© 2012 photobookgirl Instagram photo book

Exclusive Blurb Coupon Code and Giveaway – Blurb Instagram Book Review 2012 (ENDED)



***Coupon Code: PBGINSTAGRAM

See below for details. 
Deal Expires: 7/22/2012 (11:59pm PDT)

Discount offer valid through July 22, 2012 (11:59 p.m. PDT), A 20% discount is applied toward one order for books that you make. Maximum discount is US $200.00, EUR €140.00, CAD $200.00, or AUD $200.00 off product totals. This offer is good for one-time use by new customers only and cannot be combined with other promotional codes, volume discount, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.

Skip directly to enter Giveaway

Here’s the stats:

Book size: 7 x 7 (width x height) square
Cover: Imagewrap Hardcover
Pages: 114 (double-sided); Premium Paper, lustre finish (upgrade)
Binding:  Library binding (glued)
Price: $52.84 + complimentary shipping. Total book cost = $52.84 Complimentary for purposes of review
Ordered/Delivered June 6 /

If you’ve been following my 365 project, you’ve probably seen the numerous snapshots I’ve taken using Instagram on my iPhone.  Instagram is a free mobile phone app available on iPhone and on Android.  The program allows you to take photos shot using the app, or photos stored on your phone’s photo library and apply filters to them.  The filters give you different effects that can significantly alter your photos and you can share your photos with other Instagram users.  It’s fun – just ask Instagram’s 30 million users and Facebook – who bought the site for a mere $1 billion.

So, it’s not surprising that some photo book companies, many who already provide an interface to download photos from Facebook, are also offering the same feature for Instagram photos.

I normally don’t use my photos from Facebook or Instagram to turn into photo books.  Typically, I use photos uploaded straight from my computer, but Blurb provided me with a complimentary book to review the service as well as some goodies for you guys, so why not give it a try?

First off, if you’re interested in making an Instagram photo book, check out these photo taking tips and my thoughts on resolution.

Taking Photos Using Instagram

Did you know that using the camera function within Instagram will give you higher resolution photos than if you take it with your iPhone or Android camera’s native camera app and then import to Instagram?  According to the Instagram site, photos taken with the Instagram app have a resolution of:

  • 2048 x 2048 on the iPhone 4S
  • 1936 x 1936 on the iPhone 4
  • 1536 x 1536 on the iPhone 3GS
In comparison, photos that I took with my iPhone 4S camera and then opened in Instagram came out at about 1100 x 1100 to 1400 x 1400.  Photos that I saved to my phone from Facebook and then opened in Instagram were about 460 x 460 to 600 x 600. I didn’t think about taking a photo using the Instagram app until I started looking into doing this review.  So, if you know that you want to use an Instagram filter on your photo, you’ll get better resolution if you take it using the Instagram app. The only photos I wouldn’t recommend for printing in a photo book would be the ones you import into Instagram from Facebook onto your phone.  If you are saving from Facebook and then importing into Instagram, the resolution is too low to result in a clear print.  (Note that you may get a different result if you’re uploading high resolution photos into your Facebook albums, so this doesn’t mean that making a book from Facebook photos isn’t advisable, I just recommend that you check to see what resolution these photos end up being before adding them to your Instagram book.  You may not ever do that anyway, but I’m just mentioning it since I did.)  For the size book I made (7 x 7) I would say 1100 x 1100 is the lowest you should go to be safe.  For more details about resolution and printing check out this post.

How to Make an Instagram Book

  1. Go to Blurb’s site and go to the Apps pull down menu. Select “Make an Instagram Book”;
  2. The program asks you to log into your Instagram account;
  3. Pick a book title and author name (you can change these later);
  4. The program will automatically pull photos from your Instagram account and lay them out for you.

Blurb coupon code

If you like the way your book has been put together by the program, then all you need to do is run the Preview and order.  If you want to make some edits, then you can use the “Edit Book” mode.  The button is at the bottom right of the page.

Instagram Book Blurb Review


In book editing mode you can:

    1. Change the layout;
    2. Delete unwanted photos;
    3. Pick any background color (using the eyedropper color picker tool);

Blurb 2012 Review

  1. Add more photos (it doesn’t slurp all of them during the initial upload). (TIP: to select multiple photos, click on the first photo you want, hold shift and click on the last photo – it will select all the photos in between the two points);
  2. Add more pages to your book;
  3. Shuffle the order of the photos randomly, or specifically move pages by using the “Arrange Pages” function;
  4. Add text (though I personally opted not to add any except for the title and let the photos speak for themselves);
  5. Pick from a hardcover with dust jacket or image wrap, or softcover.
Blurb Bookify Software Review

As many of you know, I’m a custom kinda girl, but it was nice to let go a little and allow the program to do the work.  Given that Instagram crops all photos to a square shape, there’s no issues of trying to lay out vertical photos vs. horizontal photos.  For this type of book, I think one photo per page looks best.  Simple.  I varied the layouts by using a larger photo container that almost fills the whole page and a smaller one that leaves more white space, but for the most part, I left it as is.

I had some problems with the software originally – but I can’t seem to replicate the issues now that I’m going back to write the review – which is a good thing right?  Initially it was duplicating the photos, so I’d have more than one of the same photo in the photo tray.  It also zoomed into some of my photos thus cropping them strangely, so I had to reload those photos.  I’m not seeing those same issues as I’m going through the steps again, so I’m hopeful the bugs have been worked out.

Print Review

I opted for the premium lustre paper which added $6.89 to the book total (see chart at top for details).  I would recommend upgrading from the standard paper.  It just adds a nicer weight to the pages and prevents too much bleed through (where you can see the image from the other side coming through).  The book came out very nicely, with colors reproducing well and accurately.

Blurb photo book

In terms of clarity, that’s a little tricky because some of Instagram’s filters add subtle texture to the photos.  Many of the filters are “retro” in look, so some look grainy on purpose.  The ones where I didn’t apply a filter with texture however came out clear and accurate in color.

Instagram book coupon code

Blurb giveaway promo codeBlurb giveaway 2012The only ones that came out a bit pixilated were the ones I used that didn’t have sufficient resolution (mostly those under 1100 x 1100).

Instagram photo book review

It wasn’t a good idea to take a photo I had uploaded on Facebook to import into Instagram as it significantly lowered the resolution. It’s best to go straight from within the program.

Blurb coupon code 2012

Blurb Instagram Review 2012

It was fun to see this book in print since many of the photos I’ve “Instagrammed” are a part of my 365 project.  So much of this book is a half-year preview of what’s to come by year’s end.

The Good Stuff – Blurb Promo Code and Giveaway!

Did you see the special Blurb coupon code I posted above?  I’ll post it again!

Coupon Code: PBGIRL20OFF

Just enter the code at checkout to get 20% off your book. Valid for new users please see Blurb policy below for details.*

Deal Expires: 7/15/2012 (11:59PM PDT)

*Discount offer valid through July, 15th, 2012 (11:59 p.m. PDT),A 20% discount is applied toward one order for books that you make. Maximum discount is US $200.00,  EUR €140.00, CAD $200.00, or AUD $200.00 off product totals. This offer is good for one-time use by new customers only and cannot be combined with other promotional codes, volume discount, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.



Blurb is giving four (4) lucky winners a $50.00 CREDIT! ($200 in prizes!)

You have 6 possible ways to enter, but you must do the REQUIRED ENTRY for the others to count. For EACH entry, you have to COMMENT ON THIS POST below with a separate comment for EACH entry, telling me what type of entry you did.


  • Comment below – IF YOU WON, WHAT KIND OF BOOK (Instagram, vacation, baby, wedding etc.) WOULD YOU MAKE WITH YOUR BLURB PRIZE?


  • Subscribe to my newsletter (look for light blue box at top right) AND tell me in the comment below that you subscribed and the name you subscribed under (first name is fine). If you already subscribe to my newsletter, tell me in your comment and give me your name. (Please remember for it to count, you must confirm the subscription);
  • Give your review of any photo book company you’ve tried on the company’s main reviews page.  Click on the link and then click on the logo of the company you want to review.  You’ll see a place to add your review at the bottom of each company’s page.  Let me know which company you commented on by telling me in a comment in this post below. (Limit to two (2) entries using this method.);
  • Blog about this giveaway on your blog. Be sure to comment on this post with a link to your blog post (Counts as 3 entries!)

Make sure to do the REQUIRED ENTRY!

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Entries must be received by Sunday, July 8, 2012, at 11:59pm CST and any entries not in accordance with the rules will be disqualified at our sole discretion and at the discretion of the sponsor. Winning entry will be chosen using Random.org. After compiling the results, I will announce the winner thereafter and will email the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or I will redraw another entry. Winners will be issued a unique coupon code by Blurb. Winner pays for shipping and any extra pages or upgrades above $50.00. Shipping may vary by location – see Blurb Site for details. Disclosure: I am an affiliate of Blurb. If you click on a link to Blurb’s site and make a purchase, I receive a referral fee from the company. Regardless, my opinions are my own.

Thank you to Blurb for its sponsorship of this giveaway!

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  1. Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm | #

    My little boy just completed his first season of t-ball! I got some great “action” shots that will make an exciting book! Thanks for the chance!

  2. Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm | #

    I subscribe to your newsletter as either Penelope or Penny.

  3. Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:23 pm | #

    I like you, I really like you, on Facebook!

  4. Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:24 pm | #

    I like Blurb on Facebook.

  5. Darice
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm | #

    I would make my much-delayed wedding album!

  6. Sarah N
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:56 pm | #

    I would make a baby book!

  7. Sarah N
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:56 pm | #

    I like you on fb!

  8. Sarah N
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:57 pm | #

    I like Blurb on fb!

  9. Sarah N
    Posted July 8, 2012 at 11:58 pm | #

    I subscribe to your newsletter.