© 2013 photobookgirl

Shutterfly Lay Flat Photo Book Review 2013 – Valentine’s Baby Photo Book Gift

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Yea! I’m so glad to be out of January. Even though February is still cold where I live, as time passes, I feel like we’re making progress towards Spring. One thought that warms me up is Valentine’s Day. It’s cheery, and it’s full of bright, warm colors like red and pink. Plus, I don’t have to apologize for cute heart overload.

For Valentine’s Day I decided to make photo books for Photo Book Baby’s grandparents. The books pick up from where I left off from the Christmas 2012 photo books I made for them. (This past Christmas I made canvas print wall galleries and calendars for the grandparents, but no photo books (shocking I know!) Photo Book Baby was only four months in the last book I gifted them, so this book covers months five through seventeen – and what an eventful thirteen months it has been! I hope they don’t see this post since I haven’t given them their presents yet!

I took advantage of some recent sales and while scouting out new book designs for my recent Valentine’s gift ideas post I found a really cute template at Shutterfly called “Hello Love”.  I decided to use this template as a starting point for my books.

One Photo Book Design = Many Gifts

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I promise I will get to the actual lay flat review, but I also want to talk a bit about the process of making a photo book and then creating different versions of it for your recipients. It’s efficient, it’s easy but still very personalized. That’s one thing I love about making digital photo books (versus traditional scrapbooking). Can you imagine having to make two or more scrapbooks by hand? (Been there done that!) Not that I don’t appreciate handmade, handcrafted gifts, but I think photo books are just a modern version of that. No less thought goes into making a digital photo book, but it’s safe to say that less manual labor is involved. You also don’t have to stockpile lots of physical materials. You can reuse digital clip art and backgrounds to your heart’s content.

I actually ended up making four versions of Photo Book Baby’s Valentine Photo Book. One for each set of the grandparents, one for uncle and one for me! Yes, it ended up so cute I had to make one for myself. Mama’s prerogative right? Each book was about 30 pages. Even though it encompassed about a year’s worth of photos, it was purposely not intended to be a huge book – think of it as an extended Valentine’s card.

The smaller size also made it more manageable as I didn’t want to make this epic book. I picked the best of the best shots of the year. One set of shots were my favorite photos of Photo Book Baby and the other set of shots were of the recipient and Photo Book Baby together.

I narrowed down a whole year of photos down to about 200 and from there, I only used a small subset in the final book. For more on how to select and edit photos for your photo book check out this post.

I first laid out the book for my in-laws and completed that book. While having that book open, I clicked on the “Save as” button and saved the book under a different title, thus creating a second separate version of that book for my folks. In Shutterfly when viewing all of your projects, you can also create a duplicate of your book by selecting “Make a new version“. Similarly many other photo book companies have a duplicate book function thus making it so easy to create multiple versions of a book. In fact, even if you were going to make a completely different book with a different topic, duplicating a past book is a big time-saver and an easy way to reuse your pre-made layouts.

For this Valentine’s project, the basic layouts were the same for each version with the main focus being on Photo Book Baby – after all he’s the star of the show! I also added little captions regarding his milestones (first steps, first words, new teeth etc. in the appropriate month). Then, I just changed out the supporting photos with photos of Photo Book Baby and the person for which the gift was intended.

Shutterfly’s Lay Flat Pages

Shutterfly's lay flat pages do not have a gutter.

Shutterfly’s lay flat pages do not have a gutter.

I actually didn’t realize that lay flat pages were an option outside of Shutterfly’s Premium book line (the one with a genuine leather cover). I’m pretty sure that when I first saw the lay flat option it was only available with a leather cover and these options to upgrade the regular books came sometime afterwards. The Premium book starts at $99.99 for 20 pages in the 8 x 8 size.

Shutterfly Premium Lay Flat Photo Book

 

I have a preference for full photo covers, so I don’t normally look too much at other styles. It was during the process of remaking several versions of this book did I notice that I could pay an additional $25.00 for lay flat pages (for the 8 x 8 size). So the base price for 20 lay flat pages is $54.99. After discounts I paid about $40.00 for this book (I added 13 extra pages for a total of 33 pages). I was able to take advantage of a 40% off photo book promo that included a discount on lay flat pages as well as stack other Shutterfly coupon codes such as free shipping so I got a great deal on this book! By the way, there’s a FREE Shutterfly $10 off code right now through 2/6/13 which you can use for anything on Shutterfly’s site.

The pages are very thick and stiff, but bendable (versus the non-bendable flush mount photo albums). The paper is not real photo paper, but is a close match in feel and appearance to those photo books I’ve had printed on real photo paper (AdoramaPix and MyPhotoCreations/BrideBox). According to Shutterfly it is “double-thick professional grade paper with a satin finish”. The glossy covers are the exact same as the standard hard cover photo books – the only difference is the interior pages. In comparing the standard book to the lay flat book, the color is pretty much a match, with the lay flat pages maybe a touch more yellow in tone (but only very slightly noticeable to me and probably not to anyone else). There is probably also a touch more contrast in the standard book than in the lay flat book.

Here are the two books side by side. The lay flat is on the left and the standard pages are on the right.

Here are the two books side by side. The lay flat is on the left and the standard pages are on the right.

The most noticeable thing is the raster (the tiny dots that make up a digitally printed image). (You will not see dots when an image has been reproduced on photo paper). I definitely see more dots in the standard version than in the lay flat version. The images in the lay flat version show less dots (less dots are more desirable) and a more even, smoother tone. I hope you can see that from my photos – I didn’t take these in the best light, but I hope these help illustrate what I mean. Basically, higher print quality, thicker and sturdier pages as well as the convenience of not having to hold down the lay flat pages when you’re viewing them is what you’re paying for.

This is a close up shot of the standard printing.

This is a close up shot of the standard printing. Individual dots make up the image.

This is a close up of the lay flat book. Can you tell that the dots are less obvious and that the overall image is smoother?

This is a close up of the lay flat book. I hope you can tell from these photos that the individual dots are less obvious and that the overall image is smoother.

Similar to both AdoramaPix and MyPhotoCreations/BrideBox (Lake photo book) Shutterfly’s lay flat pages have no gutter (there’s no gap in the center of the spread) so that’s a definite plus. But, unlike the others, Shutterfly’s software doesn’t allow for a two-page spread (having a single image span both pages of the layout). In fact, if you try to drag an image or embellishment from one side to the other, it will assume you mean to trash it and it will go “poof” and disappear.  Hopefully Shutterfly will upgrade its software to allow users to design across the pages to really treat the two pages as a whole spread versus as individual pages. Doing that will also maximize the nice feature of having gutterless lay flat pages. (CORRECTION 2/5/13: A PBG reader posted a comment that Shutterfly does have a two-page spread function that I missed. When you hover over a photo, it says “use as spread”. Doing so will pop open a box for you to select the part of the image that will show up on the spread. This method only allows for a single photo centered across the spread however. There is a “hack” you can try if you want it off center and to add other photos to it – I’ll add more on this later.)

Another addition I hope they add is a “copy” or “duplicate” button – that would make layout design much, much easier. I often duplicate text boxes or photo boxes to make sure they are the same size for consistency. Having to recreate each box and hope they are the same size is not an efficient way to make custom layouts. The guides that pop up aren’t as precise as I would like. If you’re using most of the theme’s layouts an not altering them much, then you may not miss these features, but if you’re into customizing like I am, it’s nice to have the option.

Summary – The Pros

I really love the lay flat pages. The thick paper is a nice option to have and won’t get crinkled or bent if you let little hands flip through the pages. The upgrade isn’t cost prohibitive and makes sense the more pages you have since the additional fee is a flat rate. The cost is $30.00 for the 8 x 11 size and $40.00 for the 12 x 12 size and Shutterfly does run promos on the lay flat books from time to time, though not as often as on the standard books. The print quality and color reproduction is very good and I was impressed with how the book looked in comparison to the standard books. The standard books are still nice quality, but the lay flat books do look a bit more special. The “dots” are less apparent and the images overall appear more even-toned than in the standard photo books. I often pick Shutterfly when I want to make a photo book as a gift and don’t quite have enough time to make my own layouts. I often can find an attractive template to use which cuts down on design time. I’d definitely consider upgrading in future to the lay flat pages to make the gift extra special.

The Cons

My negatives have to do with the software than the actual book itself. As mentioned above I’d like to see them add a copy function and an instant two-page spread option. But one way around that is to use your own design software – you just have to split your layouts into individual jpeg pages and upload. Hopefully Shutterfly will update its software – the photo book companies are continuously upgrading their software and I’ve often seen things in my wish list eventually adopted as I’m sure I’m not the only one who would like to see these changes. I don’t see any negatives for the lay flat pages except for increased cost, but that’s not a downside in itself, it’s just an option to consider. Whether you like the heavy double-thick pages is a personal preference. If you want your book to look like a “bookstore” book (which I have had some readers specifically say they prefer) then this option may not be for you.

Want to Read More of my Shutterfly Reviews?

If you’d like to see my other Shutterfly photo books, read more about Shutterfly’s software and see the latest Shutterfly promos, check out my main Shutterfly reviews page. You’ll find links to all that on the company’s main page.

Have you made a lay flat book with Shutterfly? I’d love to hear what you think about your book. Please feel free to comment below.

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Please note I am an affiliate of Shutterfly which means I may receive a referral fee if you click from my site to Shutterfly’s and make a purchase. I was not asked to write this review by the company. These books were paid for entirely by myself and my opinions are entirely my own.

 

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23 Comments

  1. Lesley
    Posted February 5, 2013 at 8:09 am | #

    Did you find that your pics printed a litle dark with the lay flat pages or did you compensate for that? I know with Shutterfly I usually brighten my pics before ordering prints or books but have not tried the lay flat pages yet.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm | #

      With all companies I try to brighten all my photos, but I didn’t do anything special for this particular upload to Shutterfly. The brightness didn’t change from the non lay flat to the lay flat version for my books. Just slight contrast difference. Overall the photos came out very nice in my opinion and I was happy with both versions. I’m really excited to give them as gifts I don’t know if I can wait til next week. I also didn’t turn off vivid pics which I mentioned in one of my past Shutterfly software reviews. I decided to let the software make it’s default adjustments and with my last few books, they’ve all come out fine.

  2. Posted February 5, 2013 at 10:59 am | #

    Thanks for doing a Shutterffly layflat review! I just made my wedding album with their deluxe layflat option (with the leather covers), and I really like how it turned out.

    One thing I wanted to add is that they DO have an option for using a picture across both pages. I used it twice in my wedding album. You have to hover over the picture in picture list at the bottom of the page, and “Use as Spread” will appear under the picture. Click on that, and it will fill the entire two pages with that one picture. It’d be nice if they had more two-page spreads (where the picture across the gutter didn’t have to fill the entire two pages), but you can use the spread option if you want a picture filling the whole two pages.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted February 5, 2013 at 5:31 pm | #

      Jocelyn, thanks for writing – you’re absolutely right. I didn’t notice it until you mentioned it. Yes I agree with you that it would be nicer to have an option not to fill the whole two pages. But, since I wanted to go back and update the post, I went back and played with the software. When you place the full page spread and then go into “customize page” mode, it break ups the photo into two sides, but each side retains the photo’s full information (not just half). The software actually tells you not to play with the placement of the photo because they will optimize it, but I decided to play with it anyway. It will actually allow you to move it around and manipulate it, so I was able to do this. Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 9.20.51 PM The image that goes across the two pages is shifted to the right and I could add other photos to the page. I used to do this with other companies before the two page spread option was widely available as a workaround the software’s limitations. (I would put two of the same photo on each side, use the zoom and play with it until it lined up.) It was a risk, but it would work for me in MyPublisher. Somewhere in the blog I think I showed how I did this but I can’t recall where exactly. I checked the preview and although it just gives you warnings about the photos being too close to the edge, (which it does on any photo that is lined up to the edge), I think it would actually print out properly. You could also do a two page spread completely manually by just placing two of the same photo on each side and then aligning them. If you were to do this in a normal book (and not lay flat), you could allow some overlap in the image (by how much I don’t know for sure – it depends on the company’s software and is not an exact science) to try to compensate for loss of image in the gutter. It all depends on how big of a risk taker you are! With lay flat however, I think the extra cushion would not be necessary as there is no gutter 🙂 Thanks for the note! Will update the post to reflect your comment and this new info. Thanks!

  3. Raindrop
    Posted February 12, 2013 at 7:27 pm | #

    I ordered the standard book, and was pretty happy with it, but I have a question. Does the deluxe, or lay flat pages have the last sheet with the shutterfly logo on it? I’m not too thrilled w/ that.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted February 13, 2013 at 10:11 pm | #

      The logo is also printed on the last page. Some companies allow you to pay extra to remove it, but I don’t see that option with Shutterfly. I do see that if you become a pro gallery member, you can have your own logo printed on the book, which I assume you can choose to have no logo then, but I’m not 100% sure. I suppose this makes sense for pro photographers who want to brand it with their own studio.

  4. PhotoGirl
    Posted March 6, 2013 at 1:18 pm | #

    I wanted to share my experience with the lay flat pages and see if you had experienced anything similar. I got married in the Fall and we chose not to pay $600+ for a special lay-flat hard page book with our photos. I am a graphic designer and decided creating a Shutterfly book would be a better option for us, and much more cost-effective. I chose to do a 8×11 leather cover lay-flat book. When the book arrived, a page in the middle had been slightly bent. It caused all of the following pages to lie crooked within the book. I was so disappointed. The quality of the paper and the book itself was so nice and exactly what I was looking for but the crooked pages definitely cheapened it. I immediately emailed Shutterfly and they responded right away saying they would send a new book and not to worry about sending the other back. I was happy with this solution. However, after waiting an additional 2 weeks (they did not rush the 2nd order) the second book arrived with the same issue. This time the very first page of the book was slightly bent causing all of the pages to be crooked within the book. I was so disappointed. I again wrote to shutterfly and this time am receiving a credit for the amount of the book to use on their site for anything I choose (which is actually not an awful thing since I do love their regular photo books). I was just wondering though if you had experienced anything similar to this? I’m not sure why it happened, but it does look as though it happened during production because of the way the pages lie. I did not know there was an option to upgrade the regular books to lay-flat pages but I may have to try it, seeing as it is much cheaper than the leather covers.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted March 6, 2013 at 6:03 pm | #

      Hi Angie, I actually haven’t tried the leather cover books before so I can’t say firsthand. I didn’t have that issue with the book pictured in this review and I think the paper and lay flat binding is the same just with a different cover. They must have had an equipment issue that hopefully has gotten fixed. Did you get your book before or after mine? I don’t know if they do their books (leather versus non-leather) on the same type of machines. Since you’re a graphic designer, did you make all your pages in InDesign or an outside program? If so, what’s really nice is that you can have it printed anywhere when you see a sale pop up. Not that the Shutterfly books aren’t nice, but if you want a high end book check out my reviews for BrideBox and MyPhotoCreations. They are all on my wedding photo album page. You should have a nice book that you can keep as an heirloom, not one that has issues. 🙂

  5. natasha
    Posted November 25, 2013 at 7:20 pm | #

    I was hoping to get your opinion on how this compares to Picaboos layflat book. Picaboo uses the same paper for their layflat option as their standard books (100lb archival) but I have never ordered from them so am not sure how thick these actually feel. I noticed that these layflat options on shutterfly are 110lb double thick (does that mean they are twice as thick as the ones from Picaboo, or does it mean that the standard size for shutterfly is only 65 and these are twice as thick at 110)? From your picture, these look a lot thicker than the pictures from Picaboo but cannot tell for sure. Right now Picaboo has an offer where I could get a 8×11 with 80 layflat pages for only $32 including shipping, and it looks like I would be spending $48 for 20 pages from shutterfly if I use the 40% off coupon although they have been less than helpful answering questions about this upgrade (it looks like the cost is $40 for the layflat but cannot say for sure). Do you think this price difference is worth it? Thanks so much!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted November 26, 2013 at 5:59 pm | #

      Hi Natasha,

      The paper specs are confusing, because at one point Shutterfly used 100lb paper for their standard books. Then they switched to the 65lb., but the difference was hardly noticeable. Without getting into it too deep – check out this post comparing paper. Shutterfly’s lay flat upgrade is $25 for an 8 x 8 book, but I don’t recall how much they charge for larger size books. Anyway, the Shutterfly paper will be a lot thicker than the Picaboo lay flat paper. Probably twice as thick? (nonscientifically speaking) Unlike Picaboo (and MyPublisher), Shutterfly’s lay flat upgrade means an upgrade in paper too. Picaboo’s books like the same paper as you’ve said, it’s just that the pages are hinged. Same with MyPublisher’s lay flat. If your project needs a lot of pages, then it seems like Picaboo is going to give you a better deal. But, note that a lot of Black Friday sales are starting now or coming so, if your project isn’t time sensitive, you may want to see what photo book deals come up. In fact I posted a ton of them recently. I tend to pick Shutterfly’s layflat when I plan to let my son look at the books. They work really well for children cause the pages can’t really be creased or wrinkled unless you use a considerable amount of force. Hope that helps!

  6. Doug
    Posted December 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm | #

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your reviews. I just received my order for 12×12 photo albums from Shutterfly. These are wedding albums for our parents and we are quite happy with it. Actually the best part of the album is the soft padded cover option that we choose. Soft to the touch and good quality glossy finish.

    We are now thinking about what site/options to go for for our own wedding album. It appears in your review here the lay-flat pages are definitely higher print quality than the standard? We can definitely see the raster details with our standard pages, which is fine for our parents (with aging eye-sight), but we would prefer something nicer ourselves. So I guess we’re considering if we should just go with Shutterfly layflat upgrade (an reuse many of page designs and layouts) or start-over with one more premium books you’ve mentioned like Adoramapix or BrideBox. We don’t want to spend a tonne on our album. And have heard from others the issue with printing on real photo paper is fingerprints.

  7. Kieu
    Posted March 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm | #

    Did you like shutterfly’s layflat or mixbook’s better?

    • photobookgirl
      Posted March 14, 2014 at 11:16 pm | #

      I like both actually – I’d probably pick based on who was running a sale 🙂 Mixbook has better software if that is a consideration for you.

  8. Lori - near Seattle
    Posted March 30, 2014 at 2:06 pm | #

    I just received my first lay flat book from Shutterfly. I have used Shutterfly for over 20 books over the past few years, and have always been happy with them. This is a 12×12, 90 page, lay flat book, and I couldn’t be happier. I make my own layouts using Photoshop Elements, and it was easy to upload single 12×12 layouts, as well as 12×24 (double page) layouts. The colors are true, the cropping on the outside was normal, and it’s a beautifully crafted book. There was a tiny piece of debris under the cover. I emailed customer service with a photo of it, and they immediately replaced my book (I had a new copy in my hands in five days). This book is VERY heavy, and more than twice as thick as my last 110 page, 12×12, regular page book from Shutterfly. I have made a Picaboo flex-hinge lay flat book, and AdoramaPix lay flat book, and this Shutterfly book is my favorite.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm | #

      Hi Lori,

      Thanks for posting your comment! I like using Shutterfly for photo books for my 2.5 year old (the lay flat upgrade). I just made one for his second year in review. http://www.photobookgirl.com/blog/photo-book-babys-second-year-in-review/ I do the same as you, making mine in Fotofusion. I like having the option to upgrade or not, versus having to remake or reload the book. That way if I want to save some money, I can just go with the regular. b/t/w did you see books are 50% off today? 🙂 http://www.photobookgirl.com/deals/

  9. Lisa
    Posted September 30, 2014 at 9:10 am | #

    I used Shutterfly’s Premium layflat book with leather cover for my son’s professional Bar Mitzvah photos. My experience has been a mixed bag. The quality of the leather cover is very nice. I am also pleased with their rendition of the photos on the thick paper. Color is pretty accurate, and the photos are clear and not pixelated. However, I experienced problems with quality control in regard to how the pages were cropped and bound. The first book I received was bound nicely but had cropping problems. I had utilized some of their pre-fab layouts that came to the edges of the page. But their final crops did not match the cropping boundaries on the computer and some of my photos were cut off 1/8 of an inch (maybe more?) on the edge side. When I contacted customer service, they asked for photo “proof,” which I provided for them. They offered to correct my book themselves, which I let them do. They then gave me credit so I could re-order. When I logged in to check, I was less than happy with their sloppy corrections. But since I had the opportunity, I re-cropped myself, and all was well. I placed my second order, and that order arrived with correct cropping BUT a completely “off” cover/binding. It appeared as if the cover were cut for a book with many more pages. There was a lot of extra space in the binding area, and it looked floppy and strange. Also, a few of the pages were not folded/attached accurately, so the crease in the middle did not hit at the correct spot. I contacted customer service yet again with photos, and they immediately responded that this was their error. This time, they placed the order for replacement book. The third book arrived with a well-fitting cover/binding but new cropping issues. The cropping issues were, this time, with the photos that were flush with the top of the pages. In one case, a head was cut off (it had been fine in the last two iterations of the book), and in two others, the cropping was close enough to bother me. I have no idea what to do. I am hesitant to contact them again, as it will appear that I am trying to get free books from them!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted October 2, 2014 at 12:11 am | #

      Lisa, a similar thing happened to me on one of the books I made with them, way after I did this original post. I’ve made several of Shutterfly’s books with the lay flat upgrade (not the leather one, but the regular cover), and most came out great, but one book in particular kept giving me issues with cropping too. It’s not anything you’re doing – it’s the way the machine is lining things up. If the book is not coming out right, do not hesitate to contact them again. Thing is after having two reprints, they will become reluctant to reprint again, even though they should readily do it. At least that was my experience. I finally got a copy that was acceptable, but I think it was on the third try. Yikes. Don’t give up – even though it’s a pain in the you know what!

    • Hao
      Posted August 15, 2016 at 11:41 am | #

      Hi Lisa and Photobookgirl,
      I have similar quality problems with Shutterfly. I ordered 2 photobooks at different times and both had cutting or printing problems, e.g. losing 2mm on the top, losing 2mm on left and right, or gaining on bottom while losing on top. My photobooks were lay flat, hard covered, 8×11 landscape, 70 pages in the first and 111 pages in the second. I customized everything and had a lot of texts. I requested quality check on both before the final shipment. Yet the result was suboptimal. They reprinted the 1st photobook and it came out great. On my 2nd photobook, they are still working on it because the reprint did not pass quality test. I’m discouraged. Am I too picky or is everyone else too easy? Should I continue working with Shutterfly or choose a different publisher?
      Lisa: did you have better luck with Shutterfly or elsewhere after your problem?
      Photobookgirl: kindly advise me which photobook publisher to try next or is there a better way to work with Shutterfly? I spent too much time with their customer service.
      Thank you.

      • photobookgirl
        Posted August 18, 2016 at 10:43 am | #

        Hi Hao, sorry to hear that you’ve been having issues. So you mention that you’ve been losing or gaining about 2mm of your layouts. It’s my opinion that the preview should accurately represent what you end up getting in the final printed version. With that said however, most things have a tolerance that is allowable per industry standard. For example in construction if you build a wall, it’s not always 100% straight and perfect – there are standards of course so the wall shouldn’t be too far out of plumb, but there’s generally a range of acceptability for most built/manufactured things. With regards to printing, printers always refer to a bleed which are the outer edges of a page. So you may notice red or blue lines which show where your layout may be cut off. It could be more or less but it’s supposed to be somewhere in between that line and the edge of the layout. If you’re talking about 2mm of difference, in inches that is 1/16 of an inch which is very, very small. For my designs, I always make sure to extend a photo or clip art etc. past the edge of a layout, I don’t put any heads or important elements that will fall in the middle gutter (where the page folds) and I don’t have any text that is too close to the edge, maybe at least a half inch or more in. If you’re designing with only 2mm of tolerance, I think you may not be leaving yourself enough cushion. I think most on demand printers like Shutterfly are going to have similar tolerances. It’s hard for me to tell without seeing what you’re referring to, but feel free to post a photo of your layouts. Is Shutterfly the only or first company you’ve printed with? Hopefully they can work with you to get it to look the way you want. Best!

        • Hao
          Posted August 23, 2016 at 8:34 pm | #

          Hi Photobookgirl,
          Thank you for answering my questions. You are kind and knowledgeable of all things related to photo books. Indeed, 1 to 2% printing or cutting error should be expected. That fact escaped me till you pointed out. Shutterfly customer service told me the problem was likely due to human cutting errors. Maybe I should use smaller photos and less photos on each spread. That way, the error would be less noticeable. Maybe I should use less texts or dedicate a whole page for texts instead of mixing texts and photos.
          So far I have only worked with Shutterfly. For my first photobook, the reprint was satisfactory. For my second photobook, the reprint had the same cutting problem plus a new text problem, e.g. München, Mönchsberg, Ch? giò, Ph?, etc. I just emailed the supervisor for an explanation and resolution. They have wasted so much of their time, labor, and resources to fix the problem. Why couldn’t they just charge me more to do what they promise? I’d love to post pages of my 2nd photobooks to show the problems, but I don’t know how to.
          All in all, would you recommend a better photobook company? Is it possible to pay more for better quality and lower error rate? (Not possible with Shutterfly, I already asked.)
          Thank you for helping me.

  10. Esther Cheng
    Posted December 8, 2015 at 4:59 pm | #

    We made a Shutterfly lay-flat book for our son’s 30th birthday in 2008. The pages fell apart after a while. We are about to make another book for our other son, and wonder if the lay-flat binding technology has improved since. Shutterfly could not tell us. If anyone has a lay-flat book for a while, and can answer my question, I’d really appreciate it.

    • photobookgirl
      Posted December 13, 2015 at 9:22 am | #

      Hi Esther, none of my lay flat books have fallen apart. Mine was later than 2008. I’m not sure how many pages you had, but perhaps one possible tip on binding is not to make it too thick with pages. A lot of bindings get stressed when they are too full. The company should properly design them to hold up to whatever page count they allow you to max out at but to be safe, perhaps go with a little less than the max. Just one added precaution as a suggestion. I really like my Shutterfly lay flat books 🙂

  11. Marta
    Posted February 23, 2017 at 5:48 pm | #

    How do you think these premium albums compare to Adoramapix in terms of quality? It seems like the pricing is similar. Any thoughts? I’m picky about quality and I want something that’ll hold up to little hands flipping through it.

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