Blurb and MyPublisher are two of the better known and well-established photo book companies. Blurb focuses solely on print-on-demand photo books and other book products such as notebooks and planners. MyPublisher began with offering photo books and later added on calendars and greeting cards as well. (Shutterfly bought MyPublisher in 2013. Since the sale, MyPublisher only offers photo books, while calendar, canvas and card orders are now directed to Shutterfly's site.)
The main distinction between the two companies is the type of photo books offered. MyPublisher only offers traditional landscape options: 7.75 x 5.75 softcover, 11.25 x 8.75 hardcover and a 15 x 11.5 size. In contrast, Blurb also offers 7 x 7 square and 12 x 12 square along with 8 x 10 portrait, 10 x 8 landscape, and 13 x 11 landscape. So if you're looking to make a square or portrait oriented book, then Blurb would be your only option between the two, since MyPublisher focuses its offerings on landscape books. If you're looking to make a large coffee table book, MyPublisher's Deluxe 15 x 11.5 size is one of the largest around with some of the thickest paper available.
Photo book companies have been moving towards offering consumers more customization options - in particular the ability to change and create new layouts (versus fixed layouts). Both companies allow you to fully customize your book. Both offer customizable covers with a full-page bleed on the front cover and back cover, and titling on the spine, printed directly on the hard cover surface for complete customization of the exterior of the book. The covers (of the imagewrap/photo finish books) are matte which means they don’t show fingerprints and have more of a “real book” look to it. Both also offer linen covers. MyPublisher also offers leather covers while Blurb does not. In terms of paper, Blurb offers more paper options than MyPublisher including a very matte paper in their ProLine options. MyPublisher offerings include the very opposite end of the spectrum - a super gloss paper. Paper is a matter of personal preference as well as sometimes dependent on the subject matter of the book.
As for print quality, both companies have very good print quality. I print with both companies on a pretty regular basis, but MyPublisher's in my experience is a bit sharper. I also find MyPublisher's colors more vibrant. Print quality and color vibrancy can be affected by paper choice, so it's good to review paper options before ordering. You'll find numerous in-depth reviews on my site of both companies' papers and view actual books that I've made under their respective review pages.
If you're looking to sell your book either in print or in ebook format, Blurb offers that option in its extensive Bookstore, while MyPublisher does not offer a marketplace for book sales. In terms of technology, Blurb also offers special tools to slurp blogs, Instagram feeds and Facebook photos (as well as their comments). They also offer plug-ins that work with Adobe InDesign and Lightroom. From what I can tell, out of the two, Blurb appears to have more of a pro-photographer following than MyPublisher, perhaps due to the ability to sell your photo books as well as its integration with professional photography and design tools.
If price is a factor, Blurb is one of the most affordable printers out there and its per page pricing is one of the lowest available. If just comparing the two companies for a base 20-page landscape book (10 x 8 for Blurb and 11.25 x 8.75 for MyPublisher), the base prices of $31.95 and $34.75 respectively don't seem to be that different. Where you'll see the difference is when you add more pages. Blurb prices their books by page range* (21 to 40 and 41 to 60) for example), so you might as well make a 40 page book with Blurb cause it will cost the same as a 21 page book. Be sure to keep that in mind while you're making a book so you don't miss out on those "bonus" pages. In contrast a 40-page book with Blurb will cost $34.95 ($40.19 for premium paper upgrade) while a 40-page book with MyPublisher will cost $54.55 (prices do not take into account discounts or promos and note that photo book deals from both companies are usually readily available). Speaking of page count, Blurb is one of the few photo book printers out there printing high-page count books. Blurb offers a page maximum of 440 pages while MyPublisher (and most other photo book companies) tops out at 100 pages.
*Update 10.11.13: Blurb just in the past couple months changed its pricing structure. Price is no longer by page range, but a price per each set of 2 pages added.
If you're trying to make a decision between MyPublisher and Blurb, you have to decide which factor or factors are most important to you. The company you go with may be dictated by the specs of your particular project (such as book type or orientation). Those looking for an affordable, yet bookstore quality book will likely prefer Blurb, while those focusing on print quality and color vibrancy may prefer MyPublisher.
This is just a general overview of the two companies and their main similarities and differences. I have written extensively about both companies as you'll see at the bottom of this page and print books with both companies on a regular basis. You can also visit Blurb or MyPublisher directly for more information.
|Book Type||Hardcover & Softcover||Hardcover & Softcover|
|Book Shape||Portrait, Landscape & Square||Landscape|
|Types of Covers||Full Photo Cover, Dust Jacket||Die Cut Linen or Leather, Dust Jacket, Full Photo Cover|
|Min/Max Pages||20 - 440 standard paper; 20 - 160 premium paper||20 - 100|
|Paper||standard - 80 lb. matte; premium - 100 lb. matte or lustre paper; ProLine 100 and 140 lb.||120 lb. (Classic); 170 lb. (Deluxe); Super Gloss|
|Binding||professional library binding||Hardcover - case bound; Softcover - perfect bound|
|Fully Customizable Layouts||Yes||Yes|
|Layouts/Templates||Full customization; 300+ colors||200+|
|Backgrounds||Yes||30+ colors (depends on theme)|
|Image as Background||Yes||Yes|
|Full Photo Cover||Yes||Yes|
|Customizable Spine||Yes - solid color and title only (no image)||Yes|
|Full Photo Back Cover||Yes||Yes|
|Full Page Bleed||Yes||Yes|
|Captions/Fonts||Yes||Can use your own fonts|
|Download or Online||Download||Download|
|Special Photo Importing||Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, SmugMug, iPhoto||No|
|Logo||Yes - removable with fee||Yes (can pay to remove)|
|Photo Editing in Program||Rotate, Size, Borders||Rotate, Size, Auto-Enhance|
|Digital Scrapbooking Compatible||Yes||No|
|See my Blurb review. There are 29 photo books available from Blurb, with sizes ranging from 5x8 to 12x12.||See my MyPublisher review. MyPublisher offers 20 photo books, ranging in size from 3.5x2.75 to 15x11.5.|
Deal Expires: 12/31/2014If you want to check out my reviews of MyPublisher photo books, click here!