I didn’t expect to find the best photo book in the world this month but I did. After my great experience using the FreePrints App for 6 x 4 inch photos I tried out their Photo Book App for my Week In The Life™ pages.
PlanetArt’s Photo Book App allows for one 7 x 5 inches, soft cover photo book of 20 pages per month. All I had to pay was postage of £5.99. I think that is reasonable; I paid almost £16 earlier this year for a 7 x 5 inch photo book from Snapfish, which turned out closer to 8 x 6 inches. I know, I shouldn’t complain that it was bigger, but it did mess with my pages because it stretched the images.
The original offer was for one 7 x 5 inch soft cover photo book, ideal for me because that’s the size I design my pages. Also, Snapfish, my other choice no longer offer the 7 x 5 inch book so needed to look elsewhere anyway.
Using the app to create the book is simple; it’s all drag and drop to layout the pages. I did have a small problem; not enough pages.I didn’t realise that the free book allowed for 20 pages per month until I installed it to start my order, and my Week In The Life™ this year isn’t full of great photos.
At the end of the book I used one of the apps collage layouts for the last page; I wanted to see what it would look like and how their captions work.
My fancy Doogee phone has a smart three-finger gesture to take a screenshot – which is great – except I can’t get three of my fingers to co-operate at the same time, so I took a photo with my camera instead.
You can pull photos in from your phone camera, Google Photos and Drive, Dropbox, Instagram, Facebook, One Drive and Flickr, even WhatsApp.
I am offered an upgrade to an 8 x 6 inch hard cover book at checkout; I decide to try it as an experiment for any future special projects I want to dress up. I wonder if it means they will stretch my images to fit the pages, but as I’m only paying £5.99 for postage I think it’s worth the risk to find out what the book will be like.
The Best Photo Book In The World – For The Price
I ordered my photo book on 20 May; it is posted on 25 May and arrived in my expectant hands two days later. I am over the moon.
The book is gorgeous. I can imagine a row of them on my bookshelf quite easily. The content will have to improve to match the cover at this rate.
The quality is superb; a shiny, hard cover, like a published book. It’s quite lightweight, so I can still handle it; it is beautifully bound, with paper pages at the beginning and end, so I could write in it if I gave one as a gift. The pages I created in PaintShop Pro look as good as I expected; the collage page offered by the app is also great. When you choose the photos you can touch the screen and play with the sizes of each section (and there are plenty of layout designs to choose from too) and the caption lives at the bottom. I wouldn’t use it for all my pages (because I like control and fiddling with graphics) but it’s certainly a useful option to have.
Of course, there’s more white space on the page because I opted for the larger size, and thus the backgrounds don’t quite match because my pages are off-white. As I wasn’t expecting to have a larger size I’m not complaining; this book looks spiffing, the existing pages weren’t stretched to fit the extra space, and it tells me that whatever size I order next time will be of the same high quality. I’ll let you know.
And that was the point of the exercise; to try the service for a reasonable price, to see if it’s worth it when it comes to a project I care about. I am already planning my next book; I’ll try the 7 x 5 soft cover version properly I think. And perhaps plan some photo book gifts for Christmas 2016?