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Blurb is Still the Best Value in Photobooks

Posted on January 4, 2009 by under Reviews.    

I hate you, MyPublisher! I want the last three weeks of my life back! GRRR!

Wait until I tell Brian. He is going to be livid because he sacrificed three weeks of no World of Warcraft so that I could borrow his computer while I built the second edition of the 2008 Halloween Poker Cruise photobook using MyPublisher — and for what?

I guess it would make more sense if I explained what was going on instead of just ranting and raving like a crazed loon. So I have been spending all my free time (any time I have not playing poker) outside of work creating this book on MyPublisher, thinking that it would be great to check it out and compare it to Blurb. The process was frustrating from the very beginning. The MyPublisher software is clunky and sluggish and not as user friendly as Blurb’s. However, I kept telling myself that it will be worth it because I have a two-for-one coupon so I’ll actually have two books at the end of this horrendous ordeal. Believe me, it was horrendous. I would click on something and have to wait several minutes before anything happened. I had to be careful not to work too fast or the program would crash and quit responding. I would have to save after every page to make sure that I didn’t lose anything in the event of an unexpected crash. I would have to reboot the computer several times in one sitting. And, if you’ve been following my tweets, you know that in some cases a page could take hours to complete. Suffice it to say, the process was just very, very agonizing.

So now I’m finally done. Hurrah! Time to celebrate, right? NOT! I click on the purchase button and after the usual long wait (which I am used to at this point, mind you, because I’ve had to suffer through it for the last three weeks) I find out that one book is going to cost me $130. Yes, ONE book! No wonder they are doing two-for-one offers. You could get two books for the price of one book at MyPublisher. It’s not much of a savings really. I very much would like to see the product of three weeks of hard work, but I do not want to spend $130 on a silly, frivolous book, so I’m thinking of scrapping the whole idea. I’m just sad that I wasted all this time working on the stupid book for nothing. You know, I wonder how many books they’ve sold (despite how overpriced the books are) because the person making the book felt so vested? I’m actually feeling this first hand. I don’t want to spend that much money, but at the same time I feel compelled to buy the book simply because of how much time and effort I’ve spent toiling over the book over the last three weeks. All that time and effort and nothing to show for it… What a nice gimmick!

BTW, another downside to MyPublisher is that it would not let me go beyond 100 pages. Blurb allows you add as many pages as you want. In fact, Sunny’s cruise photobook was 200 pages!

Anyway, I did a comparison of pricing of Blurb vs. MyPublisher for a 100-page hardcover book with a dust jacket and Blurb comes out way, way, way ahead.

  • BLURB with shipping = $48.57
  • MYPUBLISHER with shipping = $122.94

See the disparity? You could buy almost THREE similar Blurb photobooks for the price of one MyPublisher book. I’m so sad, I feel like I’m going to cry. I don’t think I ever want to use (or see for that matter) MyPublisher ever again.

BTW, I had a comment form Andrew Laffoon to check out MixBook not too long ago. It is another photobook creation tool. I was smart this time and priced it before investing too much time creating an actual book. A similar book would cost about $78.98 at MixBook, though you can save $3.00 by opting for the USPS media mail instead of ground shipping. It’s entirely up to you if the wait is worth the savings.

MixBook is actually very promising from what I have seen so far. Unlike MyPublisher, which doesn’t really contribute anything special or unique, MixBook has three key features I like: (a) I don’t need to download and install anything on my computer, a definite plus; (b) I can grab my photos directly from my Flickr account so I don’t have to endure the cumbersome process of downloading my photos from Flickr where they are permanently stored and then uploading them into the photobook software; (b) I can easily share my completed MixBook with others without cumbersome IDs and passwords; and (c) I can collaborate with other people, so I don’t have to build the book by myself. I think this last feature is brilliant because other people at the same event might have captured moments that I missed. If you are doing a photobook for a wedding or some other special occasion, then creating a group MixBook makes for a more complete book. Plus, the new web is all about collaboration so call this photobook 2.0 — LOL.

Granted MixBook is a little more expensive than Blurb, but they have all these wonderful features that Blurb doesn’t. It’s up to you guys if you think it’s worth the price premium. I think it is. The again, I store all of my pictures on Flickr so MixBook is going to save me a lot of time. If you have all of your photos on your hard drive and are on a tight budget, Blurb is probably the way to go.

Definitely going to try MixBook soon, I have to save some money though because I’m going to need about $80 to create the book I want to make. Maybe I’ll win some money at poker… I placed 4th last night and won $40. Took home $35 after tipping the dealer. After you consider our chair rentals for Friday and Saturday night, we are still down by $5 so I guess I need to find a way to save money some other way.

Oh, hey. I have an idea. I ought to collect donations. Contribute any amount you like toward my photobook happiness. Click here if you would like your donation to go toward MyPublisher so I can stop whining about how much time I spent on it OR here if you would like it to go toward MixBook so I can check it out now and be excited about something again. Thanks a bunch!

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  • Vacation Mixbook on October 18, 2009
  • 2008 Halloween Poker Cruise Photo Book on December 9, 2008

  • Replies to "Blurb is Still the Best Value in Photobooks"

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    Blurb is Still the Best Value in Photobooks : Life After Marriage | damagefreight.com  on January 4, 2009

    […] Blurb is Still the Best Value in Photobooks : Life After Marriage […]

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    mistertoad69  on January 4, 2009

    hey ill contribute! i luv your work! shoot me an email r IM so i know where 2 send the check!

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    Sunny  on January 5, 2009

    Thank you for doing the hard work for all of us, Ching! After reading about your trials with MyPublisher, I now know that I NEVER have to try them. I’m such a Blurb junkie … it’s good to know I’ve been getting the best deal for my money!
    Have a GREAT day, girlfriend!
    =)

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