I’ve been wanting to try Mixbook’s lay flat book for a while now and it’s been long overdue. Lay flat pages are one of my favorite options when I make photo books. It’s more convenient and more enjoyable when looking at a book, especially a larger one, to have the pages lie flat without having to hold down the book. Lay flat pages also lend a more “upscale” feel to the book, especially when a company’s lay flat pages also mean an automatic upgrade in paper type.
Mixbook’s lay flat book has very thick pages, much thicker than the pages in an average photo book.
Mixbook provided me with a complimentary book for purposes of review. Because it was a nicer book from the norm, I wanted to use it for something special. Photo Book Baby’s Pirate party fit the bill and having recently gotten the photos back from our fabulous photographer Gretchen of Moonhouse Productions, I was excited to make my book!
Mixbook is also giving Photo Book Girl readers the chance to win one of three gift vouchers for $100.00 each! That’s a total of $300.00 in prizes! More details below.
Here’s the stats:
||Mixbook Premium Lay Flat Classic Landscape|
|Size||11 x 8.5″; 99 pages (max)|
|Price||$89.99 (20 pgs) + $1.00/pg x 79 extra pgs = $168.99 (complimentary for review). Click here for the latest Mixbook coupons and deals!|
|Ordered/Shipped/Delivered:||Oct 15 / Oct 21 / Oct 22 (standard shipping – $6.99; overnight – $24.99)|
Mixbook has always had one of the most flexible photo book software programs out there. It resides online so there’s no need to download software and is Mac and PC compatible. It is easy to use, pretty intuitive and has a lot of fun features.
Here’s the basic info on Mixbook’s products and software:
My take on Mixbook’s features:
1) Design across the spread, which means you can carry over borders, trim, embellishments and photos without interruption. You can plop a photo, text, sticker etc. right in the middle of the spread. This is not a common feature with most photo book companies;
2) Lots of free scrapbooking type clip art, backgrounds and stickers – for digital scrapbooking enthusiasts you can also easily upload your own clip art in jpeg and png formats). In fact this chalkboard background you see above is one I created myself. (Aren’t I fancy?) I have it on my site for a FREE download, just click on the link above. I’ve used it so much in several of my recent books. I tend to like neutral backgrounds, so it works for me.
3) I like that when you click on an object, Mixbook’s program highlights the object in yellow, so it’s easy to tell if you’ve selected the object you want to move or alter. It’s especially helpful if you’ve layered a lot of elements.
4) This is a basic one, but thank goodness Mixbook has a “duplicate” or “copy” function. It makes creating your layouts so much easier. When I make my layouts, I almost always copy the prior item cause chances are, I’m going to want the same default settings for all my photo boxes and text boxes. To me, it is absolutely essential. Not every photo book company has this necessary tool which stumps me why they don’t. It makes the process a whole lot faster;
5) Easily add shadows, reflections and control opacity of every element. I’m a fan of shadows in particular as it can help bring some dimension to the page. What’s cool is you can use these tools on everything, photos, stickers, even text (including the elements you upload yourself, so it’s very digi-scrap friendly);
6) Mixbook has about 50+ fonts and many of them are very nice and very useable. I’m really glad they have one of my favorites, Century Gothic, but it would be nicer if you could use your own fonts;
7) For those who prefer a quick way to make a nice looking book, Mixbook has many book themes ready to go. Just drag and drop in your photos. With my Mixbook books, I’ve often picked a pre-made theme and then tweak it to my liking. It’s much easier when you have a template and you don’t have a blank page staring at you.
6) Making a photo book with friends, family or a club? Everyone can upload their photos and collaborate on the same book. The software is online so you can invite others to work on a project with you, which is a lot of fun. I chose Mixbook for a group cookbook project with my friends. I like that we could all upload our recipes and photos on our own (no having to meet up to exchange discs or flash drives of photos). They could actually work on their own pages, but I could also lend and hand if they needed help, all from the comforts of home. Click on the link to see my Mixbook cookbook and learn how to make one with your friends and family.
Print Quality and Construction
When I first received my book, I was surprised at how heavy it was. I suppose I did max out the pages. I always have lots of photos I like to use in my books and it’s always hard to narrow it down! I didn’t realize it would come in a presentation box, so that was a nice bonus that’s included in the price.
I remember thinking “wow” when I opened the box. I really like the look and feel of the cover. The best way I can describe it is velvety. It’s quite unique to this product as I went through my other photo books and I couldn’t find anything comparable. The images on the cover reproduced very well – clear and accurate color.
The images in the inside were also very good and clear and the color was true to the originals. Mixbook does not apply any correction to your photos, so you should do any necessary editing in outside photo editing software if necessary.
Each two-page spread is printed on a continuous sheet so there is no gutter and you can design across the spread. This sheet is then fused to thick cardstock giving the page a very thick and rigid feel. Each page is so thick, my 99 page book measured about 2 inches thick! Definitely the thickest book I’ve ever made. For comparison I took a photo of a typical 100 page book compared to the Mixbook lay flat. See the difference!
Most books of this type (extra thick cardstock pages) would have a page limit of a lot less than 99 pages – maybe more like 30 pages max, so if you have a lot of photos, this could work better for you.
The book is quite impressive because of its size and paper thickness, but I did have one slight issue with my book. There were some small areas on the page surface where a white crinkle like mark was visible. My mom actually didn’t see them until I pointed them out to her since they were pretty small. I contacted Mixbook and they promptly sent out a reprint. It’s important that a company stand by their product and Mixbook certainly did that. I don’t have the reprint back yet as of this post, but I will update.
Overall, the book is very unique product, and priced at a pretty decent price point for the quality and number of pages you can get. If you compare them to flush mount books which have a similar type of sandwiched cardboard pages (albeit on photo paper) you can get a lot more pages in the Mixbook lay flat. This is also more economical than the flush mounts printed on photo paper, so it’s an option if you want a flush mount type look, but are on a tighter budget. Mixbook’s software is feature-packed and easy to use. For those who want an easy drag and drop interface, you can opt for a pre-designed theme, while those who prefer customization will not feel limited by the software.
Here’s some more shots of my book!
How To Get the Best Deal on This Book
Mixbook does offer sales on it premium lay flat books – typically about 15%. Be sure to check my photo deals page for any current promos. Of course the best deal would be to win one! See the details below.
Enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 gift vouchers worth $100.00 each!
You can use them on a lay flat book or anything on Mixbook’s site!
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.
- Check out Mixbook’s photo books (or other products) and come back here to comment below – IF YOU WON THIS PRIZE, WHAT WOULD YOU MAKE?
- 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. Sorry RSS doesn’t count);
- “Like” me on Facebook (if you are already a fan, or become a new fan, tell me your Facebook name in the comment form);
- “Like” Mixbook on Facebook (if you are already a fan, or become a fan, tell me your Facebook name in the comment form);
- Give your review of any photo book/canvas company you’ve tried on the company’s main reviews page. (Click here to give a canvas print review). Click on the “Read Review” button. Scroll down towards the middle of the page after the Quick Specs Chart and you’ll see a place to add your review for that company. 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. Reviews given prior to the start of this Giveaway don’t count – they must be new ones please!);
- 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 anyone 18 or older. No country restrictions (so it’s international but please check if Mixbook ships to your country if you have any doubts). Void where prohibited. Void in Quebec. Entries must be received by Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 11:59pm CT and any entries not in accordance with the rules will be disqualified at our sole discretion and at the discretion of the sponsor. Winning entries will be chosen using Random.org. After compiling the results, I will announce the winners thereafter and will email the winners. The winners will have 48 hours to respond or I will redraw another entry. Canadian winners may be asked to answer a skill question to be eligible, to comply with Canadian laws. Winners will be issued a gift voucher. Gift voucher does not expire. Shipping varies by location – see Mixbook’s site for details. Winners may apply voucher value towards a higher priced item, and pay for any additional charges. You can even apply any applicable promo that’s running for extra savings. Disclosure: I am an affiliate of the company. The links on these pages go to the company’s sites. If you click on a link to Mixbook’s site and make a purchase, I may receive a referral fee from the company. This giveaway is sponsored by Mixbook. Regardless of affiliation my opinions are always my own and I always give my honest opinion.
Mixbook Coupon Codes 2013 (Click on graphic to go to the Deals Page)