Probably the most popular site in the UK for making your own books. Find out how the process works below.
Blurb Review – how it works, what it costs & why I chose Blurb UK to create two photo books for my Mum & Dad’s 70th birthdays…
Visiting art school degree shows in recent years there’s been a rise in students displaying their work in self published books alongside the traditional postcards and business cards.
I kept seeing the Blurb logo inside the cover of these books. Impressed at the professional quality I decided to try Blurb myself to create a photo book for my Dad’s 70th birthday and most recently my Mum’s…
In each case I went for the hardcover with dust jacket version in the Large Square format (30cm ×30cm) and chose Premium Lustre 148gsm paper.
The finished products look fantastic and don’t look at all out of place alongside other coffee table books. The dust jacket photos are particularly high quality with a glossy sheen and they wear well too.
Prices for the large hardback start at under £40 (up to 20 pages) then you pay more for extra pages. The total price for my latest book was £71.47 which had 108 pages and included the $10 add-on for the premium, lustre paper (which I’d recommend). I also ordered a PDF version of the book (great for tablets) for an extra £2.99.
As for delivery Blurb offer two options: £5.99 for regular delivery (around 10 business days) or £14.99 (around 8 business days). Most Blurb books arrive within 7 to 11 business days and are shipped 4-5 days from your order date. You can calculate delivery prices here.
To make your photobook you need to use Blurb’s Booksmart software. I found it really intuitive to use and was easy to add additional pages and move pages around.
I decided to create most of my images in Photoshop this time using these especially handy Blurb PSD templates from Mike Sosnoski. After that I just saved them as high resolution Photoshop JPG files and imported them into Booksmart.
If the Photoshop route’s not for you then the Booksmart software has plenty of page layout options to choose from. From full page, to double spread to photo collage layering – you can also crop and resize any of your pictures as well as adding text areas with various text styling options. These are all nice and easy to use with Apple like simplicity.
Try to use as high resolution photos as possible. If you’re scanning old images scan them in at the highest resolution your scanner will handle. My scanner decided to break midway through working on this book so ended up buying Canon’s CanoScan Lide 220 which is excellent.
Once you’re done you can upload and order your book directly from the Booksmart software. Again, this was easily done and hassle free (Blurb also backs up your work so you don’t nee dto worry about losing it). Friends, family or fans can also order copies of your book once it’s uploaded to the website.
I can’t tell you how often these Blurb photobooks are passed around at family get-togethers. People are always impressed at the quality but mostly they just get taken in by the memories and moments that a photo book can help them see anew.
I’d give Blurb a 9/10 for making it as painless as possible to get from A: a random bunch of photos and a vague idea to B: a professional quality book of your idea made real.
The software’s a breeze to use, the print quality’s impressive and the finished product is just what I was after. The only minor criticism is the fast postage is quite expensive and not much quicker than the regular postage (but that was me leaving it last minute).
Overall I’ve more than happy to recommend Blurb if you’re looking for a seriously good looking photo book for your art projects or as a meaningful gift.
I’ve reviewed Blurb because I’ve been really happy with their service over four different book projects. The links above are affiliate links to Blurb so if you make a purchase after clicking them I’ll receive a small commission from Blurb. This won’t cost you anything extra but it’s really appreciated by me as it helps me keep running the site and featuring artists on MoMa. So… thanks!