On Photo Books and Cookbooks

I’ve created a few photo books in the past of trips taken and favorite places, but for a while now I’ve been thinking about using a photo book service such as Blurb to make a cookbook of some of my favorite recipes. While this might have been a fairly pricey undertaking just a few years ago, over the last few years photo book services’ prices have come down and their quality has gone up, resulting in your being able to make a personalized book that looks store-quality for close to the same price that you’d pay for a new hardback cookbook in a store. In fact, now that photo book services have picked up on the popularity of Groupon and LivingSocial, it’s actually relatively easy to make a book for cheaper than what you’d pay in the store if you shop around for a good deal.

Shopping around for a photo book coupon might sound like more trouble than it’s worth, but it’s not as difficult as you’d think.

First let’s go over what I don’t recommend:

  • Do not click city-by-city to search for deals on Groupon or LivingSocial. It’s not fun and generally doesn’t prove to be worth the effort. I speak from experience.
  • You could try to google photo book groupons, but the problem with this is that it generally returns people’s blog posts about expired deals rather than any current deals.

Now for what I would recommend:

  • If you’re already partial to a particular photo book service, check that service’s website for deals or, better yet, get on their email list. They often email discounts that aren’t advertised online, especially close to gift-giving holidays like Christmas or Valentine’s Day.
  • If you’re looking for the best deal available or you’d rather wait for a really good groupon to come out for your favorite photo book service, watch and wait. Last summer, after using the not-recommended city-by-city search method and finally finding a groupon for a photo book service I hadn’t heard of, I googled reviews of that photo book service to see if it was a worthwhile deal. In the process, I stumbled across a blogger who tracks active deals for photo book services on her site. I found and used two deals for photo books through her site, and since then I’ve been telling everyone I know to check her site for deals before ordering a photo book. And speaking of deals, she’s offering a giveaway of a year’s worth of free photo books on her site right now. If you’re interested, I’d recommend checking it out ASAP as it ends today.

So, back to the cookbook idea, the added benefit of creating a cookbook using Blurb (as opposed to another photo book service) is that, if I were to only include my own recipes in the book (and therefore avoid any possibility of plagiarism), I could in theory make it available for other people in the Blurb community to order. I’m not sure yet of what type of cookbook I would make, but I love the idea of publishing my own book! So, I’ll just keep the idea in mind until I think of something I really want to create. Once I do, though, you’ll hear about it! :)

Have you ever used a photo book service to create a cookbook of your favorite recipes? Or to create photo books in general? Have you shared or sold a book on Blurb (or any other photo book service that offers a similar sharing/selling setup)? Do you have any tips based on your book-making or book-selling experience? I’d love to hear them!


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