Do you say to yourself, “When I get more time, I am going to do X.” Like clean out your closet, take up a hobby, go workout, read that book or catch up on that movie you haven’t seen yet? Problem is, we can’t always find the extra time, and we find ourselves perpetually putting things off.
Now, I can’t help you with most of the stuff on your to do list, but I can help out on those photo book projects you’ve been meaning to do. I recently tried out this nifty app – Mosaic. It’s brought to you by the folks at Mixbook and it’s aimed at helping you get those photos off your computer (or should I say off your mobile devices) and into a book in minutes.
If you’ve been following my photo book journey, you know I’m a bit picky about photo books. I typically make all of my photo books on my desktop, but when the opportunity came up to try Mosaic, I decided to give it a go. I’m also happy to share with 12 of my readers – via generous sponsorship by Mosaic and Mixbook – the opportunity to win your own Mosaic book (free shipping included too!). More details on that below.
What is Mosaic?
Mosaic debuted a little over a year ago, and since then has gone through a number of updates and improvements. It’s an app that runs on the iPhone, iPad or Android. Through a quick and easy to use interface, you select 20 photos on your device and the app automatically lays them out and designs a neat cut-out cover. The end result of your few minutes of effort is a 7 x 7 inch square hard cover book that comes in packaged in its own presentation box. It’s $20.00 and comes to you door in 4 days.
It’s super quick to do and I found it quite refreshing to make a photo book in minutes. The process works like this:
How to Make a Mosaic Photo Book
1) Download the free app to your iOS or Android device;
2) Mosaic will ask you to choose 20 photos and will pull from Facebook, Instagram or any photos stored on your phone. The app creates the entire layout for you as well as the cover.
3) Clicking “Shuffle Cover” will randomly remix the position of the photos on the cover;
4) You can preview the pages by tapping on the book as well as select a black or white background;
5) Place your order by entering your shipping and payment details.
Done! You’ll have your book in hand in 4 days!
Here’s a quick summary of the stats:
|Book size:||7 x 7 (width x height) square|
|Cover:||Photo Cutout Linen Hard Cover|
|Pages:||22 pages (double-sided); 65 lb. McCoy Silk Cover paper (printed on HP Indigo printers)|
|Packaging:||Matching presentation box; small logo on the last page of book|
|Price:||$20.00 + $5.00 shipping = $25.00 TOTAL ($5 shipping for contiguous U.S.; $10 for Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico; International shipping depends on destination)
|Turnaround||4 days (international is longer)|
Mosaic Software Review
I found the book very easy to make. The most time I spent was narrowing down to 20 photos. I decided to make a brag book for my mom for Valentine’s Day so I picked 20 photos of Photo Book Baby, including some photos with grandma. She’s not into gadgets and doesn’t have a smartphone, so if she wants to show off photos of Photo Book Baby, it has to be in printed form. I thought this book would be perfect for her to slip into her purse and show to her friends. She has plenty of large photo books that I’ve made for her but nothing this portable.
Photo Book Girl Tip: The photos will load into the book in the exact order you select them, so the first photo you pick will be on the first page after the collage cover.
Wish List: I found the shuffle function for the cutout cover a little tricky to get right. Sometimes heads would get cut off, or look awkward, so I did click the shuffle button several times to get all photos into an acceptable position in the windows. It would be easier if individual photos could be adjusted manually. Also, you can’t title the book or add any text. It would be nice to be able to write something on the back page or at least be able to add a title to the book. In the end however, this book is all about clean lines and simplicity, so it might be a good thing to not clutter the interface with too many options.
This app is ideal for those who are new to making photo books. With the one-photo-per-page layout and the work done completely by the app, beginners will find it easily manageable and very fast.
A Fun and Easy Gift for Valentine’s Day
I wanted to get this post up in advance of Valentine’s Day as I thought this would make for an awesome Valentine’s gift so I posted this before actually getting my book. Imagine a cute book of 20 photos of you and your girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse/mother/father/family/child etc. If you’re a person who has trouble expressing yourself in words, well, let your photos do the talking! By the way, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is also coming up and this would make for great gift for those holidays as well.
Four days is pretty impressive for turnaround time and shipping, and I’ll look forward to sharing my Mosaic book with you in a follow up post after we pick our winners.
Now here’s the info on the giveaway!
Enter for a chance to win 1 of 12 gift cards worth $25.00 each!
That’s enough to cover the cost of one Mosaic photo book with shipping included. (International winners or those outside contiguous U.S. can pay the difference in cost.)
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.
- IF YOU WON THIS PRIZE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TOPIC OF YOUR MOSAIC PHOTO BOOK?
- 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” Mosaic 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 Mosaic ships to your country if you have any doubts). Void where prohibited. Void in Quebec. Entries must be received by Sunday, February 2, 2014 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 card and may need to provide their email to Mosaic to receive the credit. Gift card does not expire. Shipping varies by location. (Contiguous U.S. shipping is included in $25.00 credit. International winners or those outside contiguous U.S. can pay the difference in cost. For example for Vancouver, Canada the book and shipping will be $36.00.) This giveaway post and prizes are sponsored by Mosaic/Mixbook. Regardless of affiliation my opinions are always my own and I always give my honest opinion.
BEST OF LUCK TO EVERYONE!