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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gadget Bag: Publish or Perish


New options are making it easier and more fun for you to create your own photo book

Labels: GearMore GearGadget Bag

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Kodak
Few things in life are more gratifying than seeing a photo that you’ve taken published in a book. Books have a sense of permanency that suggests that your pictures will last forever. Thanks to today’s modern online picture-book publishers, you can begin this process without leaving your desk. It’s easy and affordable, and the production quality is astounding.

Beyond the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment, there are practical reasons to publish your own book. It offers a great way to promote your business—or yourself—in a unique format that others can’t exactly duplicate. Picture books make incomparable gifts, too, particularly when personalized for family members.

Plus, you can create collections of cherished images that become family heirlooms. Gather the best images from every family member and “art direct” the production of the family photo archive.

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AdoramaPix
With many sizes and style options to choose from, you can create a hardcover photo book for any occasion with AdoramaPix. The PixPublisher software works from any web browser, allowing you to simply drag and drop your photos into one of hundreds of templates. For a more customized look, build your book from scratch with a variety of color backgrounds, borders and frames to choose from. The pages are Fuji Crystal Archive Album photo paper, a professional-quality archival paper resistant to fading. An 8x10-inch book with 26 pages costs $34.

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Apple iPhoto
Apple offers more than just great ways to listen to music or edit photos. You can create picture books directly from within the company’s iPhoto application. Hardcover, softcover and wire-bound options are available, and you can choose from 13 predesigned book themes that feature photo drop zones and multiple formats. An 8½x11-inch hardcover book with matching dust jacket will cost you $30 for 10 pages (20 sides). Additional pages are $1 each, with a 100-page maximum.

Artography Photobook Designer is simple enough for first-time users, but robust enough to handle your creative needs as your skill improves. Once you’ve downloaded the software, you immediately can start designing your picture book. The program offers a full set of layout and editing options, including flexible text entry, along with a mix of sizes, shapes and formats. A Pocket Landscape photo book is $20 for 20 pages, and you can upgrade to a genuine leather cover for only $4 more. Completed projects usually ship within about three days.

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