- Straightforward, user-friendly editor
- Various customization options
- Fast processing and printing
- Good pricing policy
- Quick worldwide shipping
- Diverse temporary offers
- Hidden shipping prices
- Confusing theme categorization
- Mobile editing not supported
Snapfish (not to be confused with Snapchat) is a subsidiary of District Photos, founded in 2000 in California. The company, which is available in German, French and Italian as well, provides various photo sharing and printing services, including regular and canvas prints, decors, cards, calendars and photo gifts like mugs, pillows and phone cases. However, Snapfish is also capable of creating the ideal photo book and getting it delivered right to your doorstep. With the simple online editor it is a pleasure to create your regular or layflat photo books available in various sizes and with diverse covers. You can select from plenty of themes before or during the editing process, and further customize your book to your liking with stickers, texts, photo holders and such. Once you are ready, Snapfish will create your book within 3 business days and get it shipped in under a week to your doorstep or to a store of CVS, Walgreens or Walmart. And thanks to the countless discount offers you can always reduce the modest price tags.
Introduction to the Photo Book Editor
Before we start, there is one thing that has to be clarified: Snapfish has a mobile application developed for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, but it cannot create photo books. With that out of the way, let’s move onto the online editor, which is simple, straightforward and overall a pleasure to use. After selecting a size, the cover and a preset/blank theme you can already start working on your books by uploading photos from your computer or your Facebook, Instagram or Flickr account. However, photos can be stored on Snapfish’s servers, therefore you can use them for later projects and you can add the pictures to a book as many times as you want manually or by using the auto-fill option.
If you chose a blank template, you can change the look of one, several or all pages by simply dragging and dropping pictures, text, etc., choosing the preset layouts or selecting from the themes of Snapfish. It works the other way around as well, so you have complete freedom in customizing even the preset themes too. Furthermore, you can add/remove photos and even put borders thereon, write captions in text boxes, select from a seemingly endless list of embellishments (stickers), and change the background of pages.
There are several safety features as well. There is a visible cut zone, grammatically incorrect words are underlined and new words are suggested in place thereof, and you are warned if you are placing a low-resolution photo into the book. You can always redo the modifications you made and to prevent your works from being lost, you can save them manually or let the software do it automatically. And by clicking on the three dots, you can always check the current price of the book.
Thankfully, there are only a few downsides. The first is that once you have chosen a book’s size and cover, you cannot modify them. Another problem is that you can only share your photos with others. And unfortunately, you have few photo adjustment options: you can move, rotate, crop, swap them, or make them occupy one or two pages.
With Snapfish you have plenty of styles to choose from. There are 72 themes in total under 7 categories excluding the blank theme and the Featured category, which contains those designs that are considered the best and/or most popular according to the company. Once you managed to select the design, you can preview it and choose the matching book size and cover type; every time you change the size and cover, the prices of the books are recalculated accordingly. Thankfully, all themes are available for all types of books, and like we mentioned before in the previous section, you can either select a completely blank book and fill it with your preferred own theme later, or you can pick an existing theme and modify it to your liking.
The only, quite annoying problem is that several themes can be found under multiple categories, which might confuse some customers. However, you can easily avoid that confusion by selecting the theme in the editor after choosing a completely blank book.
You have a nice bunch of options to make your books special: Snapfish books exist in square or landscape shapes in 5 sizes (5×7, 8×8, 8×11, 12×12 and 11×14), while the cover options are soft cover, hardcover, layflat hardcover, premium layflat hardcover, linen hardcover and leather hardcover. Unfortunately not all sizes can be paired with all cover types so that’s another thing you have to pay extra attention to.
Soft cover books are only available in 5×7 and 8×8 sizes, while hardcover, layflat and premium layflat books can be ordered in all sizes with the exception of the smallest one. Size options for leather cover books are 8×11 and 12×12 sizes, while linen books can only be ordered in an 8×11 size.
The minimum number of pages is consistent in all books: 20. However, the upper limit of pages changes with almost every book. Soft, hard, linen and leather cover books can contain 150 pages at maximum, while layflat and premium layflat books can contain up to 90 and 100 pages respectively.
The pricing policy of Snapfish is completely acceptable. The most cost-friendly product is a 5×7 soft cover photo book for only $12.99, but as mentioned before, customization options in that book are quite limited. Therefore, the best offer of Snapfish is easily the 8×8 book, which is $19.99 with a soft cover and only $9.00 more expensive if you choose a hard cover. The cheapest linen cover book is $29.99. Layflat or leather cover books start from $39.99, while premium layflat cover books are $59.99. The price of additional pages is at least $1.99; the plural is not a mistake as you get two pages for the aforementioned price. Your books are printed within 3 business days and once they are ready, they are shipped within 3–5 business days with regular USPS shipping for $7.99.
Snapfish’s list of coupons and discounts is enormous, but it mostly consists of temporary offers like discounts on your order’s total, free shipping if the sum total exceeds a certain amount, and getting certain products for a reduced price. But you can also refer up to 20 friends for free $10.00 coupons and as a welcome gift you can create 100 4×6 size prints for free.
Support & Shipping
Quite surprisingly Snapfish has 24/7 customer support that can be reached via email or live chat, but if you prefer receiving assistance via telephone, you can do that as well during business hours. You can always find an answer to less severe problems on the help page, watch the tutorial videos on the site or on YouTube, read the blog articles covering topics like trends, advice and news, and even send direct feedback to the company. There is also a refund policy, which guarantees that you get a replacement, a credit or refund within 3–7 business days should the ordered product have a defect resulting from unforeseen circumstances.
Despite only appearing during checkout, shipping is straightforward: you can choose from USPS standard, UPS/FedEx 2-day and UPS/FedEx Overnight shipping for $7.99, $12.99 and $17.99 respectively. Thankfully international shipping (without tracking) is also supported: shipping an 8×8 size book to Canada within 4–9 business days is $7.99, while shipping to the rest of the world within the same amount of time is $14.99.
Snapfish is an extremely pleasant surprise despite all of its (minor) cons. It would have been better if it had a mobile version that supports photo book editing and more advanced photo adjustment options. Unfortunately the cover–size pairing is not sufficient enough and the categorization of the available themes is a bit confusing. And quite mysteriously, the shipping prices are only indicated once you commenced the checkout process.
Despite the above cons, the photo book editor is simple and easy-to-use, and the number and variability of themes and other complementary options are sufficient. You can choose from a decent amount of book sizes and covers, customize your books to your liking and get everything created in under 3 days. And seeing the modest base prices and the costs of the worldwide shipping, it is clear that Snapfish is an ideal place for realizing the photo book of your dreams.
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