On another thread, I mentioned that I was working on a "coffee-table" style photo book of pics from our February safari. Several people expressed interest in the process and asked me to keep them abreast of developments.
I've just finished compiling and editing several hundred photos in a 189-page 12" x 12" hardcover book. My husband and I are each going to do one more edit tomorrow and then order three copies -- one for ourselves, one for the couple who accompanied and one for our guide in Tanzania.
It's fairly costly to produce such a large book, so we wanted to get some idea of the quality we might expect before placing an order, so I put together a 30-page, soft-cover version and sent off an order for it last week. It arrived very promptly and I'm delighted to say that the quality is really excellent. The colors are great, the paper is high-quality and the resolution much better than I expected. We're pretty impressed, as it happens.
I had begun the process first with Shutterfly, but soon discovered that they have a 111-page limit and we really wanted to go beyond that. So we did some further research and discovered that the best-reviewed online site for this kind of "publishing" is "Mixbook.com." They are a little more expensive than Shutterfly (the first 20 pages are included in the price of publication, with $1.25 per page following that, as opposed to roughly $1.05 per additonal page at most other sites), but the reviews convinced us that in pretty much all other respects it's the best choice out there. It's pretty user-friendly, though it does require some practice, and -- most importantly -- the results are impressive. Even the soft-cover version looks very professional. I'm rather excited to see what the completed book will look like. It's a considerable expense, but it's going to make, I think, the best of all possible souvenirs!
When we receive the final version, I'll report back. Meanwhile, for those interested in a soft-cover book, I can attest to the beauty of Mixbook's product.