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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
- Compare Photo Book Pricing & Features
- More Photo Book Companies Reviewed
- How To Create A Photo Book
- Photo Book Tips & Tricks
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
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.
|Made in the USA: printed in Denver, Colorado||While they don’t have fancy templates, they do offer beautiful page layouts to crop photos and add text|
|Made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper||Distribution 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.|
- 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
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.
|Good Housekeeping’s Seal of Approval as best website for photo books||Many 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|
- 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
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).
|Blurb BookWright™ or Blurb BookSmart® software included||Limited customer service via support ticket only|
|Affordable pricing and bulk printing options||Advanced 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|
- 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
|Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit Website||Visit 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 Pages||40 Pages||20 Pages||20 Pages||24||20||16||20||20||20|
|Maximum # of Pages||380 Pages||101 Pages||440 Pages||300||100||500||74||160||150|
|Price For Extra Pages (Per Page)||$0.25-$1.50||$0.65-$2.39||$0.20-$1.50||Unavailable||$0.50||Price Increases Based on Increments of 50, 100, 200, 300, 500)||$0.30-$0.57||$0.75-$1.90||Varies|
|Other Features||Layflat, Circular Diecut Cover||Layflat, Circular Diecut Cover, Leather Cover, Crushed Silk Cover||Layflat, Linen Cover, Pearl Photo Paper, Magazine, Ebooks.||Coil Bound, Perfect Bound, Stitch Bound||Panoramic Photo Book||Premium Matte||Layflat||Layflat, Flush Mount, Mini Books||Layflat, Linen Cover, Leather Cover|
|Discounts||Offers a variety of seasonal discounts, promotions and exclusive offers throughout the year||10-40% off for volume orders||5-20% off for 15+ books||35% for additional books||Contact 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 Time||2-8 Days||1-2 Days||4-5 Days||3-5 Days||1-2 Days||n/a||3 Days||3-10 Days||3 Days|
|Shipping Time||3-18 Days||1-10 Days||7-11 Days||1-11 Days||1-10 Days||7-10 Days (includes printing time)||5-12 Days (includes printing time)||1-10 Days||1-8 Days|
|Customer Service||Email & Phone||Phone||Support Ticket||Limited||Email & Support Ticket||Chat||Live Chat, Phone, Email||Live Chat, Phone, Email|
|Other Products||Frames, Cards, Prints||Cards, Stationary, Photo Gifts||N/A||Calendars||Wall Art, Photo Gifts, Prints||n/a||Wall Art, Canvas Prints, Photo Gifts||Cards, Photo Crystals, Calendars, Home Decor||Home 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 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.
|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 services||No photo books|
|Offers a variety of formats, paper finishes and binding options||Less 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|
- 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, 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.
|Made in the USA: handmade in the Midwest||Not as many discount codes or special offers as bigger competitors|
|One day turnaround for most products||No e-publishing or ability to sell books online|
|Variety of book sizes, paper quality and cover options||Must 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|
- 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 directly upload your own photos).
|Invite others to collaborate||No square book size option (only horizontal layout)|
|Create archives of years to view online later||Only one paper type (premium matte paper)|
|100% satisfaction guarantee||No custom design options|
|Facebook and Instagram app to create books via mobile device||No phone or chat support (email only)|
- 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 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.
|Beautiful, high-quality matte finish books||More limited in design/layout options than other sites|
|Same-day print service via their app||Max of 74 pages|
|Easy to upload, layout and design with just a few clicks||Site can be difficult to navigate|
|Integrates with Facebook and Instagram for easy importing||More 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)|
- 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
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.
|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|
- 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 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.
|Easy drag-and-drop editor||Large 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 Snapfish||Snapfish 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|
- 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.Tagged With: Photo Books
Thank you for the great article. My question is: Do you know of any service that prints extremely horizontal or vertical books? Something in the 16:9 ratio or 2:1 ratio or close? I have been laying out a photobook with a side column and I don’t want the photos impeded by the column. So 3/4 of the page is photos (at a ratio that makes it easy to bleed a standard image size and still have space left over. 16×8 or smaller 8×4 would be cool. Any ideas?
Jason, your best bet is to probably go with Blurb as they offer to different landscape sized books. You might also try a square format and span one image across two pages. Hope that helps!
Unfortunately, I have had a miserable experience with Artifact Uprising. I used them to print my wedding albums and some framed photos, and the entire experience was difficult and frustrating.
– To start, the process of purchasing the books and recieiving codes to use as gift cards when you actually want to have the books printed is confusing and unecessarily complicated.
– The interface for putting your album together is pretty limiting, not intuitive and takes some time to figure out. It is also pretty slow moving.
– But most frustrating of all: YOU CANNOT TRUST ARTIFACT UPRISING TO KEEP TRACK OF YOUR WORK. After my now-husband lost an entire album a few years ago (for a trip we went on to Asia) that he wanted to make me as a gift, I knew I had to be diligent about keeping track of my work. I am SO glad that I took a screen shot of my album layout (after +12 hours of work). When I went back to the site a few days later to make some changes to my layouts, my album was GONE (just like my husband had experienced). Since they dont have customer service on weekends (which is when I have time to work on my wedding album) I had to submit an email and wait until Tuesday, completely stressed that all my work was lost, before a CS rep got in touch with me. After being asked a series of frankly annoying questions about my project to try to recover it, they were in fact able to locate it and link it to my account. Phew. I made some changes and, once agin, took a screen shot of my work and logged out.
– Fast forward to the following weekend, when I wanted to make a few changes and order my books, and though the projects showed up in my account, every frame that was supposed to show a photo showed a gray box with a question mark. Ugh. What now? Again, I submitted a ticket and waited until the middle of the week until a CS rep got in touch with me. Two of the cutomer service reps ended up having to recreate my entire album because somehow the original project got ruined. At least I didn’t have to do it myself!
– So I finally had my album layout completed and was ready to have them printed (I bought the wedding album series with one 12×12 album and two 10×10 albums), when I realized the layout I created was for a 10×10 book. No problem, I figured, I’m sure there’s an easy way to scale up for the bigger book, which is still a square format. Not so. In order to print the 12×12 book I would have to recreate the entire 70 page album from scratch using the 12×12 template. At this point I wasn’t even surprised. Instead of dealing with that whole headache, because I had already spent far too much time on these albums, I opted to just print three 10×10 albums and used the savings from the larger album as a credit for some printed photos. Not a huge deal, but definitely not high quality service.
– I was given a 10% discount for all of my troubles, which was a nice gesture, and actually saved a nice chunk of change since my order was so expensive in the first place.
– My albums and photos finally arrived, looking mostly great. I like the print quality, and the pages of the layflat album are really nice and thick. Unfortunately, the embossing on the outside does not look as clean and elegant as I was hoping. There are places where the gold foil looks like it is rubbed away (and remember, it’s a brand new album).
– The much bigger problem, however, is that of the three albums I had printed, one of the albums actually had an entire spread missing and another spread duplicated. A second album had all the right pictures in the right places, but on one page there is a three-inch long smudge on the page underneath a photo of my father-daughter dance. Not cool. These albums cost $400+ each and no one is checking them for quality control? I emailed the company about these flaws (at this point I’ve spent A LOT of time emailing back and forth with the customer service reps), and am hopeful that they will make it right.
Moral of the story: save yourself A LOT of headache and extra trouble by NOT using Artifact Uprising until they can improve their user-experience, the reliability of their platform, their responsiveness, and the quality of their work.
I used Mpix for a book to put together highlights from a recent trip to show friends and family and the turn around time is crazy fast! I got the book within 3 days of placing the order. And they are super affordable too for the quality. Plus I prefer the matte look and canvas cover (versus glossy and photo cover).
Have you been able to look at MILK albums in comparison to Artifact Uprising?
Which company would you recommend for making a professional high-end looking wedding album?
We would recommend Artifact Uprising for a wedding album. They have many styles to choose from and they look beautiful.
Hello. Thank you for this overview review. My child has an autobiography assignment that needs to be formatted into book form. I was going to try Shutterfly but have heard it is not friendly to text-heavy pages. I thought to give Lulu a try based on your review, but sounds like it is best for when you have to make multiple copies. I’d like to use something that will be easy to use for text-heavy pages but will print pictures beautifully. 🙂 Some nice backgrounds or embellishing options would be cute too. Oh and of course all for a reasonable price. Too much to ask for? Thanks for the advice.
I have personally used Shutterfly and have had pages in books with lots of text and I thought it turned out great. We haven’t heard reports of Shutterfly being unfriendly toward text-heavy pages, so I think it’d work out for your child’s assignment.
Pardon a silly question, new to self publishing. when you state “20 pages”, does that mean 20 sheets of paper or 10 sheets (counting each side as a page)?
Maureen, not a silly question at all! 20 pages = designed/printed pages so 20 pages would mean 10 pages front and back. Hope that helps and best wishes with your self publishing!
I’ve used Blurb and Artifact Uprising. Blurb is good for photo books but takes more time. Artifact is amazing for Instagram based books. Since I post my best kid photos on Instagram, making yearly books takes about 15 minutes on my iPhone. The smaller format books are great for grandparents to carry in a purse or such as brag books. Great print quality.
Kelly, yes Blurb is a little more time intensive and Artifact Uprising is great for Instagram books. But agreed, they are both great quality! That’s great to hear it’s so easy for you to make books of your kids – and the smaller books are a wonderful idea for grandparents. Thanks for sharing!
I am kicking myself because I lost the link to a photo book layout I liked. Does anyone know the company that produces a lay-flat hard cover book with a layout that opens from the center out? I think it had 2 spines, both on the outside. Anyone know about this layout presentation?
BLurb has been advertising a flat layout cover and page option that may be what you are describing. LOL this is 2 years too late, but in case anyone else has the same question.
I’m reading reviews of Blurb after a disastrous experience with Blurb BookSmart creating a book of family history stories and photos. I’m waiting to receive it now and crossing my fingers that BS (excuse the fitting abbreviation!) didn’t change it AGAIN after I saved and uploaded it! I’ve made numerous books with BookSmart, although I prefer Shutterfly by far for photo books. I’ve never had the problems I had this time, and I suspect that now that Blurb has come out with BookWright, they’re failing to update BS to work with newer operating systems. My desktop got a new hard drive that automatically upgraded to El Capitan, and BS was absolutely unusable on it. I imported a back-up into my laptop, which is still using Yosemite, and I finally managed to get the book done with such horrible problems that I nearly threw the computer out the window. BS would insert extra blank lines, remove lines of text, move entire paragraphs, shift photos up to cut off heads, crash and crash and crash repeatedly. What caused the most crashes was trying to edit text, so I’ve learned that the only possible way to use Blurb in the future is to create and edit the text in Word, copy and paste to BS, and then LEAVE IT ALONE! However, after looking at your reviews, I think I might try Lulu, since the second book will also be a family history book. I really can’t recommend BS (BookSmart) to anyone, anymore!
Susan, wow! Sorry to hear about the frustrations you had with BookSmart! No fun at all. You think the software could live up to it’s name and be smart enough to not cause you so many issues but that’s definitely one of the disadvantages you’ll run into with a desktop editor versus online like Shutterfly. Yes, please hive Lulu a try and hopefully you’ll have a much better experience hopefully. And we do regular audits based on product updates and user feedback so we’ll definitely keep this in mind whenever we have our next round of edits. Thanks again for sharing and good luck with creating your photo books for your family!
Pamela, thanks for reaching out! Your digital holiday journal with friends and family sounds like a wonderful tradition and that’s a great idea to put it into a print format. In this case I would definitely say LuLu is the best fit. They offer very affordable options for any quantity (small or large) and a variety of formats (paperback and even ebook). You can also create a website where others can purchase and they offer professionals who can help with the layout/desisgn (although their templates are easy to use). Hopefully that helps and good luck creating your book! Let us know how it turns out.
I have kept a holiday journal which means lots of text interspersed with lots of high resolution photos. I sent it through daily emails to friends and family. They suggest I print it out in book form.
I pretty much want to keep the layout as it was in the emails. The photos were inserted into the text, not sent as attachments, as they are an integral part of the story.
Which photo book do you think would be the easiest / most appropriate to choose?
I like the idea of being able to sell the finished product as well as having my own personal copies printed.
I went with Blurb for a travel photo book because I could not reorganize pages in AU. This was a big problem in laying out a 100 page photo album.
Lechels, thanks for sharing! Glad to hear Blurb worked out for your travel book – would love to travel to Australia one day!
Hello, I wanted to share my experiences with Blurb and Artifact Uprising. Just got my new squared book in from AU and unfortunately I am a bit disappointed. The paper quality is not what you want for your best photos to be printed on. I don’t like it being kinda see-through. The small and medium format prints (not page filling) of photos (I used 1000px) aren’t printed that great as well. But what I do like is the filled pages (I used high resolution photos for these), the linen cover and the matt dust jacket. And I think the book would be better if you’d go for no less than 100 pages.
Blurb on the other hand is maybe more convenient for me, because I can use Lightroom for making a book. You can also choose the paper quality you want. I don’t like the glossy dust jacket and image wrap though.
Thanks for the great article.
I would not recommend Blurb. Their design software is appalling and after a succession of poor service (pages repeating, running images, etc.) I finally gave up and moved on.
Artifact Uprising looks promising and so does Lulu.
I use MILK Books. Elegant page templates, beautiful linen bound hard cover photo books and albums, quality art paper, excellent customer service. I have tried a few companies now, and I won’t print anywhere else after finding MILK!
Thanks Miriam! We will check them out and consider adding them to this article in our next update!