Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A Book Called Bob

I thought I had posted about photobooks before, but when I did a bit of a hunt around my archive I couldn’t find anything, so maybe not…

I first discovered Bob Books through my now sister-in-law. Several years ago, she and my brother went travelling around Australia. SIL is a pretty keen photographer, and after they got back to the UK she compiled her favourite pictures into a photobook. I admired this greatly and was very impressed, so one Christmas they gave me a Bob Books voucher as a present! How thoughtful! I was getting married the following month, so I saved my voucher and used it to make a photobook of our honeymoon photos. I was very happy with the results, and loved the process of designing the book, so I have made several others since – and have many more waiting to be made! You can see my back catalogue of Bob Books on their website here if you like, although the honeymoon book isn't there.  (Don't take too much notice o the prices - many of these were bought with gift vouchers, and the rest were bought when there was a special offer, and so were a chunk cheaper! In the end, I was getting many more photos for my money than when I used to get them printed as individual photos, not to mention the end product is much cooler than a regular photo album!)

I have used another photobook service (PrinterPix) once after getting a voucher online, but I didn’t like it at all – in the design process, which was all online, I think it was twice that their systems lost all of my hard work of designing the book! As the designer was so slow to use, that meant many many hours down the drain – almost so many that I was struggling to meet the deadline for the voucher! The printing was also of a poorer quality, with images being cut off in a way that I hadn’t set up when I designed the book. The colours were off too, with some images being so dark that you couldn’t make out details, and the customer service was AWFUL. It took an age to get any response, which when it eventually came was not at all helpful. At the time, lots of people on Facebook seemed to be having huge issues with them too - and I just went on there to check, and people are still really having problems with both the product and the customer support. Check here if you want to see for yourself. 

Bob Books on the other hand have been quick to get back to me with help on the one occasion I needed to contact them. Another thing that I like about Bob Books is that you can download software to use to design your book. This means that you can work on it even when you don’t have an internet connection, and you are not limited by internet speeds when adding photos. It’s quick to save when you need a break, and you feel more in control of your own work. It also has the bonus that you can give up working on a book, and come back to your project whenever you like (I have just come back to one after over a year!), whereas designing online tends to have a time limit before your work gets deleted.

(Bob Books do also have other design options: an iPad app, PDF-to-book, as well as an online option - or even their own design service. All information is on their website here)

Yet another thing in favour of Bob Books is that they have a facility to ‘publish’ your book online. There is now a time limit for how long your project remains there if it is not for sale, but the feature means that you can easily reorder a completed book if you need to – for example if a family member loves it so much that they want one for themselves! I mentioned for sale, and it’s true – Bob Books offer you the chance to offer your book for sale, with a mark-up of your choice on the price! How clever!

If you are interested, I recommend creating an account - they don’t send an awful lot of marketing emails, but they do give out discount codes every now and then, which are great to take advantage of if you have a book waiting to be created :)

My favourite Bob Book is probably my Tall Ship Voyage book.  

I found my diary that I had written of this trip, from back in 1997, and I decided to type it up, scan the photos, and make a proper book out of it. I am so so happy with the results, it's just so much more than a photo album and a folder of paper! I'm so pleased I thought of doing this book!!  I actually then posted it all to this blog, so if you would like to, you can go the the introduction and click the links at the bottom to get to the posts :)

My latest Bob Book arrived in the post recently, and is one of two trips: A few days in Romania with my best friend back in February, and my week in Poland in June. It didn't take long to arrive after I ordered it, and I'm quite happy with it!

I love that with Bob Books, you can do lovely photographic covers. Some people do quite tasteful covers, but I like a big photo on the front!

Scared of forgetting things, I've started doing a page at the front to explain where I went on my trip, and then a similar page at the end with details of all the photos by page number.

I love how you can be flexible inside the book. As well as adding text and changing background colours, like in the page above, you can adjust the size and quantity of the photos, from full page pictures like these:

Inside the Church of Peace, Swidnica, Poland.

To a montage like this:

The Gnomes of Wroclaw!

Or of course you can mix it up, with a main picture plus some smaller ones like on the left here :)

Pelisor and Peles, Romania

I love my Bob Books, and am very happy to read that they do deliver to Australia! I have several in progress at the moment, and a couple ready to order - just as soon as we know an address to send them to! Can't wait :)

(I am also reminded that I haven't yet posted lots of stuff about either of these trips, naughty me! I must finish off and get them posted at some point soon!)


  1. That is great, thanks for letting us know. I did one for hubby for Christmas of our summer holiday that year and I will be doing another one of the kids through the year xx

    1. What a lovely idea! I def recommend signing up for a Bob account in that case (if you haven't already). Like I said, they don't bombard you with emails, but they do send out discount codes every now and then - well worth looking out for, and as you can design offline, you can get the book ready and just wait for a code before you order! Sneaky ;)