5 things you should consider before you make your next photo book

photo book
Image credit: Shutterstock (Image credit: Shutterstock)

With a smartphone always with you, folks tend to take more snapshots than ever. Creating a photo book is a great way to organize your photos and images for sharing and preserving these memories - whether that be for you and your home or as a thoughtful present for a loved one.

Spending some time planning your photo book upfront is key to having it succeed. If you're on a deadline, for example (has that birthday come around quicker than expected?), then you'll want to check out processing and delivery times. Of course all providers have different costs attached, and have you even thought about the paper that will do justice to your photos?

Here are five key things to consider prior to the creation of your photo book masterpiece.

Get the best - TechRadar's #1 photo book provider


Our favorite photo book service right now is Mixbook
We know it's a bit of a cliche, but Mixbook ticks all the boxes and is a great place to start. It has hundreds of ready made themes and templates ready for you, or in-depth customization if you have the time and patience to create a completely unique piece. The quality of the finished article is excellent and the software a dream to use. Highly recommended.

1. Consider the cost

Before you get too deep into the project, be cognizant of the costs involved. Pricing for a photo book gets based on a number of variables, including the number of pages in the book, and the type of paper used with glossy, heavier paper costing a premium compared to more affordable matte options. Also, just like with the publishing of other books, a hardcover design costs more than the softcover version. But realize that the hardcover version achieves that more professional look to justify the additional cost.

Think about the intended use of the book, as it can be easier to justify the higher cost for a family archive than as a corporate giveaway to a larger number of clients.

Also, look for a discount, as for example Mixbook frequently offers juicy 50% off books for different occasions.

2. Size things up

The size of the book should also be planned in advance. Do you want the book to end up on a bookshelf or on your coffee table? Well then see what the size of your other books on the bookshelf are for an easy match, or for a coffee table book it should be large and inviting to easily showcase your images.

3. Format, format, format

Photo books can be formatted for a landscape mode (great for that coffee table) or portrait (better for your bookshelf?). There is also a square mode that balances the attributes of the landscape and portrait options.

For a smaller approach, some services also offer the option of a 6x6 mini photo book. A great option to fit into a basket or give as a gift.

4. Perfect your timing

As these photo books need to be printed, and bound, be sure to factor that into your timeline. After all, custom work certainly takes some time for producing the photo book. 

It is ideally more affordable to not put a rush on the project. However, these situations invariably do occur, and shipping and production can be hastened for a premium price. While a budget project at Mixbook, for example, will typically take 11 business days, for an additional cost, there are options for standard in 6 business days, priority in 4 business days, up to express in a mere 3 business days to help meet any deadline.

And don't underestimate the amount of time you will take yourself in perfecting the content and look of your new photo book. With all the templates and customization available, you can really end up going down a rabbit hole and, with it, a massive time sink. Even deciding on which of your myriad photos to include can take a while.

5. Print more, save more

Another issue to decide about is to figure out the number of photo books that will be ordered. Will this photo book be a one off unique project, or will this be a corporate project where many will be needed? For example, for a photo book to commemorate a family reunion, or mutifamily vacation, each of the families should get their own copy.

Choosing the correct photo book vendor upfront can help to keep the project affordable. For example, Mixbook offers bulk discounts on their photo books on an order quantity that is as low as 10 or more to make these larger projects affordable.

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Jonas P. DeMuro

Jonas P. DeMuro is a freelance reviewer covering wireless networking hardware.