Wednesday, September 3, 2014

MyPublisher Photo Book Review


I don't get it. I've seen numerous conversations on the web comparing Shutterfly and MyPublisher, and it seems like the people with the strongest opinions are always those who like MyPublisher better.

I don't like MyPublisher.

I've tried to like MyPublisher. I really have. I've made two photo books with them. The first was our family's "2010" year book, and the second was a Christmas present for my sister last year. I just really really don't like working with their software. It's a program that you download to your computer. You assemble the photo book offline, then order it and upload it to their website.

Software faults:
  • Customization is annoying. To change the location of photos or text on the page, you have to drag the photo box with your mouse. You cannot inch it along with the arrow keys on the keyboard. Because you have to drag it, you cannot be extremely accurate - you have the limitations of screen size and mouse dexterity. It's hard to get things to line up properly.
  • There's a huge lack of background choices, themes, and frames. You're very limited in your choices.
  • Some layouts, if they're part of a theme, are locked and cannot be customized. There's no reason given or any logic in this, it's just how it is. Some layouts, seemingly at random, just can't be altered.

Additionally, the order process is backward. You make your order first, and then you upload your book to their website. (Remember, you create the book in a program on your computer, not on the internet). This arrangement - ordering before uploading - opens the ordering process up to error and frustration. What if you order the book, and the order goes through, but then the book does not upload? You've already purchased the book, and now it can't be uploaded? It makes far more sense to upload the book first, and then place orders.

Other things I don't like about MyPublisher:

  • Shipping is expensive.
  • Several pages printed unexpectedly dark.
  • You can't order different books at the same time; just multiple copies of the same book.
  • Their deals aren't great. They often have a "buy one get one free" deal going on, but it's for two copies of the same book. And I don't need two copies. I just want one discounted copy. The best deal I have found for them that comes up occasionally is through Photobook Girl. She will sometimes have a code where you can get up to 70 extra pages free - and pages usually cost $1 each. So you can get a 100 page book for $35 (plus the ridiculous $12 shipping. That's $3 more for shipping than Shutterfly charges for exactly the same size book).

Anyway, with all that said, the book itself is pretty good. I got the "layflat pages" option and that turned out really cool. Here's the "2010" book that I ordered from them:

Nice cover - I like that the picture stretches all the way to the spine. I wish they had more cover layout options, though. They didn't have very many.

The inside has a nice gray end sheet and then a nice vellum cover page:


Here's one of the couple pictures that printed unexpectedly dark - and it stinks that it's the front page. On my computer, Jason was bright and easily seen. In the book, he's very dark. I know that if I had printed this with Shutterfly, Jason would have printed brighter and much closer to what I saw on my screen. I've never had problems with pictures printing dark with Shutterfly - and so was surprised when it happened a couple times in this MyPublisher book. 


Here's an example of  a layout (note how flat the pages are):


 Another view of how flat the pages are:


Here's another problem I had - the words were cut off here. This one was probably my fault; I'm guessing I ignored some warning or something. But I was surprised when I saw it. In Shutterfly, I definitely know when I'm ignoring their warnings - they make it obvious and remind me like three times. In this book, I don't remember ignoring the warning (although I bet there probably was one).


Some more layouts:


 Another example of how flat the pages are:


The back cover (again, I like how the picture stretches all the way across):


The spine. The one fault with the cover pictures running all the way to the spine is that it makes the spine look kind of funky, because you can see the front and back covers next to the white spine even when the book is on the shelf. (Instead of just seeing the white spine with words.) Maybe it looks more normal if you order a 20-page book, and they just didn't adjust spine width for a 100-page book? I'm not sure, but the spine looks a little funny to me when the book is on the shelf:


Paper quality: Excellent

Binding: Excellent. I got the layflat pages, and think they turned out really cool. Plus, the binding is nice and strong.

Print quality: Very good, except for the couple pictures that turned out unexpectedly dark.

Price: With the deal I got (free pages), I did save quite a bit - it was like $35 + $12 shipping for a 100 page book. So, not bad. But the expensive shipping is ridiculous. It doesn't need to be that much. And I don't like how most of their deals are "buy one get one free" of the same book. I don't need two copies of the same book. I just want one, cheaper book.

Sorry, this turned out way more negative than I was planning! I want to reiterate that I do like the book. I just don't like working with the software. But the book itself is very good, with just a few minor faults. Overall, I'd recommend MyPublisher, especially if you don't mind their software and the price is okay for you.


To see my other photo book reviews, check out the posts below:

Shutterfly Photo Book Review
Shutterfly Premium Leather Layflat Photo Book Review
Shutterfly Calendar Review
York Photo Photo Book Review
AdoramaPix Photo Book Review
Collage.com Photo Book Review
Photo Book Comparisons

5 comments:

  1. I'm LDS as well and have published 7 books with MyPublisher and couldn't be more happy. I have come up with a number of formats I like. I construct each page in Photoshop so I have total control over spacing, text, etc. Their Archival quality paper is wonderful to the touch and the way my photos pop on the page is amazing. I use a black background on all my books so they have a formal look. I wait until they offer a good deal on the size book I'm working on and go for it. I love MyPublisher. Here is a link to my website to see my current book: http://gatheringgardiners.blogspot.com/2014/09/kent-hulet-gardiner-my-lifestories-and.html

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    Replies
    1. Wow, what a cool book! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Brilliant review, thank you. And for the link to Photobook Girl which saved me loads of money!

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  3. I have used Mypublisher before and been impressed by their quality of their books but when things go wrong it is bad news for the customer. After doing several previous books with them I decided make another book with my publisher, however this time it would not upload to the site, this lead me to five or 6 calls and a month with customer service before being able to upload the book to their website which then after 3 weeks the book was mailed to the wrong address to which Mypuvblisher refused to send a replacement copy of issue a refund stating their return policy below:

    All items, materials or Services purchased through MyPublisher are made
    pursuant to a shipment contract. This means that the risk of loss and
    title for such items pass to you upon our delivery to our carrier.

    This is absurd to spend hours creating a book spend $100+ dollars on it wait 3 months and then never receive it or be issued a refund

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  4. i agree with you 100%

    I don’t recommend My Publisher to my worst enemies! I wish I could give 0 stars for My Publisher, actually negative stars.

    I have been a customer with My Publisher from the very beginning. I have done several books and it was always excellent service, full support and great products.

    Now If you are looking for an unreliable company, talk with employees who make promises they are not willing to keep and are not willing to help you or go the extra mile for the customer satisfaction My Publisher is the right company.

    I had to escalate my problem to the supervisor after wasting my time talking with an employee named Yvonne who is supposed to be very knowledgeable and experienced.

    She made promises she couldn’t keep and after talking to another supervisor named Margaret she also was not willing to help. She asked her supervisor named Danilo who is supposed to be her boss and he said that they don’t make exception. All I needed was a Saturday delivery, I was promised Saturday delivery by Yvonne.

    I called UPS and gave them my tracking number and was willing to pay the extra charge. UPS couldn’t make the change, the request had to come from the sender.

    I offered to pay extra when talking to Margaret and again she said no. We don’t make exceptions. We don’t call UPS. She probably thinks that she is too important to talk with a delivery company.

    All it would take was a quick phone call to UPS to make sure that the book would be delivered on the scheduled that it was promised, Saturday. The book was meant to be given on a very special occasion to a very special client and now not only it won’t be delivered on schedule but it will be delivered on Monday, when it would be too late.

    Nobody will even be at that location. I trusted My Publisher, I trusted Yvonne when I shouldn’t.

    I just wished I had not used My Publisher for my order, they were unreliable, unfriendly and operates on a computerized manner.

    A customer service who is not willing to think outside the box in order to help a customer has definitely chosen a wrong job.

    Murilo doesn’t understand the meaning of customer service. Actually the mistake comes from his boss who is not keeping an eye on him to make sure that he is trying to help a customer. To do his job.

    When I started making books, My publisher was the only company in the market, the only good one.

    No wonder so many new competitors are out on the market now; with time they were not able to keep up their place on business.

    They don’t deserve to be number 1 anymore and I only used them again due to good memories from old times when I was treated with respect and attention.

    My husband was against me using My Publisher but I insisted. I remembered when I was not just one more client.

    I am so disappointed and I so wished I had listened to my husband and had not trusted them for such a special occasion. My mistake, i should not have been loyal to them and now I learned my lesson.

    A very, very unsatisfied and frustrated customer

    Leila
    ORDER#M8479507″

    ReplyDelete

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