Self Published Books

gvbrown - Photographer
(Photographer Michigan, United States)

I'm curious if anyone has had any experience with self published books... the kind offered through services like blurb, lulu, etc.

I though this would be a different way of assembling a print portfolio, and the prices aren't bad. I paid about $15 for a 70 page soft cover through lulu. The quality wasn't quite what I expected though, so I'm shopping around.

I'd be interested in hearing your experiences...

Geoff B

Posted at 10:16 AM on Oct 01, 2007
McGowanPhoto - Photographer
(Photographer Arizona, United States)

Geoff, look at the difference between a good magazine photo and a good print. That's the difference you'll see in the books. There's nothing wrong with the reproduction, but it's clearly not a print.

Posted at 10:33 AM on Oct 02, 2007
gvbrown - Photographer
(Photographer Michigan, United States)

As a follow up, I recently tried another print service, which I think was slightly better.

My main purpose of printing this book was to have something that I could use with examples of my work while courting galleries, or at shows, etc. So it's more a promotional piece than one that would be used to resell.

To begin with, I had laid out my book in PDF format, which limited me to a few print services. There are quite a few that offer wizard type layout systems, but I wasn't really interested in reinventing the wheel every time I changed print companies - so I'm sticking with those that accept PDF for the time being.

The latest service that I tried was Viovio (, and my experience here was quite a bit better.

The book I received was a perfect bound book, with a nice high gloss cover. The paper stock was a bit better quality than that of Lulu, in my opinion, though you do have a few options as to the type of paper you want the book printed on.

Pros and cons with this service - the black and white prints were dead on, with the exception of those that were RGB instead of grayscale. In those instances, the images had a noticeable blue-shift. Most of the color images also had a slight shift toward blue or green. The book is co-branded with their logo, though you can have this removed at an additional fee. The price point was a bit higher than that of Lulu, however I did use a different binding option and had about 50 more pages in the book I sent to Viovio, so the comparison here isn't exact, but the price per page is a bit higher.

In any event - this has been my experience thus far.

Geoff B

Posted at 01:22 PM on Nov 01, 2007

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