8 days, but only production can be rushed for at least $10.00. Unfortunately the company does not deliver its products to P.O. boxes. However, you can ask for shipping to Canada ($13.99, within 3–5 business days shipping) and to Australia, New Zealand and Western-Europe for $4.99 with a shipping time of 6–14 business days.
Although MyPublisher provides decent services to its customers, there are many problems that might discourage new customers looking for a reliable solution. The number of sizes and styles is insufficient and many pairing options are limited, especially for the two smaller sized photo books. The downloadable software, which is the only option to create books, is slow, often lags and has defects that prevent users from properly saving the projects they are working on. And despite providing international shipping, many countries are still excluded from receiving the ordered products.
Still, the software does its job and even has a built-in alarm preventing you from making avoidable mistakes. The number of covers, paper types and themes is acceptable, and the prices are rather cost-friendly. The efficient customer support, alongside the loyalty program and the variability of coupons, will definitely guarantee your satisfaction – as part of Shutterfly.