HELLO folks! I’m back! It’s been a week since my last post and I really missed you – but I think I missed breathing the most! Even though I’ve been keeping in touch via my Facebook page, today is the first day that I really feel I’ve come out from under the cloud of the nasty flu! Some good that flu shot did me!
Some of you may recall the photo book I used for my “you make the call” layout tutorial – here’s the finished product printed with MyPublisher and my first review of MyPublisher’s new lay flat option. According to MyPublisher’s site, for a limited time the lay flat add-on can be upgraded on any hardcover book for $25.00 for the 11.25 x 8.75 Classic photo book and $50.00 for the larger 15 x 11.5 Deluxe photo book. This is for any number of pages. How long the promo pricing will last is not disclosed.
FULL PHOTO COVER – PHOTO FINISH
I also selected the full photo cover version known as photo finish. Interestingly the cover material is different from the first photo finish cover from MyPublisher that I ordered back in April 2010 when the feature was first offered. The first book had a type of matte, rubbery tactile finish. This cover is has a smooth finish, also matte (non-reflective) similar to the Photobook America book I have. These are different from the hard covers from Mixbook, Shutterfly, Artscow, Snapfish and Picaboo which are more high gloss and therefore reflective. I don’t really have a preference, but note that the matte covers do tend to mute the colors of the cover photos more than the gloss covers.
The photos reproduced very well with accurate colors and saturation. Do all your adjusting in an external photo editing program. If your photo looks at all dark, make it brighter. In my experience, photos will print darker than the originals, with most photo book companies, so if it’s dark to start with, you won’t be happy if you don’t brighten it.
The MyPublisher lay flat binding is hinged. If you look closely you can see the thin strip of binding mechanism that attaches to the each side of the spread.
There is a gutter, so if you did a manual two page spread (there is no option for an automatic two-page spread in MyPublisher), you would have a split in the middle of the page.
A LAY FLAT COMPARISON
For comparison, here’s the profile view of the other lay flat photo books I’ve done. You can click on each photo below to go to the review of each photo book. I have an overview of lay flat books here. Use my Photo Book Wizard to find all companies in my database that make lay flat books!
The most expensive lay flat photo book above is the MyPhotoCreations flush mount. But the quality is tops. It has the thickest pages and it’s printed on real photo paper mounted on a heavy board. A flush mount book is really meant for special occasions so the cost reflects the quality.
AdoramaPix has the most unique lay flat binding. Unlike the other books, Adorama’s two-page spread is a single sheet folded in the middle – there is no gutter and you can design across both pages. All of AdoramaPix’s photo books are lay flat, so it’s built into the price and offers a high quality product (though not as high as a flush mount), for an economical price.
I plan to do a more in-depth comparison down the line – I have a couple more lay flat books coming, so I’m waiting for those before I post!
I liked the new MyPublisher lay flat option, and I would probably choose this option for my books in future, however it does add a considerable price to the cost of a book. If I had a book of less than 50 pages, I probably would find it hard to spend the additional $25.00 to get the lay flat option, so I would look at the cost of the total book in comparison to the $25.00 upgrade cost. I normally wait however for a sale before making a book with any company. (Check out MyPublisher’s latest sale here!) For this book, I used a gift certificate that I purchased on sale for 40% off and I got an additional 30% off since there was a sale, on top of that. That’s one great feature of MyPublisher – from time to time (I believe at least 2 or 3 times since I started this blog last February) they’ve had a 40% or 50% sale on their gift certificates. The gift certificates don’t expire so you can hold on to them until you need them AND you can combine them with an ongoing sale. Bonus! That is the best tip I have for getting the best deal on MyPublisher photo books. (UPDATE: Unfortunately, MyPublisher no longer allows you to combine gift certificates with current promos, so the savings tip doesn’t apply at this time.)
It would be nice if MyPublisher added an instant two-page spread to their software, as that is a nice feature to have, to take full advantage of a lay-flat book. Doing it manually is possible, but can be hit or miss.
This book and its companion book (the second volume of this epic trip) was a gift to my family. I haven’t wrestled volume number 2 from them yet so no photos of that to show you at this time. My mom liked the lay flat pages and in particular was very happy to see her journey in print!
Have you tried MyPublisher’s lay flat photo books? Have you tried other photo book companies’ lay flat options? Have a favorite?