I’m so excited about today’s guest post! Did you know there was a website dedicated entirely to helping you create photo books. PhotoBookGirl.com features helpful how-tos, reviews, photo book ideas and savings tips and today it’s author, Photo Book Girl, is sharing some of her best photo book creation tips with BC readers. Enjoy!
One of the best ways to get your family’s photos off your hard drive and into print is through a photo book. There’s just something about holding a book of your own creation in your hands.
Photo books are affordable, compact, easy to duplicate for gifts, and much lighter than a traditional album. Plus customization options and creative possibilities are endless.
My blog Photobookgirl.com is all about finding the best photo book deals and photo book companies as well as sharing tips on how to make a great photo book. I’ve put together a few images of the photo books I’ve created for my family as well as some of my best tips right here!
How to Find the Best Photo Book Deals
1) Sign up for the company’s e-mail list and fan the company’s Facebook page. Special promo codes and info on sales will come straight to you. Companies will offer greatly discounted or even free books from time to time – obviously a great opportunity to try out a new company with low risk;
2) Thinking about buying a Groupon or other daily photo book deal? Before buying go to the company’s website to check out the offerings and play with the software. Even if it’s a great deal, if you don’t like the company’s design tools, it won’t be worth it. Also, do a little math and compare the daily deal to the promo the company is currently running. If you plan to make a book with a lot of pages, the Groupon may not be the better deal since the discount maxes out and you’ll have to pay for the difference at regular price. However, if you keep within the promotional value of the Groupon, you’ll typically save 60% or more off your book;
3) Make note of how the company charges for additional pages. Some companies price out their photo books in page ranges rather than on a per page cost. For example if a company charges $20.00 for 21 to 40 pages, be sure to make 40 pages or you’ll miss out on 19 free pages. Also some companies from time to time will run a “free extra page” promo. Meaning you’ll only pay for the standard 20-page book and you’ll get the rest free (that can be as much as 80 free pages);
4) Make and Hold. If your project is not time-sensitive, make your photo book and just hold onto it until a good deal pops up;
5) External Software. If you find that you love making photo books like I do, it may be worth it to invest in your own design software. That way, you’ll have the most flexibility in where to print, thus increasing the chances in finding a great deal and you’ll have the most ability to customize the actual layouts themselves. Adobe Photoshop Elements and FotoFusion are two popular programs.
Photo Book Girl’s Best Photo Book Design Tips
1) Do your editing outside of the photo book program. In-program editing tools are usually very limited. Brightening your photos is usually a good idea – photos tend to print a bit darker, so if you have a photo that looks too dark on your screen, it will probably look darker in print. Don’t have your own photo editing software? There’s lots of free photo editing software out there.
2) Narrow down the number of photos you plan to use before uploading. Having too many photos will make it confusing when you go to design the pages. I average about 1 to 5 photos per page for a 20-page photo book (assuming the standard 8.5” x 11” size). So, selecting 80 to 100 photos or less will still give you a lot of options without being overwhelming. You can always add more later;
3) The Duplicate or Copy button is your friend. Once you’ve created a few layouts that you’re happy with, duplicate the layout or the spread and reuse it with some minor tweaks. No need to make a different layout for every page, just intersperse them throughout the book. If you can’t save or duplicate the spread, even just copying a photo or text box instead of creating a new one is a time-saver as it retains the preferences you’ve already set;
4) Pick a template. If you’re making your first book, don’t worry about having to make your own layouts, many companies have fabulous ready-made templates. Just upload your photos and drag and drop them into place.
Hope you’ve found my tips helpful. Please stop by to say hi on my site or my Facebook page. Be sure to also check out my 3rd Anniversary Photo Book Giveaway for lots of great prizes and promos. A big thanks to Angie for inviting me to share these tips with you! Happy Photobooking!