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365 (365) Day Photo Project 2012 Week 12 & Where To Print Your High Page Count Photo Book

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Week 12 down, 40 to go!

Wow March is almost over!  For those of you following along with your own 365 project, yea for us! I have to say, if I didn’t have my iPhone 4S, this project would not happen.  It’s so convenient to shoot with a camera phone isn’t it?  I’m so glad I upgraded from the iPhone 3 cause that phone’s camera resolution was, well – crappy.

Today’s photo was taken (surprise) on my iPhone.  One of the best parts of my day is to sit with PhotoBookBaby on our big comfy glider in his nursery and read to him.  He’s so attentive and can sit through a whole book, sometimes several without squirming and he looks at each page and every picture.  He’s a pretty chill little guy and not mobile yet, so I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Now that we’re just about through the first quarter of the year, some of you may be thinking ahead about where to print your 365 project.  Some readers who are more experienced than me in doing a 365 project have said they lay out each week as they go, so by the end of the year their book is done!  Smart!  That’s a useful tip so you don’t fall behind and also applicable to a year in review book as well.

In determining where I will print out my 365 project, it will come down to how I end up doing my final design.  Ideally I’d like to make a 365 page (or 366 page) photo book which is a rather high page count for any book.  I was recently reminded about what I call “high capacity” photo books, by a recent query sent to me by PhotoBookGirl.com reader Mindy who gave me permission to post her question here.

Mindy’s question:

My sister passed away very recently. She was an artist (would be 26 years old in May) I need to make a very thick photo book of her work. I already Scanned her images High Res.

8.5×11 portrait would work. Possibly about 200-250 pages. What are my options?  I need another book that’s about 150 pages but it needs to be larger perhaps 11×14? portrait

These can be broken down into volumes but I’d need a good deal (you see I have tons of content)

Thanks for your help,
Mindy

Mindy, since you’re talking about a photo book with a pretty high page count, note that anything over 100 pages is going to limit the company options. You’ll find some of the info below (especially the company specs) relevant to your query.

Some options I’ve been mulling over for my 365 project:

1) 365 (366) pages – one photo for every page.  Very clean simple format most likely not a full page bleed (where your photo extends across the entire page to the edges), but a single photo in the center of the page;

2) 52 weeks – one week per page – you’ll end up with a 60-page book (adding in a few pages for narrative or title page etc.) If you go with a hardcover custom cover, 8×8 photo book with 60 pages, that will run you anywhere from $30 to $100 depending on the company you go with and other options.  (b/t/w have you tried my Photo Book Wizard? Plug in your specs and do a basic price comparison across nearly 30 companies.) If you go this route, I wouldn’t recommend going any smaller than a 7 x 7 book as seven photos on a single page is going to get pretty tight if you want the photos to be of decent size.

3) 52 weeks – one week per spread (meaning your design spans both facing pages)  You’ll end up with a total of 104 pages approximately but I’d probably try to squeeze it into 100 pages).  You have several options here in terms of design.  You can make your favorite photo of the week as the main focal point by making that one larger and then others take on a supporting role surrounding it or you could give each one equal billing and keep them all about the same size.

3) To caption or not to caption?  I think that I’m going to caption my photos in some way either detailing why I shot the photo or some anecdote about it cause my memory is going and even more so since PhotoBookBaby arrived.  (My freshman year college roomie swears that she suffered significant memory loss after becoming a mother.  She can’t remember half of the antics we did in college ha ha…)  I will also likely add a small number to the corner of each photo as the day of the year it was taken is an interesting piece of info in itself don’t you think?

So, if I choose option #1, that’s going to be a pretty large book – 366 pages at least.  Not many companies offer books with that many pages.  Most photo book companies max out at 100 pages.  If I plug my specs into the Photo Book Wizard and choose hardcover, but leave all other options as “no preference” (size and orientation) then add in my page count on the results page, this is what I get.  Only two companies!  The cost ranges from $82.00 to $367.00 so notice the end size you choose will affect the price.

Photo Book Comparison

As a matter of personal taste, I think you should eliminate the 12 x 12 size for a 365-page book.  Why? Because it’s obnoxious!  Imagine a huge 12 x 12 photo book with 365 pages in it.  Are you going to be able to lift that baby?  No I don’t think so.  Besides, with some of my shots taken in the moment of desperation before the clock strikes midnight, I can’t say I’m in love with all of my photos so far, and I don’t want to see a 12 x 12 sized image of something I’m less than thrilled about.  You know what I mean right?  Another reason why I wouldn’t go with a 12 x 12 book is the added strain on the binding (more on that below).

By the way, I eliminated the company Bookemon above by “hiding the book” using the red “X” because the results returned a black and white book (I’m assuming you all want color right?) I also sorted it by Price by clicking on the column header.  Nifty tool huh?

If we look at softcover photo books (of which I don’t personally have many), you get the following:

Photo Book Girl Reviews

Prices here range from $66.00 to $188.00 and by choosing softcover, Bookemon is another company that appears in the results that will get you to 365 pages or more.  I have not yet tried Bookemon or Viovio yet, but I have tried Blurb.  See my Blurb reviews here.  Note that you will not be able to get Blurb’s premium paper if your book goes up past 160 pages.

So why don’t more companies offer more than 100 pages?  I’m sure a big reason is due to stress on the binding.  I perused the Blurb forums and found a chain of posts where some folks commented about pages coming loose from high page count books.  Blurb in response said they improved their binding process and that if there were any more issues to inform customer service.  It appeared that folks with problems received free reprints.  This chain is from 2007 though and I hope that the improvement is holding up.

On Viovio’s site I looked in the FAQ section and found the following:

  • Books with over 240 pages add stress to the spine, therefore we recommend no more than 240 pages if your book will be handled frequently.
  • Yes, we can bind books up to 700 pages. However, for books bound with more than 250 pages we don’t guarantee the binding. When you get over 250 pages you risk the binding cracking after use.

So, if you’re not a risk taker, or know that your book will get a lot of handling, I suggest you try option #2 or #3.  I will most likely try out a 365-page book as I like the idea of a single photo per page and I like trying new things for the heck of it.  Yes, I will be your guinea pig at year’s end.  I will continue to do more research and let you know of any updates.

Another option for those wanting to do a single page 365 book – think about making a series of books.  Make a four-volume set with about 90 to 95 pages each.  Keep the covers in a consistent theme and font and you’ll have a cool set of four books to display on your bookshelf!

Mindy, to better address your question, as mentioned in my email I would suggest trying out the Wizard and plugging in your specific specs.  You’ll get more specific information per your end page count.  Note that portrait books are less common than landscape (which you will see by tweaking your inputs) and if you aren’t wedded to fitting all the pages into a single book, you’ll have a lot more printing options if you divide your books into volumes as you mentioned.  A tribute/memorial book is a great idea to honor a loved one.  My brother made one for my grandmother earlier this year and we printed several of them to give to our family overseas.  We printed ours with MyPublisher and they always run lots of good deals so we made sure to wait for one (they only have landscape books though, so if your scanned images work better with portrait, then they may not be an option for your project, also they max out at 100 pages).  Another way to get a great deal is to check out the Groupon and Living Social deals that pop up every day, though you should do the math to see if a current promo is a better deal than a Groupon deal which may be the case if you’re printing a high capacity photo book.

With regard to the Wizard, please note that I try to do my best to keep up to date with the price changes and new products, but from time to time a company may make a change that I haven’t seen or had the opportunity to update.  This was all entered by hand by me and not automated – so if you do see something that needs updating, please drop me a line!

For those of you who have printed a high capacity photo book – especially a 365 project, please share where you printed your book and if you had any issues with the binding.  First hand knowledge is much appreciated!  Happy Monday!

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12 Comments

  1. Julie
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm | #

    Just wanted to comment that sometime in the past few months Mixbook has changed their maximum to 399 pages – so they are a good option for super-size books as well :)

    • photobookgirl
      Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:41 pm | #

      Hi Julie,

      thanks for the info. I was just trying to see on their site where they have that info, and it still says 99 in the FAQs. However, they may not have updated all the areas of their site. I wish companies would make it easier to find basic info like that. could you tell me where you found that? I thought I may have seen that somewhere as well, but can’t recall – was it in an email newsletter?

      Thanks!

      • Julie
        Posted March 28, 2012 at 3:13 pm | #

        From their homepage, if you click the “photo books” tab and then click “details” for any book, they all have 399 listed as the maximum page count.

        I’m currently working on a book there and I’ve got 160 pages and counting, so they’ve definitely increased it!

        • photobookgirl
          Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:16 pm | #

          Yes you are right! I updated the database as well so it will show up. Thanks!

  2. Jenny
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 9:10 pm | #

    I have used inkubook to create a large hardcover 8.5×11 portrait style photo book before and I have been very pleased. However, I am not sure they go larger than 200 pages!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted March 28, 2012 at 3:03 pm | #

      According to their site the max is 200 pages :)

  3. Kris
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 8:55 pm | #

    I just received my Blurb book for my 2011 Project 365 and I love it. Granted, we haven’t thumbed through it more than twice since we received it today, but I’m hoping that the binding stays nice and tight. I am really pleased with how it came out…all 400 pages of it.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:30 pm | #

      Did you do hardcover or softcover? Good to hear your experience – thanks! :)

      • Kris
        Posted April 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm | #

        I did hardcover with image wrap.

  4. Wendy
    Posted August 9, 2013 at 5:08 am | #

    A good option if you want to print a compact, easy to handle 365 book is PastBook
    They have a simple auto-fill process that puts two photos to each page, to create a nice 8.5 x 6inch hardcover book of around 184 pages, for $65.87 (includes free international shipping).
    If you have been uploading your 365 photos to Facebook or Instagram, you can import directly from your account by selecting a timeframe or by album, and it includes all the dates and comments from friends!
    Unfortunately there’s no feature yet to get one photo per page, but they do print soft cover books from 300 – 500 pages for $92.27, so I hope this feature is released by the new year…

  5. Posted May 20, 2014 at 11:45 am | #

    So grateful to have found this super helpful post! I have been looking all over the internet to find a book large enough (page number wise) to accomodate my 365 project and really only wanted one or two images per page and REALLY wanted the option to include my titles & hashtags… all without being outrageously expensive of course. So much great info in this post and the comments too – landed on pastbook and will be using them at years end for my book – tested it out today and love it!!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted May 20, 2014 at 2:39 pm | #

      Hi Heather – I’m glad you found this post helpful. As you can see from the comments, the photo book scene is constantly changing. I probably should do an update of this post. It seems that many companies are increasing their page counts to more than 100. I’d love to hear what you think of pastbook’s print quality. The price seems very decent. Good luck with your book! :)

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