Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Gadget Bag: Self-Publish
Making your own high-quality photo book is easy
Adorama offers lab services, including photo books. The AdoramaPix website (www.adoramapix.com) provides a nice overview of some of the features that set their books apart—including pages made of silver-halide photographic paper. Books range in size from 6x4.5 to 12x12 inches, with 14 to 76 pages. Prices start at $14.95 for a 14-page, 6x4.5-inch hardcover book to $278.95 for a 76-page 12x12-incher. AdoramaPix makes it possible to share your book online so you can provide a link to a =virtual preview (for clients, customers or fans), and they can order books for purchase directly from the site. The order form shows the current lab turnaround time, which is three days as of this writing. You can expedite that to two days for a rush charge. Pickup in the New York store is free, U.S. mail is $7, and UPS Second-Day is $12.
PhotoBook Press (www.photobookpress.com) makes a great first impression. The website looks like the right place to go if you want meticulously crafted art books or presentation portfolios. It appears they set the bar high with a very hands-on, handmade approach. That's distinctly different from the mass-produced or even lab-made books more typically available.
When you're shopping around, you'll notice that the PhotoBook Press website offers a very helpful feature, a button marked "Price my photo book," so you can determine your total cost, upgrades and all before you begin. The projects are anything but inexpensive, although for the very best construction—a handmade book with a sewn binding—it's to be expected. The default 36-page, 9x9-inch book is $139 (plus shipping). There are many options for end papers, cover materials and book wraps, so it's helpful to see how different options impact the cost before you begin. The company offers free custom design software, their professional designers can lay it out for you, you can design it yourself with your own professional software, or you can upload a folder of images to simply make proof books or test prints.
Books are available in sizes from 5x5 to 12x12 or 12x10 inches, starting at $124.60 to $148 for 36 pages. Page counts to 396 are available (a 396-page 12x12 or 12x10 book starts at $718).
AsukaBook (asukabook.com) caters to professional photographers and designers, and offers high-end books from 5.5x8 to 16x12 inches, with 20 to 100 sides (two sides equaling one page). Contact AsukaBook for pricing. You can design your AsukaBook in several ways, including using AsukaBook Maker 2 software, AsukaBook's Photoshop Blank Templates, predesigned book templates and AutoAlbum book design software from sister company Kubota Image Tools. Note that you take full responsibility for the layout and content of your design, as well as color management.
When the book is designed, AsukaBook's File Checker will create a PDF file from your JPEG files. You can upload JPEGs directly to the order processing system or upload a PDF file created with File Checker. The program verifies resolution, pixel dimension, file name, color profiles and number of pages in addition to creating the PDF file. You can use AlbumOnline to share your AsukaBook with clients before the printed book arrives.
BookBaby (www.bookbaby.com) offers a variety of books, including photo books from 4.25x6.87 inches ($777 for 100 100-page books, including shipping) to 8.5x11 inches ($877 for 100 100-page books, including shipping). BookBaby also produces ebooks. You first configure your book—choose dimensions, number of pages, hardcover or softcover, binding, etc. Then upload your files. You can provide PDF files (separate files for the cover and inside), or hire BookBaby designers to do the layout. Note that images must be 300 dpi and converted to CMYK. You check a PDF proof, and once you approve it, a BookBaby electronic prepress specialist will preflight your files to ensure the best quality.
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