Sunday, October 5, 2008

Full Color Publishing Just Got Cheaper


I've been wondering these days about colored picture books. In the olden days, and when I say in the olden days I do mean about 10 years ago - you can only have your pictures developed through one of those kodak shops that charge you for developing the film and then for actual printing.

These days there are so many options and the prices are just more or less the same. There's even full color book publishing. I know a couple who had their kid's album published and laid out just like a book. It was very cute.

These days you can print photo books, travel book, baby books, scrapbook, business book, portfolio, cookbook and of course those seasonal books that people love to give out during holidays like Christmas and year books and just simple mementos for people who like to keep their memories in print.

Few years back, Xlibris - the self publishing services provider charged at least $999 to publish a full colored picture book. But now their minimum price is only $499. And you've got the full service - lay out and image enhancement too along with worldwide distribution and marketing support. It's actually not a bad deal. And for October they've got the whole "upgrade your service" promotion - so if you get their $499 package (basic), you'll be receiving the services from the $899 package (professional), which just means more add-ons and more images and more freebies.

This month too I noticed AuthorHouse’s Premium Color Paperback package is giving away a free Essential Color Paperback package if you get one of their regular publishing packages or there is this upgrade option that lets you upgrade to a second Premium Color Paperback package for $249.

Their promotions are looking more and more alike don't you think?

I also found this new site called Ink U Book (www.inkubook.com) that's also owned by Author Solutions (that's the same people that own Authorhouse & iUniverse actually). They specialize in photo book publishing. Apparently they're packaging it as an easy-to-use online photo book creation service that enables people to make photo books in minutes, sort of like Lulu and Blurb because they are relatively cheap - $13.95 to start. The software where you can make the book is free, pretty much like Lulu and Blurb. They just give you the tools so if you've got the skill and time to put the book together yourself, you're ready to go in minutes. The fee they charge depends on your book's size and number of pages. They don't have hardback yet so that's a bummer. But if you're just looking at getting a printed copy of your mementos then it's a pretty good deal.

Also similar to We Book (www.webook.com), they've got this whole collaboration thing going on, where different people can actually contribute to the making of your book. Friends and family can edit and vote on your work. I think that's a nice feature for people who are just writing for fun. But if you're doing it for the fame and glory though I would think some discretion and privacy at work would be more essential. Would be tragic if you're plot would be leaked. Remember Stephenie Meyer? That vampire book girl who was about to write an alternate version to her Twilight series? That would have been great had a portion not leaked out we would have been able to enjoy it in its entirety. Tsk Tsk

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