Here already?

27Jan09

Can you believe it? What’s supposed to be a two-week ordeal became just a three-day wait.

My newly minted Blurb book wasn’t supposed to get here for a long time, but somehow, the process turned on the afterburners and after a day, I get a message that the book is done and is being shipped out, and today, it’s at my doorstep. Wowzers! Now if all my shipments were this fast!

“So how is it?”, you might ask.

How is it, indeed. Well, here are my observations:

  1. The quality is quite good. I chose the premium paper option, and it is nice. The paper is thick and feels good. The softcover however isn’t quite my thing. It’s very glossy, rather than the luster pages within the book. Maybe I’ll try the hardcover in the future.
  2. The color is adequately accurate, up to a point. Don’t compare the colors of the pages if your monitor isn’t calibrated, and don’t compare the colors to BookSmart — BookSmart isn’t color managed. When compared to Lightroom, the colors are pretty close, except that they’re duller. The colors while quite OK for the most part, do not have the highlight and luminosity of the screen, and look rather flat. This isn’t just an issue with comparing a backlit screen to a page illuminated with my CRI 98 light, but even compared to my previous book published with Shutterfly, Blurb doesn’t look as vibrant as Shutterfly’s. It seems that the dynamic range isn’t quite there. This is the one thing that gives me a little pause.
  3. In terms of sharpness, the images are plenty sharp. If you follow the steps in my previous blog on how I prepared each photo prior to formatting the pages, you’ll get all the sharpness you can expect in your images.
  4. As it turned out, for the 10×8 book size, my caption font choice of Century Schoolbook and a font size of 10 was perfect; perfectly readable. In fact, I believe it’ll worked well with larger book sizes as well. Based on my previous experience with san serif fonts on my Shutterfly book, I think I’d be sticking with serif fonts from now on. It’s much more professional looking and readable. This isn’t just a preference thing; on my PC, I like Arial.

So would I do it again? I suppose. I’m not entralled with the dynamic range of the images, nor the softcover paper, but I’m willing to give it a second shot, with a hardcover, maybe a wrap. Everything else seems good. I like being able to choose black as the background, and I like the sharpness of the images. However, I’m open to suggestions of other printers. Now I just need to patiently wait for my next vacation.

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2 Responses to “Here already?”

  1. Hi Top – Glad to hear your photos came out sharp in the book. The preview looks great. I’m working on another. I’ll have to try what you did to see if I get better results.

    • Hi Barrie!

      Yeah, the photos came pretty good. I do think what I did helped with keeping the photos at the optimal sharpness. Although I didn’t mention it, when I exported from Lightroom, I had sharpness enhanced for output to glossy media, and I believe that helped as well. Let me know how your second book turns out.

      Cheers!



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