16 places to get your photo books this holiday season

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December 05, 2014
16 places to get your photo books this holiday season.
Perusing your digital photos are great, but sometimes you just want something a little more tangible, something you can hold in your hands. Of course you can turn to getting a bunch of prints at your local superstore or pharmacy, but then what do you do with all the prints? If you're anything like me, you look through them twice and then shove them into a drawer to be forgotten. Instead, why not get a bound photo book printed? There are tons of places online to get it done (many of the aforementioned superstores and pharmacies also provide this), some of which can even pull images directly from your Instagram or other online photo accounts. Some offer tons of options, while others offer much more limited ones (which is sometimes reflected in lower prices). Here are 16 of the best online photo book services, one of which is almost sure to meet your needs (and your budget).

Snapfish

Snapfish offers photo books in a variety of sizes: 5x7, 8x8, 8x11, 12x12, and 11x14. They offer three different types of books: Premier, which can have up to 100 pages and has a lay-flat binding that's perfect for two-page spreads; Custom, that has a lay-flat binding for up to 90 pages, or a perfect binding up to 150 pages; and Classic, which offers up to 150 pages in either stitched or perfect-bound format. Pricing starts at $11.99 for a 5x7 book, or $59.99 for an 11x14 book. Their bestseller is the 8x11 book, starting at $24.99. Snapfish

Blurb

Blurb offers photo books with five different paper options, including standard semi-matte 80# paper, matte 100# paper, and Proline Pearl Photo semi-gloss 140# paper. Their books also come in five sizes: small square 7x7, standard portrait 7.75x9.75, standard landscape 10x8, large square 12x12, and large landscape 13x11. They're available as softcovers, imagewrap hardcovers, and dust jacketed hardcovers. Small square books start at $34.99 with 20 pages, while the large landscape books start at $66.24. Quantity discounts are available if you're purchasing more than 10 books at a time. Blurb

Montage

Montage offers photo books in three sizes: small 6x6, medium 8.5x8.5, and large 12x12. They offer "auto-magic" book designs that do your page layouts for you, and their books include up to 70 pages and 180 photos for a fixed price. Books are bound in eco-friendly leather from Italy, and each book has lay-flat pages. Small books are just $39, medium books are $59, and large are $119. Montage

Kolo

Kolo is an award-winning photo book company that offers a variety of sizes and formats. They offer a 5.5x8, 8.5x11, and 11x14 books, plus a smaller Noci photo book with 24 photos and a Vineyard book that holds just 6 photos. They use archival/acid-free paper, with 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 sheets per book (unless otherwise specified). Pricing starts at just $12 for the Vineyard photo book, $20 for the Noci, or $29 for a 20-sheet 5.5x8 photo book. The larger 11x14 starts at $69 for a standard 10-sheet photo book or $99 for a lay-flat version. Kolo

Mixbook

Mixbook offers a ton of pre-designed templates for photo books (as well as a blank version you can design yourself), in a range of sizes: 8x6, 8.5x8.5, 8.5x11, 11x8.5, 12x12, and 14x11. There are a variety of styles, too: softcover, hardcover, hardcover with dust jacket, leather with dust jacket, and lay-flat hardcovers. Each book includes 20 pages, with additional pages incurring extra charges. A standard 8x6 softcover book starts at $12.99, with hardcover versions ranging from $29.99 to $39.99. The 14x11 hardcovers range from $64.99 to $74.99. Mixbook

Picaboo

Picaboo offers photo books in five styles: premium mini books, classic, seamless lay-flat, "Madison" (handmade with custom covers), and flush mount. Mini books come in 5x5 and 5x4 inch sizes and come with 20 pages standard, though they can be expanded up to 60 total. Classic photo books come in five sizes: 8x6, 11x9, 14x11, 8x8, and 12x12 inch sizes. Lay-flat books come in 8x8, 11x9, 12x12, and 14x11 inch sizes. Madison books are only available in the 11x9" size. Flush mount books come in either 11x9 or 14x11 inch sizes. Premium mini books start at $19.99. Classic photo books start at $19.99 for a softcover or $29.99 for a hardcover 8x6, and go up to $24.99 for a softcover 11x9, or $64.99 for a hardcover 14x11. Seamless lay-flat books start at $64.99 for an 8x8 and go to $119.99 for a 14x11. The Madison books start at $199.99 for a 20-page version. The flush mount books start at $399.99 for an 11x9 or $499.99 for a 14x11, including 20 pages. Picaboo

My Publisher

My Publisher offers four different photo book styles: 15x11.5" deluxe hardcovers, 11.25x8.75" classic hardcovers, 7.75x5.75" pocketbooks, and a 3.5x2.75" mini book. Cover options include a book jacket, photo finish, leather, or linen. Paper options include two different weights, as well as a matte or satin finish. Deluxe hardcovers start at $59.99 for 20 pages, classic hardcovers are $29.99 for 20 pages, pocketbooks are $12.99 for 20 pages, and mini books are $2.99 for 20 pages. My Publisher

Tinyprints

Tinyprints, from Shutterfly, lets you make custom or simple photo books with your Shutterfly photos. They have a variety of styles for your book pages, with custom path books including 1-25 photos per page (up to 1000 total), and simple path books including 1-4 photos per page (up to 500 total). Books come in a variety of sizes, including 5x7, 7x9, 8x8, 8x11, 10x10, 12x12, and 11x14. Soft cover photo books start at $11.49 for a 5x7, up to $19.49 for a 10x10. Hardcover photo books start at $22.49 for an 8x8, and go up to $34.99 for an 11x14. Both softcover and hardcover books include 20 pages. Tinyprints

Artifact Uprising

Artifact Uprising offers premium hardcover and softcover photo books, and even includes Instagram-friendly books. They come in a variety of sizes: 5.5x5.5, 6x8 (portrait or landscape), 8.5x8.5, and 11x8.5 (portrait or landscape), and in both hardcover and softcover bindings. They're printed on 100% recycled paper. Pricing starts at $17.99 for a 5.5x5.5" 40-page softcover book. Hardcover books start at $69 for 50 pages. Artifact Uprising

Pinhole Press

Pinhole Press offers photo books with matte or glossy paper, in softcover and hardcover, with a range of bindings. They also offer "Brag Books", with pages that open accordion-style. They offer a range of sizes: 3.5x5 (Brag Books), 5.25x5.25, 6.75x6.75, 8.75x8.75, 9x6.625, 9.125x6, and 8.125x10. Signature photo books start at $74.99, while softcover photo books start at $44.99. Brag Books are only $24.99. Pinhole Press

Flickr

Flickr offers printed photo books that are easy to make using photos from your Flickr account. They offer fewer options than most other photo book companies: books have glossy hardcovers with matching glossy dust jackets, are 8.5x11 inches, and lustre paper. They include a minimum of 20 pages, and a maximum of 240. Creating a book is simple: just put the photos you want to use into an album and click "create". A 20-page book costs $34.95. Flickr

Apple

Apple offers a limited selection of printed photo books, including both hardcover and softcover version, in a range of sizes: 13x10, 11x8.5, 8x6, and 3.5x2.6. Creating books is easy, you just use iPhoto to lay out pictures by date, while favoring higher-rated photos. You can then customize your book with captions and titles, two-page spreads, and even add maps. Books come with 20 pages minimum, but can be up to 100 pages long. A 3.5x2.6" softcover book starts at $3.99, while the large 11x8.5" softcover starts at $19.99. Hardcover books start at $29.99 for an 11x8.5" or $49.99 for a 13x10" version. Apple

Artisan State

Artisan State offers 100% flush mount photo albums that are very affordable. They offer four styles: a "little black book", hardcover book, leather cover book, and crystal clear cover book. They're custom bound to meet your exact page length specifications. The pages are rigid, making them much more durable. There are a huge range of sizes, from 4x4 to 11x8 for the little black book. Prices vary widely based on size, but the basic little black book starts at $20 for 20 pages, with hardcover photo books starting at $35 for a 16-page book. Artisan State

Prinstagram

Printstagram offers photo books for your Instagram photos. You get a 38-page book bound with a hardcover. You can opt to put one photo per page and use 38 photos, or use many photos per page and use up to 319 images. You can opt to include the original captions if you'd like, too. Finished books are 7x8.5". Prinstagram photo books are $25. Printstagram

Print Studio

Print Studio is the same company as Printstagram, but allows you to use your non-Instagram photos. The books are 7x8.5", bound in hardback with a customizable cover, and include 38 pages. You can create a classic 38-image book with or without captions, or use their creative layout for up to 319 images. Print Studio books are $25. Print Studio

PastBook

PastBook lets you easily create photo books from a variety of social media and cloud accounts: Dropbox, Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, and more. You can also create collaborative photo books by inviting friends to add their images. Books are in landscape format, either 8.5x6" or 12x8.5", and are printed on 200 gram paper. There are two options for softcover books: up to 24 pages or up to 500 pages. Hardcover books can be created with up to 300 pages. There's also a free iPhone app for creating your PastBooks. And they use environmentally-friendly papers and inks. Pricing starts at $14 for a 24 page softcover book, and $45 for a hardcover book. PastBook

Conclusion

Considering how widely prices and options vary from company to company, be sure to do your homework and figure out exactly what you need prior to ordering your photo books.

Cameron Chapman

Cameron Chapman is a freelance writer and designer from New England. You can visit her site or follow her on Twitter.

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