Best Photo Books Online: Lulu vs Blurb vs Artifact Uprising vs Shutterfly & More

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Gone are the days of dropping off your roll of 35mm film at “one hour” photo developers. Thanks to the digital world, photography is instantaneous, and you don’t have to wait to see how your photos turn out.

But are your photos just collecting dust in the cloud? Why not preserve your memories in a beautiful keepsake book that you’ll look at for years to come?

Best Sites For Printing Photo Books Online

Numerous companies offer online photo book printing. They range in price and features — some even provide services for photographers and authors to self-publish, mass produce and distribute their personal creations. These three services stand out from the rest making them our top picks.

Note about the pricing: it changes frequently, and there are usually special offers and discount codes. 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.

Winner: Artifact Uprising Review

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Founded by a team of two sisters and a husband in 2012, Artifact Uprising is a mission-driven company that’s a terrific pick for artists, graphic designers or anyone who’s looking for a simple, no-frills service with an impressive, high-quality book.

Each hard-cover book is made with a thick, matte paper, a fabric cover in a choice of 10 colors and a partial or full dust jacket (which you can design as well).

Although Artifact Uprising has a slightly higher price point (for hardcover books) and it doesn’t offer fancy templates, its photo books are by far the most beautiful and “premium.” The platform is very simple to use and gives you a professional and priceless book or gift to treasure for years to come.

ProsCons
Made in the USA: printed in Denver, ColoradoWhile they don’t have fancy templates, they do offer beautiful page layouts to crop photos and add text
Made from 100% post-consumer recycled paperDistribution is not an option
Online book builder or iPhone app
Import photos from Instagram or your computer
Offer square, vertical or horizontal book layouts
The hardcover books are canvas, giving a high-end feel (makes a great coffee table book)
Customer service is responsive and helpful
Also sells high-quality calendars, prints, postcards, etc.

Pricing

  • Softcover: starts at $15 for 5.5×5.5″ book (40-page minimum)
  • Hardback: starts at $59 for 6×8″ book (40-page minimum)
  • Additional Pages: $0.25-$1.50/page (depending on format/size)
  • Turnaround Time: 8 days for production + shipping
  • Volume Discount: 20% off for 10+ books

Read our In-Depth Artifact Uprising Review

Runner-Up: Shutterfly Review

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Shutterfly is another popular photo-sharing service which offers a variety of photo printing services and products including photo books at affordable prices.

A major player in the photo printing world since 1999, Shutterfly offers a wide selection of templates, customizations and book creation options in addition to competitive pricing.

If you want to create books on the go, you can use its Photo Story iPad app which even gives you the ability to draw using touch screen doodling.

ProsCons
Good Housekeeping’s Seal of Approval as best website for photo booksMany users complain about a lack of good customer service and long hold times
Made in the USA: printed in the U.S.Reports of shipments not arriving on time, even with guaranteed delivery dates
Free unlimited photo storage
Import photos from Instagram, Facebook or other photo services
Select from a wide range of cover options including linen, canvas, leather, dust jackets and lay-flat
Reasonably priced for the quality
Variety of stylish, modern templates
“Photo Story” iPad app and Shutterfly app
100% money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied

Pricing

  • Softcover: stars at $15.99 for an 8×8″ book (20 pages)
  • Hardcover: stars at $19.99 for an 8×8″ book (20 pages)
  • Additional Pages: $0.65-$2.39 per page, depending on size
  • 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

Read Our In-Depth Shutterfly Review

3rd Place: Blurb Review

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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, photo books, ebooks, notebooks, trade books or magazines for personal use or for sharing with a larger audience.

You can use its online editor or two downloadable software options to create books from your desktop without the internet.

Blurb also integrates with InDesign and Lightroom to easily upload your publications and photos (no other photo book services offers this feature).

ProsCons
Blurb BookWright™ or Blurb BookSmart® software includedLimited customer service via support ticket only
Affordable pricing and bulk printing optionsAdvanced software requires some training and/or experience
Use online editor or mobile app to create books
Adobe InDesign® Plug-in or integrate with Adobe Lightroom®
Instant photo book feature to connect with Facebook or Instagram
Offers several self-publishing options (to sell your book to others, including Amazon)
Online training documents, webinars and video tutorials
Browse the bookstore or get ideas in its inspiration center

Pricing

  • Softcover: starts at $14.99 for 7×7″ book (20 pages)
  • Hardcover: starts at $28.99 for 7×7″ book (20 pages)
  • Additional Pages: $0.20-$1.50 per page depending on size
  • Turnaround Time: 4-5 days for production + shipping
  • Volume Discount: 30-40% off for 20+ books

Read Our In-Depth Review of Blurb

Compare Photo Book Pricing & Features

Artifact UprisingShutterflyBlurbLuluMpixPastBookPhotoBucketPicabooSnapfish
Visit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit WebsiteVisit Website
Lowest Price Book$15 for 5.5×5.5″ softcover$15.99 for 8×8″ softcover$14.99 for 7×7″ softcover$1.72 for paperback$19.99 for softcover$30 for 8.5×6″ softcover$25.00 for 4×6″ softcover$19.99 for 8×6″ softcover$12.99 for 5×7″ softcover
Minimum # of Pages40 Pages20 Pages20 Pages242016202020
Maximum # of Pages380 Pages101 Pages440 Pages30010050074160150
Price For Extra Pages (Per Page)$0.25-$1.50$0.65-$2.39$0.20-$1.50Unavailable$0.50Price Increases Based on Increments of 50, 100, 200, 300, 500)$0.30-$0.57$0.75-$1.90 Varies
Hard CoverCheckmarkCheckmark3CheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Soft CoverCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Other FeaturesLayflat, Circular Diecut CoverLayflat, Circular Diecut Cover, Leather Cover, Crushed Silk CoverLayflat, Linen Cover, Pearl Photo Paper, Magazine, Ebooks.Coil Bound, Perfect Bound, Stitch BoundPanoramic Photo BookPremium MatteLayflatLayflat, Flush Mount, Mini BooksLayflat, Linen Cover, Leather Cover
DiscountsOffers a variety of seasonal discounts, promotions and exclusive offers throughout the year10-40% off for volume orders5-20% off for 15+ books35% for additional booksContact for discounts of 20+Up to 60% for orders of 10+Offers a variety of seasonal discounts, promotions and exclusive offers throughout the year
Production Time2-8 Days1-2 Days4-5 Days3-5 Days1-2 Daysn/a3 Days3-10 Days3 Days
Shipping Time3-18 Days1-10 Days7-11 Days1-11 Days1-10 Days7-10 Days (includes printing time)5-12 Days (includes printing time)1-10 Days1-8 Days
Distribution OptionCheckmark
Templates/EditorCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Customer ServiceEmail & PhonePhoneSupport TicketLimitedEmail & Support TicketChatEmailLive Chat, Phone, EmailLive Chat, Phone, Email
Other ProductsFrames, Cards, Prints Cards, Stationary, Photo GiftsN/ACalendarsWall Art, Photo Gifts, Printsn/aWall Art, Canvas Prints, Photo GiftsCards, Photo Crystals, Calendars, Home DecorHome Decor, Calendars, Photo Gifts, Canvas Prints

More Photo Book Companies Reviewed

Here are a few other popular photo book companies we reviewed that are worth considering as well.

Lulu | Mpix | PastBook | PhotoBucket | Picaboo | Snapfish

Lulu Review

Lulu logo

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Lulu is not a photo printing company. Rather it’s 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. Because of this reason, we have included them in our review.

Overall, Lulu is a nice option for those who want to print large quantities or who wish to sell their printed and digital books via third-party retailers (or on their own website). It’s also a great site to browse and purchase others’ self-published books.

ProsCons
Print-on-demand service is highly efficient and eco-friendly (only print what you need)
While the price point is low, depending on the type of book you print, the quality is slightly lower than competitors
By far the most affordable of the book publishing servicesNo photo books
Offers a variety of formats, paper finishes and binding optionsLess user-friendly website and user experience
More flexibility than the other services
The low price-point is ideal for bulk printing
Free ISBN barcode on books to sell at other retailers
Forums to learn or hire a pro to help if you are short on time

Pricing

  • 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 Review

Mpix logo

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Mpix was founded in 2003 in Pittsburg, Kansas by Miller Professional Imaging, a local, family photography business.

Although a lesser known company, its nimble team works hard to compete, produce and quickly print and ship its products.

Being a smaller company also gives them the advantage of having a leg up on the bigger names when it comes to customer service.

Because Mpix’s owners 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.

ProsCons
Made in the USA: handmade in the MidwestNot as many discount codes or special offers as bigger competitors
One day turnaround for most productsNo e-publishing or ability to sell books online
Variety of book sizes, paper quality and cover optionsMust sign up for an account to start creating your book
Mpix tap-to-print app
Individualized customer service
Drag and drop photos into pre-made designs (or create your own)
Offers boutique gift packaging and foil stamps

Pricing

  • Softcover and Economy books start at $19.99
  • Turnaround Time: 1 day (excludes shipping).
  • Additional Pages: .50 each

PastBook Review

PastBook logo

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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 directly upload your own photos).

ProsCons
Invite others to collaborateNo square book size option (only horizontal layout)
Create archives of years to view online laterOnly one paper type (premium matte paper)
100% satisfaction guaranteeNo custom design options
Facebook and Instagram app to create books via mobile deviceNo phone or chat support (email only)

Pricing

  • 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 a 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 Review

Photobucket logo

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Photobucket is an online photo album service that’s been around since 2003. It allows you to upload your photos into galleries and then order various printed goods, including greeting cards and photo books.

This site offers iPhone and Android apps that allow you to upload, share, edit and retouch 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 you 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.

ProsCons
Beautiful, high-quality matte finish booksMore limited in design/layout options than other sites
Same-day print service via their appMax of 74 pages
Easy to upload, layout and design with just a few clicksSite can be difficult to navigate
Integrates with Facebook and Instagram for easy importingMore expensive than other books
Don’t need an account to start creating a photo book
Often run promotions for discounts on products including free shipping
Refunds or replacements for any errors on their part (shipping costs are non-refundable)

Pricing

  • Soft Cover photo books start at $25.00 for 4×6″ softcover
  • Turnaround Time: 3 days (plus shipping) or same day (via the app).
  • Additional Pages: $0.30-$.57 per page

Picaboo Review

Picaboo logo

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Based in Redwood City, California, Picaboo was founded in 2002 by two friends who were college classmates. They printed their first book in 2005, and since then the company has printed more than 2 million photo books.

The clean, easy to navigate website has no frills and is very straight-forward. Picaboo also offers Yearbook software, which gives schools the ability to collaborate on custom yearbooks. This software comes with its own storefront to sell books on demand with a relatively short 3-week turnaround.

ProsCons
Variety of sizes and formats, including a sturdy glossy laminated hardcover or glossy laminated softcover (card stock)Fewer book cover options than other services (no coil bound, dust jackets)
Photos printed on heavy-weight, glossy, acid-free, archival quality paper
Import photos from a variety of sources, including Facebook
Print custom photo-tablet and smartphone cases
Video tutorials and support center
Fundraising program supports local charities and organizations
100% satisfaction guarantee

Pricing

  • 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-$1.90 per page
  • Turnaround Time: 2-10 days for production plus shipping (overnight available)
  • Discounts: Up to 60% for orders of 10+

Snapfish Review

Snapfish logo

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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, Snapfish prints your photo books using high-quality gloss or matte finishes. It offers plenty of customizable options for your desired design, layout, size and book type.

ProsCons
Easy drag-and-drop editorLarge company (partner of HP) with less individualized service support; however, they do offer live chat via a virtual agent
Import photos from Facebook, Flickr or SnapfishSnapfish logo printed on select products
Variety of pre-designed themes, or use its Freestyler service to create your own
Competitive pricing for the quality
Same-day pick up of select products at your local Walgreens or Walmart
Select from a wide range of cover options
25-minute courtesy window from the time of purchase for last-minute changes
100% money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied

Pricing

  • 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

How To Create A Photo Book

Watch how easily and quickly you can create a photo book on Snapfish in 5 simple steps.

Photo Book Tips & Tricks

You don’t need a fancy DSLR camera to create breath-taking photos (although they can certainly help). Most iPhones or smartphones take high-resolution photos that are suitable for printing.

Need some additional ideas for what type of book to create with your photos? Check out these 12 ways to supercharge your photo album where we share ideas on what you can make with photo books.

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