Blurb is a great website where you can create your own books and they do not necessarily have to be photo books. Unlike other photo sharing website books, you have a lot more flexibility with layouts and it can be either just text, photos, or both - very flexible. The books is their specialty, so it is hard to compare their product to Snapfish, for example, because they offer all kinds of other products and services. I have ordered both a Blurb book and a Snapfish book, Blurb is clearly better quality. PROS:
What I like most about making books at Blurb is that you don't have to do it on their website, you just download the application and you can work on the book offline if you need to.
A large variety of layouts yields very customized books, no two are the same. Plus you can browse (and even buy!) other people's books for inspiration.
This service can be used for anything from a college portfolio, to a poetry book, cook book, or photography portfolio. The flexibility does not limit your choices.
You will not end up with blurry photos because the application warns you if you photo is not high enough resolution for where you are placing it.
Overall a very user-friendly interface that makes it fast and easy to make a professional looking book. People ask me what photographer made our wedding book and are very surprised when I tell them I made it myself online - even more surprised when I tell them how much it cost! (under $40).
Your work is automatically saved every few minutes, so no meltdowns if the power goes out and you just spent hours working on it and forgot to save it!
They have five different size options all very competitively priced, you can also get volume discounts if you order more than 10 copies.
You can make books and sell them right there on Blurb.com
! Make you own cook book and you can make money off of it. CONS:
The application can get a little slow if you book gets really large (more than 100 photos) and you have very high resolution photos.
You pay a few bucks extra to remove the Blurb logo at the end of the book. Overall I highly recommend Blurb if you want professional results without going to a pricey publisher!
Blurb now has a great option of uploading your own book ready for print in PDF form! That means you can create it in a program of your choice, like InDesign, and upload it to print at Blurb. You can download templates for their books (the right size for one of the options they offer) on their website.