I was recently approached by Lulu.com and asked to review their Photobook services and give one away (that’s coming up – so keep reading). I am somewhat familiar with Lulu – I have friends who have used Lulu.com to self-publish their writing for quite some time already – but was not aware that they had added Photobooks to their selection. The timing worked out nicely as I had not yet ordered a photobook from my own ceremony yet I received my photobook last week and have been showing it off to EVERYONE lol. So now it’s your turn – first some pictures, then I will give you my thoughts on the process and the book itself:)
Photobook arrives – it’s like Christmas in July
The Book & Cover
Some Of My Favorite Pages
I’m a pretty budget savvy person so one of the first things that caught my attention was the price. Lulu.com Photobooks start at $9.99 for a soft cover, 20 page book and $19.99 for a hard cover, 20 page book. Very budget friendly!
Sizes and Templates:
I really like the range of options that Lulu offers for their ebooks. My particular book is an 8 1/2 x 8 1/2 square book. I am a huge fan of square albums (its the scrapbooker in me lol) and its generally a more expensive option when it is offered which isn’t often. I really like that this size/shape was available for the same price. Other sizes included 8 1/2 x 11, 9 x 7, 5.25 x 3.5 (guest book album?) and 3.75 x 2.5 (brag books for grandmas?).
Lulu.com also offers a great selection of templates that you can use depending on your preferred style: classic, modern, romantic, vintage, nature inspired, etc. Now – I am a graphic designer and I had already designed the pages for my album so I choose full photo templates for each page and then uploaded my own designs as a photo for each page and for the cover. I love that flexibility – you can use one of their templates if you wish – or if you have some graphic design or digital scrapbook ability you can design your own pages like I did. Just make sure you respect the bleed areas.
Building a Photobook:
I found the Photobook creator very easy to use. You can upload pictures from your computer or from your albums on Flickr, Facebook, etc. You then choose the layout you want to each page (one picture, two pictures, three pictures, text boxes, etc) and drag and drop your photos into their spaces. You can save your progress and come back to it late if you need to until you are ready to publish.
Show off and/or sell your Photobook!
The neat thing about Lulu is that it’s both a self publishing company AND a bookstore. You can create your books there and sell them through the website. You set the prices you want to charge and when a book is purchased, Lulu prints and ships directly to the customer. This feature is great for photographers who want to offer their brides affordable, flexible album options. You create the album and set your price. The bride and her family can order as many copies as they wish whenever they wish.
There are a few different options you can pick when you publish. You can choose to keep the album private (so only you can order it). You can also choose to have your book available by link only. This means you can give the link to friends and family so they can preview and purchase a copy if they want. I choose this option – not because I want family to buy my book – but because then family and you guys can go see the preview (Click here to check it out lol). This option keeps your book from being included in their public database – which is the third option if you have a book you want made available to purchase for the general public.
I am quite happy with my photobook. I choose a hardcover book and it is quite sturdy. It’s only 20 pages thick so it kind of reminds me of a child’s hardcover picture book lol – nice and sturdy. (Yes, you can add more pages as well). I was impressed by the color quality as well – the pages were crisp and clear and the colors were bright. My photos came out looking gorgeous on each page.
GIVEAWAY – GET YOUR OWN PHOTOBOOK!!!!
So – we’re going to give away a photobook to one lucky reader! You can use it to create a wedding album or an album showcasing your wedding planning process (showers, parties, etc), your honeymoon, or whatever you wish. You will be able to choose your size, hard cover or soft cover and up to 20 pages at no cost. Giveaway Ends August 4th at midnight EST.
Here’s how to enter:
Sign up for our newsletter in the sidebar – all newsletter subscribers will automatically be entered to win!
You can also earn additional entries by Twittering our giveaway. Send your tweet @CrystalUnrau to ensure that your extra entries get counted!