Digital Photo Books

Learn the basics
make your own.

I love digital photo books!

Photo books don’t take as much time to assemble as traditional paper scrapbooking and take up less physical space than photo albums. I find they are a perfect combination of printing digital photos and documenting family memories. Plus, it’s easy to print duplicate book copies to share with parents, grandparents and siblings.

{SIDE NOTE: I love photo canvases almost as much as I love photo books!}

Digital Photo Book Basics

Standard digital photo books are usually...

  • about 20 pages with the capacity to include 100-150 pages
  • hard or soft cover
  • sometime come with a dust cover, or the option of purchasing a dust cover for an additional fee
  • vary in size – anything from 5x5 to 7x10 to 8x8 to 10.5x11 to 12x12

Every company I’ve worked with requires you to first create a free password-protected user account. From there, some companies ask you to download bookmaking software while others operate entirely online.

Variables of Digital Photo Books

  • prices (base price quotes are usually just for the standard 20-pages; after that you pay per page)
  • book quality
  • customer service
  • layout options
  • the amount of text you can put on a page
  • ability to alter and edit photos
  • individual page layout options
  • variety of backgrounds, templates and themes
  • usability of photo book software; the time and work it takes to learn the program nuances
  • process of uploading photos, storage and sharing options
  • the ability to make other custom projects from digital images, such as a calendar, greeting cards, t-shirt, etc.

Things to Consider

Before you make your own photo book, find the company that will best suit your needs. Consider the following.

  1. Digital photo books vary, just like the companies who publish them. How much help will you need? Browse through the “about us” and customer service portions of the website to get a feel for how available they are to answer individual questions. Are there webinars or tutorials to get you started?
  2. What size do you want for your personalized photo book? Different companies offer different options. If you want to create a photo book based on your 12x12 scrapbook pages, it’ll be easiest to print a 12x12 book.
  3. What is your skill level? How easy does your project need to be? If you don’t want to spend a lot of time customizing pages, look for attractive templates and themed books. If the available backgrounds and designs seem limiting, make sure the company offers editing options and photo placement flexibility.
  4. How much text are you planning to include? Some companies/templates offer little more word space than the ability to print photo captions. Make sure there is enough space to say what you want to say.

  5. How many photos do you plan to include? Most prices are based on a certain number of pages per book. Additional pages can usually be added at a per page cost of about $.99.
  6. Is the cover important? Do you want to be able to print your book title on the spine? Do you need a dust jacket? Again, options vary considerably.
  7. What do you plan to do with your book? Who will read it? If you’ll be handing your digital photo books over to young children, make sure the book and pages are of a higher quality so they will resist wrinkles and tears.

Digital Photo Book Reviews

Heritage Makers is my very top pick.

Direct selling company. Quality is second to none; as much personal help as you want. The focus is more about journaling and writing stories to go with pictures. Uses drag and drop method, tons of free, themed templates. Heritage Makers is by far the most customizable and easiest to work with out of anything I’ve seen. Premier membership includes access to over 30,000 pieces of digital artwork and scrapbooking embellishments, which are constantly being added to and updated.

Ask me how you can receive these free family reunion templates. Each template is completely customizable and can be changed and edited to your heart's content. To preview the templates, just follow the links.

"Branches of My Family Tree" Template Series:

* Poster - Customize your own 18"x24" vertical family tree poster to give family reunion attendees a visual of your family posterity and structure. Place each family member's picture on the family branch to which he/she belongs.

* Poster - Create a 24"x18" horizontal pedigree chart poster to give family reunion attendees a visual of your ancestry.

* Card Game - Customize this deck of 54 playing cards to make your very own "Crazy Cousins" game of memory or concentration. Play the card game at the reunion and then give a deck to each family to take home with them as a reunion keepsake.

* Memory Book - After the reunion, assemble everyone's favorite digital photos into a lasting storybook treasure. Each family can purchase their own copy or give them as gifts.

My Publisher
Templates for up to 12 photos per page. Background color choices of white, grey or black; otherwise no background or theme options. Discounts for purchasing multiple copies of the same book. Easy-to-use software.

Auto fill option automatically loads pictures into your photo book as a starting point. Offers a spiral bound option. Basic templates; no background or theme options. Biggest advantage is their occasional flat rate book sale, which allows you to purchase a 100-page book for only $19.95.

Tons and tons of options. A terrific choice for bloggers – you can “slurp” your entire blog into a book and then further edit and customize. Lots of good templates, including table of contents, portfolio and journal pages. Blurb offers webinar support.

Offers 5 book sizes. Cover options include satin, leather, cloth or photo. Spine printing available. Program alerts you to insufficient photo resolution or text problems. You can set text font and size and choose a photo edge for the entire book all at once. Nice background designs although somewhat limiting.

Offer many, many different book sizes, including a 2x3 mini book. (How fun is that?) Hardcover and softcover options. One-touch photo finisher can automatically remove red eye while uploading photos. Many options for sharing photos and projects.

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