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Thread: Recent P-H-O-T-Obook experience

  1. #1
    Shore Crawler Dylan & Marianne's Avatar
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    Recent P-H-O-T-Obook experience

    I just wanted to share some recent experiences I've had with 2 companies in the industry. Because, they seem to have a search engine that picks up things from forums or anywhere on the net, I'll avoid using their actual names in text:

    Company M is m- oooo- mmm--e--n----t--o
    Complany A is A--- llll bbb--u--m---wooo--rk--s

    # Product Quality : M > A : that's not to say that A is not a quality product. The cover, the page thickness and colours are all pretty much as they appeared on screen. The options in the M software though, give a much cleaner, professional interface and it really shows in the end product. I think A is aimed more at a personal flavour with more options for flowery type borders more suited for things like family albums rather than a photography print book.

    Also, it took 2 tries for company A to produce the desired result and even so, with pure white borders, the printing somehow still leaked colours into the borders - not so with M. Both companies' books had slight warping of the pages but it was slightly more noticeable in A.

    M also has alot more cover options and dusk jacket options.

    # Customer Service: Both were excellent and A printed our second try with no fuss. The only thing I get paranoid about is the fact that after my last post, BOTH companies contacted me by email without me having even contemplated contacting them yet. If I get an email after this post, I might be tipped over the edge into a paranoid pyschosis.......
    Company M even offered me to redo the Nepal book (done with A) with M's software for free to compare the difference. I haven't had time to do it and will probably get around to it some day but I have no doubt it will be of good quality.
    Marianne got a call from company M to sign up to the pro version after we received our book - At first we were excited but on reflection, I don't think this really means anything since we still have to pay the same rate for their pro-products........

    # Price : This is the real downer. Both books were approximately 130-150 pages long. A's price was $190, M's price was double that. Unfortunately, quality really does come with price in this case and this makes the books completely unaffordable to anyone but the people for whom it has relevance. Fortuantely, we had asked for vouchers for Xmas last year instead of the usual gifts.

    If anyone is interested in looking at thumbs to see if the price is justified, let me know and I can give you a link. I suspect if I link it here, their search engine will pick it up.
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  2. #2
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    I have looked at various companies and the best one seems to me to be B...llll...you...RB - one of my reasons for saying this is that they cater for Macs. Alos, other people can buy your book off their site if you set it up that way. While I have not ordered a book yet, I have read good reports from several different forums I am on, and at RedBubble.

    Your Company M does not support Macs at all
    Odille

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    good to know Odille I might try the one you mentioned for another once I've run out of vouchers!
    People can buy your book off M as well but let's face it, who's going to fork out 400 bucks for a 150 page book???!? I know I wouldn't
    Last edited by Dylan & Marianne; 21-05-2011 at 6:46am.

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    I do know with company M that if you are an AIPP member you get a 25% discount. I haven't used company A but I am happy with M and it is all of the options that push the price up. Another professional level book is made by Asukabook but I don't think their prices are any cheaper
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    I have used A and been happy with the results, plus the books have arrived in about 1 week. I used M software to make up a book and found it better to use than A's, however when i saw the price difference I couldn't justify using M for what is basically my holiday snaps.

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    Thanks for sharing your experiences Dylan. It's helpful for those of us who are currently in the market for fo-toe books.
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    I have used M and not A, and was extremely impressed with the results from M.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Now comes the scary bit when M and A ring me up to tell me about this thread ..........

  9. #9
    Ausphotography Regular Boo53's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog6 View Post
    I have looked at various companies and the best one seems to me to be B...llll...you...RB - one of my reasons for saying this is that they cater for Macs. Alos, other people can buy your book off their site if you set it up that way. While I have not ordered a book yet, I have read good reports from several different forums I am on, and at RedBubble.

    Your Company M does not support Macs at all
    Odille

    I've just used Blurb (I don't mind them contacting me - they've already got my details)

    We've just done a cookbook for the Mother-in-Laws 90th birthday. She loves to cook & the deal was my wife would cook the recipes and style the shoots, I would take the photos, she would type out the recipes and our eldest son would find a suitable publisher & then format the books.

    Ended up my wife cooked the recipes and typed them up. I got landed with the rest

    Anyway, we wanted to get enough published to let Dot give them to family & friends so settled on 15 copies.

    Initially we were expecting to have 80 pages which would have cost approx $2300 from m and about 1/2 that from a. Blurbs price is not per page but 1 price up to 40 pages, another from 40-80 pages, etc: Based on that and using standard delivery we were looking at around $600 from Blurb, but as everything other than the photos got left to the last minute blurbs turn around of 6 working days & 3-4 days delivery (and very user friendly software) convinced me to go that way.

    The Book ended up being approx 50 pages. We sent the file on the 28th April, the books left the printer in Seattle on 2nd May and arrived here in rural vic on 6th May. Cost including 3 day express freight was approx AU$500

    Blurb recommend that you order 1 copy 1st ($10 freight to Aus) to make sure its what you want but I didn't want to risk any delay so ordered the lot in one go (her birthday is Thursday coming).

    Because its a cook book most of the shots are not very large but a couple are nearly full page.

    We are very happy with the end result generally but a couple of the shots didn't come out as well as I'd hoped but still quite acceptable for a cookbook.

    In summary, they are well worth considering but get the 1 book first (about $30 in soft cover + $10 freight for up to 3 books) to check them out

    At the moment the book is marked as "private" on the Blurb site, but after Thursday I'll change that to "public" and it will then be on public sale and I could email a link to anyone interested then
    Last edited by Boo53; 21-05-2011 at 1:29pm. Reason: spelling

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    M does do lovely books, bit confusing in the ordering (working out price and sizings etc), haven't used A, did a Cl..i..ck..on..print pro options book, don't go there. Shocking company to deal with.

  11. #11
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    thanks - I think I will stick with M for now and try the company Odille mentioned above

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    We have used Blurb for many different sized book over the last 12 months and have been very satisfied with building the book, quality, price and delivery. Had used the Apple book before and while the quality was great the price was twice that of Blurb.
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    ok I know this is a silly question - but why the hesitation to call the providers by their full names ?

    Will this habit extend to discussion about photographic manafacturers, and trying to work out the differences between M, C, N, H, L, O, S, P1, M, & of course F & S ?
    Last edited by Longshots; 27-05-2011 at 4:57pm.
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    william - because last time I used their real names - it ended up with me being contacted by the company and couple of competitors and that scares me - Orwellian style

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    thats a bit sad

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