Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Flickr Photo Book Review

As a gift to my wife this year for Christmas, I decided to collect my favorite photos of our family over the course of the year, and assemble them into a photo book. Here are some thoughts on my experience using Flickr.

After looking into several online solutions, I finally decided on using Flickr’s new photo book service. I read an article praising the quality of the hardcover books Flickr produces, and many of my photos already reside on Flickr, giving me a bit of a head start on the process.

Creating the book couldn’t be easier. There is a single size available (11” x 8.5”), and there are no gaudy borders or messy collage layout options. Each photo gets it’s own page. You can choose to display each photo edge to edge on the page, or inset the photo slightly with a well balanced white border surrounding it. Any Flickr Set can be turned into a book by simply clicking a button that says, “Make a book”, while viewing the set. If you like the standard layout, and don’t want to make any changes, you could checkout at this point & be done.

I opted to go through and choose custom cropping & arrangements for all of my pages. This is handled quite elegantly through both the “page view” and the “storyboard”. The page view shows you an illustration of what your book will look like opened up to a specific page. The storyboard view shows you all of the pages & how they line up with each other.

The cover includes the option of a photo, and a line of text. I chose to simply title the book, “2013”. The title is also displayed on the spine.

The starting price is $34.95 for 20 pages, and $0.50 for each page after that. There’s only a single delivery option of “Express Shipping” for $12.99, which estimates arrival within 5-7 business days. I found this delivery time to be accurate from when I ordered my book. I wish Flickr offered a more economical shipping method, as I find $12.99 a little steep for shipping a simple book.

I “narrowed” my book down to 128 pages, which came out to a grand total of $101.94. I found this price to be about on par with what other popular online services charge for a book of this size.

The quality of the book is top notch. I was very impressed when it arrived. Upon opening the packaging, my first impression was one of quality. The book has heft & feels substantial in my hands. It ships with a glossy dust jacket that offers protection for the front & back covers. I'm not a fan of dust jackets, as I feel they cheapen the look & feel of an otherwise solid & well designed product.

Turning through the pages, I immediately noticed the print quality is great. The pages have a nice weight to them, and don’t feel like they will crinkle if turned by my 4-year-old son. The paper & photos have a classy, satin sheen that reminds me of other press-printed hardcover books on my bookshelf.

My wife was very happy with the gift. The sentimental value was immediately apparent on her face upon unwrapping the book. I think I may have started a tradition.


Saechang said...

Great review! I ordered three and can't wait for them to come in. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

What is the actual paperweight? PSI.

Erin said...

Thanks for writing this review. I came across it when trying to research if the book would be worth spending a lot of money on. I especially liked your close up photos to show the quality.

Erin said...

Thanks for writing this review. I came across it when trying to research if the book would be worth spending a lot of money on. I especially liked your close up photos to show the quality.

Unknown said...

Great review! Thanks!

Sheila C said...

Yes, thanks! I was considering ordering a wedding book for a niece using Flickr photos, but couldn't find a review with photos except for yours. Greatly appreciated.

Phlipster said...

Hi, thank you for this review. Last year I had the same experience when I created a flickr book. Unfortunately I think flickr decided to outsource photo book creation to blurb and while the creation process was alright I think the quality (although I ordered the premium product) was far worse than the flickr book which I find depressing.

Has anybody found other alternatives?

Many thanks Phil

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