Just the Facts
Here's the MyPublisher blueprint:
- Downloadable software
- Two design methods available, Simple Publisher and Custom Publisher
- A small selection of page styles and embellishments
- Help available by email, phone or live chat
- Enhancement of photos possible within program
MyPublisher claims credit for the idea of photo books as replacements for photo albums. They've been offering photo books for consumers since 1995. MyPublisher is not a full service photo site like Shutterfly and Snapfish. They offer only photo books, calendars and cards. Some would say that they haven't changed enough with the times, but just check out some of the books on their "just published" pages. Clearly they have the right stuff to create beautiful photo books if you have good photos to work with.
- Super simple design pane with progress bar at the bottom
- Frequent deals on prices that are already in line with the competition
- A "check price" option at the bottom of the page that allows you to see how much your book will cost
- The ability to make ten photo edits, such as eliminating red eyes, within the program
- An "auto enhance" button that really works
- High quality photo reproduction
- Ability to create a dust jacket for your book
- Quick turn-around and shipping
- Options like lay-flat pages and high-gloss paper
MyPublisher's advertised production and delivery times are about the same as the competition's. The difference is that MyPublisher books are frequently delivered ahead of schedule.
Here's what didn't win my heart:
- Limited help page with no search box option, although the presence of live chat makes up for it somewhat
- Occasional "hangs" or freezes, along with long load times
- Cumbersome sharing process
- High shipping charges
At $10.99 for a 12X12 book, shipping seems exorbitant, but it is in line with other premium photo book companies.
Sharing can be done during the creation of the photo book, but some design elements, such as background colors, will not show up, making collaboration on a book difficult.
The Bottom Line on MyPublisher
If you take great photos and don't want a lot of fancy layouts, fonts and embellishments, MyPublisher would be a good choice for you. Although I've been talking about books created with MyPublisher as special gifts for grandchildren, photo books are probably high on the list of most-desired gifts for grandparents as well. Drop a well-placed hint, and maybe you will get the fun of receiving a photo book, as well as the joy of creating one.