Create Photo Books Online with Blurb 
Photo Book Software

Curious about making photo books online? I met a girl recently who loves using Blurb.

So I decided to interview her about why she recommends the Blurb website for photo book software and printing.

Actually, it wasn’t really a formal interview. More a series of conversations while we were on holiday in Mexico together.

photo books online
  1. First Andrea told a group of us over lunch in a cute little restaurant in Puebla about making digital photo books.
  2. Then I gleaned a bit more information when we shared a hotel room a few days later.
  3. And finally I asked her lots more questions during a long bus trip in the Yucatan Peninsula.

I certainly learnt lots about using the Blurb photo book software. I hope the information Andrea shared will also be useful to you, if you want to make a photo book about your team or team building event.

So Andrea, why do you like Blurb?

There’s lots of reasons, but mainly it’s the quality. When I took a photo book I’d made to work, my boss said in surprise: ‘there’s a photo of Andrea in this book. Oh, there’s another photo of her’. He thought it was a professionally produced book.

I also like that, unlike some other programs, with Blurb there is no limit on the number of photos per page. Or on the total number of pages. You can make a simple little pocket photo book, or a major album.

My last book had about 680 photos and was about 300 pages!

Is it easy to do?

Yes, it takes a while to upload your photos. But once you have, you can simply drag and drop, manipulate the images, crop them etc. You can add captions, longer text sections, clip art and other graphics.

The program is generally quite easy to use.

However, I’d recommend allocating a few hours the first time you sit down to make your own photo book. This way you’ll get the hang of the program quickly. You can save your work at any time and come back to it later.

Blurb has heaps of page templates you can use ... or you can create your own. You can have a similar layout for your whole book, or each page can be different. It’s entirely up to you.

And it’s also very easy to add different borders, chapter pages and a table of contents.

How does it work?

Most websites where you can create photo books online work in a similar way. You choose a photo book size and page layout/template, and add your own photos.

I particularly like Blurb because you can download their photo book software to your own computer for free. This means you can create photo book page variations until you are completely happy, and then upload the finished book to their website for printing.

You also only have to download the Booksmart photo book software once, and then can make your own photo book again anytime in the future...or order another copy of a past book.

(Note: Blurb also has a streamlined online option called Bookify where you don’t have to download anything ... it is designed for quick creation of books with photos and captions. It can’t handle a lot of text)

How much does it cost?

With Blurb, you only pay when you order a book to be produced. And you pay by the page. You can make a photo book almost any size you like. The last big one I made was several hundred pages. I can’t remember the exact cost – somewhere around $100. I thought it was really good value.

Of course, the cost also depends on the photo book printing options you choose. I chose a hard cover, with a different full page photo on the front and back. You can also choose a matt or gloss finish. My preference is for matt pages; the gloss looks great, but can show fingerprints.

How long does it take until you get your photo book?

7-10 days. Another great thing about Blurb is that you can track the progress of your photo books online – and see when they have been printed, published etc.

Any other tips about creating photo books online?

  1. Be sure to use Blurb’s pdf feature. You can print out a pdf version to check you are happy with the way your photo book looks. This is free to do as many times as you need to – the pdf version contains the Blurb brand which is removed when you pay for printing.
  2. My other main tip is to try not to be in a hurry to finish your book! I wish I had spent more time on the last book I created. It’s good to create photo book pages, save them, and come back later to ‘polish’ them. Usually you’ll find a way to improve upon your masterpiece!
  3. Also, don’t be shy about using images from other sources to supplement your own photos. For example, there may be an iconic photo of a place you’ve visited. Or you can scan in tickets, posters or other mementos from your trip or event, and include them too.

Thanks heaps for this info, Andrea. Any final words?

I can’t wait to make a photo book about our Mexican trip. I’ve been taking photos with it in mind. I create photo book page possibilities in my head, and look for angles and images to suit what I’m imagining.

In fact, I’m going to make a photo book of every holiday I go on from now on - they make it so easy to keep the memories alive!

Of course, making photo books online doesn’t have to be limited to holiday snaps. You could create photo book mementos of any team occasion. They make great team gifts, and can be a good way to maintain the memories of your employee recognition or corporate team building events.

Blurb also has options to make it easy to share your book via Facebook, email etc ... plus you can even sell your book (a fundraiser perhaps?) via their site. I’m definitely going to give Blurb a go about you?

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