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photo books (again)


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Is anyone here using an outlab to produce photobooks?

I want to get into this but do not have the space/ money to do it myself.

So, any recommendations, experiences etc? I like the idea of supplying the customer with a software pc so they can do the design work at home and collect the finished item from my shop. Does anyone do this?

Or- does anyone on here do their own and be willing to do them for me?


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We're having good success with printing onto plain-backed paper and binding with the Unibind system. Cheap outlay, great results and very well recieved by the customers. We use Whitech software and if you wanted a low in-going they offer a pay-per-click system.

Minilab customers don't want to wait and this solution gives an almost instant result. Certainly worth investigating.

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What size do you go up to?

Presumably you only print single -sided?

How does the pay per click work?

Finally- how much is the unibind system?

Sorry for all the questions.

Interested you say that minilab customers don't want to wait....surely they have to if they order over the internet or from Tesco for instance ?

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We print photobooks up to 8x12". I haven't seen any Unibind covers past that size. On the 8x12's we reduce the paper advance by about 10mm so it fits neatly in the A4 covers. We got some A5 covers in to try but the overwhelming demand is for the bigger sizes.

Yes, only single sided but consumers don't seem to mind. Everyone who sees them loves them. We emphasise the 'real' photo aspect and when compared with some on the market these really shine.

Whitech have only just launched pay per click. Essentially you get the software and load up an online credit. As you make a book it reduces accordingly. It's kiosk based software so install on a PC or buy a second hand kiosk to run it alongside your other booths.

Expect to pay a couple of hundred pounds for the Unibind machine. Essentially its just a big heater (melts glue inside the folders) so you may find clone systems cheaper. Maybe worth checking Ebay too. The folders are available easily.

Just make sure you get 8" unmarked paper as this is the key to making it look professional.

Regarding customers expectations we are usually the place for 'last minute gifts' and I would hate to be outsourcing services any longer. Years ago, delays, quality issues and deadlines made up for 80% of our problems from 5% of our products. Now almost everything is done in-house we can control things much easier. As Christmas approaches the competitoors will close off early December whereas we'll still be accepting and completing orders on Christmas Eve.

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