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Photobooks - Again!


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I've been reading about the growth in Photobooks and wonder just how big this really is at retail level. One presentation I saw from Photo-Me suggested some Klick stores are doing up to a 1/3rd of their retail business in the books which I was amazed at. It's certainly not something we're seeing - but we haven't got a Klick in our area to see how they're doing it. Have they got a secret recipe, amazing point of sale or is there something else I'm missing?

Also, we're getting hardly any enquiries so even if we promoted them I'm unsure of how much volume we'd achieve. Has anyone out there got some experience with these they could share?

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Yes, the concept is great and i strongly feel that it has bright future and going to long lasting product of digital services.

Can you think of any other better way of presenting images in print media which is more elegant than beautifully designed, printed and binded personalized book, it looks a single book made to order and each book can be unique.

We are doing these so called photo books since 10 months are so and response is good and picking up  but not to the extent of 1/3 rd of sales as pointed above but people are liking the product and interested in the product.

well, getting the product finished is not as easy as doing D&P service or CD/Card to print.

Basically there are three major steps in getting your finished photo book, as follows

  # Designing/ lay outing the album pages using some  album designing/lay outing packages and selecting the right SW tool for the job involved is the main trick here.

  #Printing is the next step after taking the design approval from the client by providing some sort of layout proofing

    usually a slide show of designed pages.

  #Binding, yes the most important process or step which we are all not familiar with as traditional photo finishers

     Please note binding is not  'art and science' like our photography but it is a "craft" and comes mostly by experience

     right now it is still hand made mostly, only very recently some automated machines can be seen on the market

     like Klick and one from durst which have automated a lot of things

        And binding consists of two important components perfectly matting each other that is the inner 'book block' made from your printed sheets and second is the outer 'book casing' this can also customized by designing and printing the outer casing cover by the lab  and then laminating to the hard card board using pressure sensitive cold lamination film.

          In making the inner 'book block' ,first you need to laminate all the inner sheets using some thermal film or uv coating  then you have to crease,  paste and mount and press them properly to form the inner 'book block'.

And in each  and every step lot attention and dexterity is needed to make a salable photo book and it is worth making, provided the competition does not reach to the level of our 4x6's

We do offer photo books to our wedding photographers in all four sizes ie 12x18H,12x15H, 10x14H, 10x8V and also some times 12x12S and 10x10S

  However right now the complete set up is not paying by itself  but it is quite challenging to get each book out.and watching  customer reaction to the product is another thing, which i like.

So, I suggest plan well  before stepping in and wish you all the best in your photo book project.

KVS

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I know for certain there is a HUGE market for these. Unfortunatly, the price is still too high. Bobbooks  http://bobbooks.co.uk/examples.php cheapest 10X8 version is 36 quid. Cheap I hear you shout. And it is. But not for the punter. If they (or YOU) could offer, not for the first impression, but for limited multiple copies substancial savings, then you would make big money. Single-sided is a waste of time! Anyone here able to offer what bobbooks are doing?

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I've just got back from the PMA in Melbourne where the show was full of Photo Books and Gifting solutions. Before I go on I'd have to say it was a fantastic Trade Show with a very up-beat feel this year - as opposed to 2006. Everyone was very positive, the stands were full of new ideas and products and most importantly the photo stores 'round Melbourne looked busy and prosperous.

Every key suppliers stand had a photobook solution for either in-lab or outlab. I think much of the emphasis has been driven by HP's very professional entry into the market - so all the traditional suppliers have been forced to find a way to provide similar for their customers. HP's kiosks and product range is really good. The 6x4 prints look good and the Photo Books look OK. Some suppliers were trying to output to higher end copiers but the paper quality, contrast and other issues made them look just that - photo copies.

Lucidiom and Whitech both had their new software which is the key element in getting these things created. The auto fill feature is a must as it completes the books real quick and leaves more time for editing and adding text etc. Whitech's solution is for either in-store fulfillment or for the job to FTP over to a supplier with an Indigo press or similar.

I saw the same info on Klick achieving such a big share of their retail turnover through PhotoBooks but I think this referred to a site where Photo-Me put the in-store solution in meaning instant service. For our industry I think that's what everyone is expecting. Photo-gifts are a now market - not next week.

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Just had a sample photo book from Photo-Me, looks very nice.  Quite a neat way to turn a few minilab prints into a book.  No mention of price though.  Would allow photo books to be quickly made in-house along side current minilab.

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Also had a quick look at PMA in Melbourne on the weekend, although I couldn't make it to any of the trade only days, so it was a bit frustrating. Lots of photobooks, some a bit ordinary (made from colour photocopies) and some really impressive, like real books (HP indigo press). Not really sure how much demand for these there will be, I've never been asked about them, but another product to consider, I guess.

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The sample books from Photo-Me we saw were two bits of photo paper stuck together. It looks a bit clumsy - especially when printed on the thicker paper. The machine that they are selling costs $34,000.00 (over 10,000 pounds) . Very expensive plus the consumable is also expensive.

As Colopt says some of the books were made from photocopies. People not used to photo prints thought they were OK but in reality they were shocking against Indigo or Real Photo output.

I forgot to mention that the binding solution seems to be sorted now. Most are opting for the Channell bind system which is cheap but very effective.

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Hello photosave,

Could you please tell me more about channel binding system. how it is done ,what material and equipment is required and what is the cost involved. Does any company providing the complete binding solution using Channel binding system. Sorry to put lot of questions at once. The reason is I am looking for a simple binding method than what i am doing now which is laborious and time consuming and not possible to dismantle and reassemble  if need arises.

KVS

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  • 2 weeks later...

I Went to a Photo Me presentation on photo books yesterday, there system is about 10k.

There is still some life in our industry, I was surprised at the number of dealers who attended, the place was buzzing!

Here are some facts and figures I picked up from the presentation,

Kodak gallery get 70% of their revenue from photobooks.

100 million instant prints made on kiosks last year (UK) of which Boots made 68 million, Klick 21 Million, 11 million other retailers,

Supermarkets are now getting into kiosks seeing what its done for Boots.

Tescos are removing some of there weaker minilabs and replacing with opticians, thinking they can make more money.

Online and instore printing increasing, with home printing in decline.

Average photobook in US is $50, average UK £35 (Snapfish)

Snapfish entice people onto there website with cheap 4x6 to get them purchasing photobooks & gifts.

Truprint processing lab now full  of picture gifts machinery and little conventional processing.

Tescos biggest online photo product is photo Thongs.

Picture gift and photobook market due to grow by 300% next year

So there you go, how accurate these are, who knows, but its interesting to see what other retailers are doing.

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I didn't know there was enough space on a thong to print a photo. Must be very profitable as it wouldn't use much ink.

Photo-Me were peddling some machine that sticks two bits of paper together in a magazine article I read. It was huge, the consumable is expensive and so is that as a solution. Someone showed me a sample and it just looks clumsy. The only good thing I could see was the software but that only worked on their labs.

All these other PhotoBooks are made on Indigo Digital Presses which are specialist machines. Along with the binders and gift finishing gear you're talking hundreds of thousands of pounds. Jessops and Klick have these for their fulfillment.

I saw some good examples of PhotoBooks made from a lab recently where they had used plain photo paper and bound them together with inter-leaves. Apparently some of the new kiosk programs are coming out with systems to make the books then output onto either a lab or digital printer. Will be watching with interest as this will be the answer.

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I went to the photo-me presentation last night.

To be honest, it wasn't for me. As said above the hardware is too expensive, didn't function correctly and the finished product is poor compared to others I've seen. Their earlier, and a 10th of the price system, was better, as long as you are happy with ring binding.

I'm still looking for a solution- can anyone reccommend an outlab?

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Who says we need to have double siding? If the templates look good, you inter-leave and have nice covers then you have a solution in-house.

Our Whitech kiosks can do a fantastic job of auto-building photo books. We are sourcing some new templates and plain (no watermark) paper then we'll be in business. I mentioned the Channelbind before and still haven't found a local distributor but those are the answer as all other providors are using this or similar.

Very interesting figures from the Photo-Me presentation. Great to see an increase in retail printing. It can only grow if we continue to add these new services.

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We upgraded to the new Whitech Creative software and are sending our orders from 4 of thne 18 kiosks we have instore. The first week we did 6 books and are averaging 4 a week without any advertising or point of sale. Look at photocreate.com.au they do our books and other products. We have just done this, see attcahed, and will wait with interest. We missed out on a lot for Mothers Day as it is a week turn around. Next month about this time we install our HP Photo Center, instore is the way to go. The cheapest option for instore is the Whitech kiosk with a Zerox 7760 printer an option we looked at but HP are VERY keen to sell their systems. We will also be able to print to the HP with our Whitech kiosks.

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Interesting comments. I have purchased the photo book pro from photo-me and i already love the thing to death Its been a long time since I have seen customers so impressed by a new product Its virtually selling it self. For something that is so simple to do takes 10minutes from printing to completion and costs bugger all to do and shows a bloody good profit margin I am a very happy camper. I will also be having an outlab service in the near future when some of the bugs are out of the current software..

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Wow Fotofast - what an amazing setup! I have not seen anything similar to this in the UK. You must be doing lots of volume? What kind of set-up do you have for print production?

I understand that some London labs are trying out the HP solution. One of the reps told me that Fotostop are trialing it in some of their stores. Anyone seen one?

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We are putting in the version to print photo books comes with two kiosks a Rimage CD system and a 24" printer and binder etc. Costing is what deal you can do:-) needless to say HP are very keen to put numbers in as soon as they can. We are members of the IPI group in the US and they bought 140 odd systems at PMA in Las Vegas in March.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Interesting comments. I have purchased the photo book pro from photo-me and i already love the thing to death Its been a long time since I have seen customers so impressed by a new product Its virtually selling it self. For something that is so simple to do takes 10minutes from printing to completion and costs bugger all to do and shows a bloody good profit margin I am a very happy camper. I will also be having an outlab service in the near future when some of the bugs are out of the current software..

please let me know when you want to outlab this- I would be very interested  :)

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