When it comes to photo books there are two kinds of people, those who want their photo books to be the stars of the rooms they’re kept in, and those who would rather have something simpler to take out when feeling nostalgic, perhaps that is made more quickly. And this is exactly what Shutterfly and Blurb compare, the former often considered to be the photo printing service and the latter being a smaller company intended for customers looking for something more basic.
Shutterfly is without doubt the champion when it comes to everything related to photo books, whether that’s the easy-to-use editor, the insane amount of customization options, or the fair prices of its top-quality products. Although Shutterfly might seem unbeatable, Blurb may easily be the photo book company that could stop the giant by offering customers something not even Shutterfly does: self-publishing.
|Book Editor Features|
|# Pages||20-111 pages||20-440 pages|
|Social Media Import|
|Book Sizes, Covers, Shapes|
|# Cover Types||6||3|
|Shipping Time & Options|
|Processing Time||n/a||4-5 days|
|Pricing & Discounts|
|8x8 Softcover Price||$19.99||$14.99 (7x7)|
|Standard Shipping Cost||$4.99||$5.99|
|Extra Page Cost||$0.65||$0.20|
|Money Back Guarantee||60 days||14 days|
|Refer a Friend Rewards|
|Available Payment Methods|
|Headquarters||California, U.S.||California, U.S.|
|Languages||EN||EN, DE, FR, IT, ES, PT|
When asked about what the best photo book printing service on the market is, many people in the know would immediately say Shutterfly. And they won’t be exaggerating; Shutterfly is indeed a superb service.
Although the company provides the option to have your books put together by a professional staff, using the online editor or its equivalent app is where Shutterfly demonstrates its true capabilities. The option for placing and adjusting anything – photos, text boxes, layouts, embellishments, whatever – means that there is nothing to stop you from realizing the photo book as it was imagined. There are no limitations on the preset themes either, since all 300+ of them can be freely modified and even be combined with each other. Still, if you’d rather the construction of these books was simpler, then the editor’s Ideal Page feature will help to find those layouts and backgrounds that best match the current style.
The same versatility can be more or less said about the photo books’ physical attributes, too, as Shutterfly products can be ordered in six different sizes that can be paired with high-quality covers made of rarer options like ivory crushed silk, numerous types of photo paper, and layflat binding. And all of this can be yours for modest prices, too, which start from just $15.99.
Even though Blurb doesn’t provide quite as much a variety where photo book customization options are concerned, the company’s services are still more than recommended for a number of reasons.
One of these reasons is because of the option to choose between two editors. Bookify, the online editor, is a little limited when it comes to the most important editing functions, but it still possesses some interesting features like the option to change the would-be book’s theme and cover retroactively or to turn books into eBooks or PDF.
However, the other option, the downloadable BookWright program, is definitely a better pick; not only does it have all of the features of the online editor, but it also provides all of the 12 available designs, fully customizable text boxes with spellchecking, a built-in price estimator, and even placeholders for videos in eBook projects. Still, regardless of the chosen editor there is always the option to order books with up to 440 pages, upgrade them with six different photo papers, and even sell them within Blurb’s online bookshop.
As for regular prices, the cheapest book is just $14.99. Sadly, however, all the other base prices are rather high, which can only be reduced by ordering Blurb products in bulk.
Admittedly the choice seems obvious at first but, actually, there are a few things to consider before rolling with one of these two services.
Shutterfly is definitely a powerhouse since it has an infallible online editor, many customization options, and even an extra service where you can ask professionals to create your photo book for you. However, Shutterfly is mostly intended for those who’d like to create artistic masterpieces and wouldn’t mind spending time on their projects.
Blurb, on the other hand, is a simpler service with some unique twists. Granted, both of its editors are average and there is too much to say about its customization options; however, the ability to create eBooks or even earn a profit on your own books by selling them in the company’s virtual bookshop makes Blurb an ideal pick for self-publishers and customers looking for a way to quickly put together a simple yet stylish photo book.
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