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Remember the days of going to One Hour Photo and dropping off your roll of 12, 24 or 36 photos to get developed? Oh, the excitement and anticipation of waiting to see how your shots turned out. Now that we live in a digital world, photography is instantaneous, and there is no limit to the number of photos you can take. However, we can still preserve our memories in a similar fashion to how we did in the past by turning them into keepsake books that you’ll look at for years to come. Read on to learn more about the various printing services to create photo books online, including the pros, cons and pricing for each.
Best Sites for Printing Photo Books Online
There are a number of companies that offer online photo book printing. They range in price and features but pretty much all offer similar products and services. However, we feel there are three that deserve the top spots for the best overall. (One note about the pricing in this category – it changes frequently and there are usually special offers and discount codes, so make sure you check out our coupon sections on this page and click on our links for the most up to date prices and promos before purchasing).
Founded by a team of two sisters and a husband in 2012, Artifact Uprising is a mission-driven company that is a great pick for artists, graphic designers or anyone who is looking for a simple, no-frills service with an impressive high-quality product. Although Artifact Uprising has a little higher price point and it doesn’t offer fancy templates, they are our overall winner because the photo books are by far the most beautiful and the best quality. The platform is very simple to use and gives you a professional and priceless book that you will treasure for years to come.
- Starts at $16 for Softcover (40 page minimum); Hardback starts at $69 (50 Page minimum)
- Additional Pages: $0.25-$1.00/page (depending on format/size)
- Turnaround Time: 8 days for production + shipping
- Volume Discount: 20% off for 10+ books
Artifact Uprising often has time sensitive coupons, find and share them here!
Shutterfly is another popular photo sharing service which offers a variety of additional photo printing services and products including photo books. Shutterfly offers a wide selection of templates, customizations and book creation options in addition to competitive pricing and has been a major player in the photo printing world since 1999. If you want to create books on the go, you can use their Photo Story iPad app which even has the ability to draw using touch screen doodling.
- Starting at $19.99 for a Hardcover 8×8″ book (20 pages)
- Turnaround Time: Economy/Standard is 6-10 days (includes shipping); also offers rush service
- Discounts: Offers a variety of seasonal discounts, promotions and exclusive offers throughout the year
Shutterfly often has time sensitive coupons, find and share them here!
Founded in 2005, Blurb is a book printing service and then some, offering many extra distribution features. Blurb is great for both personal use and aspiring authors alike who want to create books, ebooks, notebooks, trade books or magazines for personal use or for sharing with a larger audience. They have an online editor, or you can use their Blurb BookWright™ or Blurb BookSmart® software that downloads to your computer to create books from your desktop without the internet. They also integrate with InDesign and Lightroom to easily upload your publications and photos (no other photo book services offered this feature).
- Softcover starts at $14.99 (for 20 pages) and Hardcover starts at $28.99 (for 20 pages)
- Additional Pages: $0.20-$0.45 per page depending on size
- Turnaround Time: 4-5 days for production + shipping
- Volume Discount: 15-25% off for 20+ books
Blurb often has time sensitive coupons, find and share them here!
12 Ways to Supercharge Your Photo Album
Now that you’ve read about our top 3 picks for best photo book, how about some ideas for actually using these services to spice up your photo album? Check out our companion article for 12 ways to supercharge your photo album.
Other Photo Book Companies
Here are a few other popular photo book companies we reviewed:
Lulu is more than just a book printing company. It is a community of writers and designers looking to sell their work to a larger audience. This company has published more than one million books since 2002, helping to create and shape the self-publishing industry. Overall, Lulu is a nice option for those who are looking to print large quantities and those who wish to sell their printed and digital books via third-party retailers or on their own website or browse and purchase others’ self-published books.
- Black and white Paperbacks starting at $1.72 (for 48 pages) and $13.13 for black and white Premium Hardcover (for 24 pages)
- Turnaround Time: 3-8 days (includes shipping). Download e-books instantly
- Additional Pages: Varies
- Volume Discount: 3-20% off for 15+ books
Mpix was founded in 2003 in Pittsburg, Kansas by Miller Professional Imaging, a local, family photography business. Although a lesser known company, their nimble team works hard to compete, produce and quickly print and ship its products. Being a bit smaller company also gives them the advantage of having a leg up on the bigger names when it comes to customer service. And because they are photographers themselves, they strive to have the best quality papers, colors and processes so you can trust your photos will turn out looking great.
- Softcover and Economy books start at $19.99
- Turnaround Time: 1 day (excludes shipping).
- Additional Pages: .50 each
PastBook is different from other photo books in that it specializes in auto-creating books of your past. With one click of a “connect” button you can have a yearbook made within seconds. By syncing to your Facebook or Instagram account it automatically puts your uploaded/shared photos in chronological order along with the existing photo captions. You can also invite friends or relatives to contribute and add their own favorite moments (or upload your own photos directly).
- Softcover starts at $30 for small (8.5×6″) and starts at $45 for big hardcover (12×8″) both for 26 pages. Price includes taxes.
- Turn Around Time: 7-10 Days
- Shipping is flat $5.00 and they claim to ship to anywhere in the world
- Additional pages: go up to 50, 100, 200, 300 or 500 pages for set price (not pay per page like other companies)
- Get extra copies printed for friends and family for a 35% discount at checkout
Photobucket is an online photo album service that’s been around since 2003. They allow you to upload your photos into galleries and then order various printed goods including greeting cards and photo books. They offer a photo app for iPhone and Android that is capable of uploading, sharing, editing and retouching photos. You can even design and order a photo book using the app and pick it up the same day at your local drug store in as quickly as an hour. Photobucket makes it easy and quick to create books for yourself since it can easily import your images from Facebook and Instagram or use your existing Photobucket account. The books are clean, minimalist and high-quality, but they lack some of the bells and whistles when it comes to customizing your paper types, adding design embellishments, etc.
- Soft Cover photo books start at $11.99 (for 20 pages) up to $21.50 for larger, lay flat Hardcover (20 pages)
- Turnaround Time: 3 days (plus shipping) or same day (via the app).
- Additional Pages: Varies
Based in Redwood City, California, Picaboo was founded in 2002 by two friends and college classmates. The first book was printed in 2005, and since the company has printed more than 2 million photo books. The clean, easy to navigate website has no frills and is very straight-forward. They also offer Yearbook software which gives schools the ability to collaborate on custom yearbooks that come with their own storefront to sell books on demand with a relatively short 3-week turnaround.
- Starting at $19.99 for softcover 8×6″ book (20 pages) and lay-flat hardcover books start at $64.99 for 8×8″ book (20 pages)
- Additional Pages: $0.50-$1.50 per page
- Turnaround Time: 3-10 days for production plus shipping (overnight available)
- Discounts: Varies
Snapfish is a popular photo printing service that prints your photos on everything from photo books to a variety of decor and gifts like mugs, shirts and more. It’s quick and easy to make photo books in a snap using Snapfish. Now a part of the HP family of products, your photo books are printed and delivered using high-quality gloss or matte finishes with a variety of designs and sizes to choose from. They offer plenty of design and layout options to make it customized and a variety of sizes and book types.
- Softcover 5×7″ starts at $12.99 (for 20 pages) and hardcover 8×8″ starts at $28.99 (for 20 pages)
- Additional Pages: $0.99 -$2.99 per page depending on size
- Turnaround Time: 1-5 days for processing + shipping
- Discounts: Offers a variety of seasonal discounts, promotions and special offers throughout the year
Video: How to Create a PhotoBook
Watch how easily and quickly you can create a photo book on Snapfish in five simple steps.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy DSLR Camera or any photography experience. The great thing about the digital age is that most iPhones or smartphones take spectacular photos that are suitable for printing. If taking your own photos is not your thing, think about using some stock photography for your books. One of our very own writers, Kimberly, offered her own photography advice and must-have tool for great picture taking in a blog post on Bigstock. You too can shoot like a pro but first, time to start collecting your memories into a book to share with your family and friends!
Good luck and happy memory book making!
What photo sharing service do you use when printing albums?