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Has Anyone Tried The Photobook Creator?


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#1 bsktcse

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Posted 30 December 2006 - 11:06 PM

I saw this advertised on the Simple Scrapbooks newsletter. It is sold at Target for about $100. You buy the outside of the book, print your pages, insert them in the spine, put that in the machine and it binds them. Looks like a neat way to produce bound photobooks from home. Anyone tried them yet?

#2 DDecker

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 07:47 AM

I looked for them but they are not expected in our area till early spring! I am very excited about this product and hope it lives up to expectations!
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#3 staceycanada

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 01:37 PM

Oh that sounds really neat.

I have not seen this anywhere but would love to see what it can do.
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#4 MichaelsMomJo

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 01:51 PM

I saw it advertised too and hope that it lives up to its hype. I'd definitely be interested in it if it does what it says (and does it well).

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#5 mirishfamily

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Posted 31 December 2006 - 05:11 PM

I just ordered one from lexjet.com. I will post a review as soon as I get it...

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#6 momentousangel

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 12:23 PM

Checked our local Target and couldn't find one. They haven't got them in yet and aren't sure when they will get them in. :(
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#7 Sharebear57

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Posted 01 January 2007 - 01:19 PM

Oh, I just read a review about it last night. I can't remeber where, though!
They said they really recommended it. They said it was very easy to do yourself at home and the results looked very professional. They said you get several options for size and paper type and that cover run somewhere in the range of $8-$12 ea. (i dont remember the exact #s she used, but I think that os pretty close.)
They also said it comes with a software, but you don't need it. It can be run without a computer, the software is for people to do layouts with, but it is not great, so don't bother with it if you have good software already.

Well, that's all I can remember (I think that was most of it). If I can figure out where I saw that review, I will post a link. But, I guess the point was she used it and loved and recommends it to all.
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#8 mirishfamily

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:30 AM

Got it yesterday and made my first book this morning. OMG! This is the greatest thing since sliced bread! For background, I made my first "coffee table book" with Shutterfly over the summer at a cost of $48.98 for a 32-page 8x8 book. The process was long, with uploading all of my files, and then going through the Shutterfly process to add them to the pages. Also, the options with Shutterfly (and many other similar services) were very limited. I could not do full-bleed pages, or even a black background, and they kept adding page numbers to the pages, which I could never figure out how to remove. The cover options were even more limited -- no black available, and the only way I could get my 8x8 jpeg to fit without being cropped into a rectangle was to reduce it to about 4x4 and print it on a white background! Once I got the book, two pages were printed with the colors way off so that the photos which were supposed to be black and white turned out sepia-toned. I emailed customer service to let them know about the problem, and they said they would fix it and send me a new book. Well, they sent a new book with exactly the same problem on the exact same pages! Did anyone even look at the book before they sent it out? Guess not...

Anyway, on to the Photo Book Creator (I'll just call it the PBC from now on!). I ordered it from lexjet.com, and received it in just a few days. Bonus: for the same price as Best Buy ($119.99), lexjet includes two extra 8.5x11 covers. The covers were pretty nice -- faux linen, but the company which manufactures the PBC has a bunch of other materials available, too, including ultrasuede and real leather. The only glitch is that you have to call the company directly to buy these specialty covers, and you must purchase them in quantities of 10. I called them this morning and ordered 10 8x8 black linen 5mm covers (wide enough for 25-40 pages) with a 4x4 square cutout on the front cover for only $6.75 (US$) each! I checked prices on 12x12 covers, too, which are $8.00 each for black linen. A cutout on the front adds another 25 cents per book.

The PBC works exactly as it says -- just put your pages in the cover, put it on the machine (I think there's a magnet in there that senses the steel in the binding and turns it on), wait for the light to turn red (heating), then green (cooling), then off. Take the book out, and presto! You've got a really great, professional-looking book! After letting it cool a few more minutes (the spine was still warm to the touch), I gave each page a good tug, and they were all stuck in there pretty good.

I don't know about you all, but I am always changing my mind about my pages after the fact, and I had seen a review at the following photography website: http://bonus.ppmag.c...w_unibind_.html where they said you could re-heat the book and add or remove a few pages. So, I decided to try it out, and, yes, you can do it, but the pages come out with some glue on the edge, and you have to peel it off before you can put them back in neatly. Luckily, the glue is soft, like the kind they put on tear-off pads of paper to bind them at the top. You do get little strings of glue all over when you take the pages out, but it rolls off easily -- like rubber cement.

Anyway, all I can say is WHOO-HOO! :banana: I finally have a way to make a really great-looking book without spending hours on the internet reconfiguring the pages that I created in PSE so that they fit into someone else's template, then spending 50 bucks and waiting a week and a half to see the finished product! I would definitely recommend this to everyone!

Brigid

#9 TallCool69

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:36 AM

Wow, that sounds great!
I wonder how many zillion years it takes before that comes to Sweden?
I guess this is another thing I have to put on my "to get in the US"-list... :breakdance:
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#10 Sharebear57

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 11:36 AM

Wow, that sounds awesome. Definately going on my wishlist. Thanks so much for posting a review for us!
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#11 Susan Neff

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 10:40 PM

Thank you for the detailed review - it's such a big help! :)

#12 momentousangel

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 12:31 AM

Thanks for the review, I was wondering about it so I could print out and actually bind a few children's stories without having to go the long way around. Will have to add this to dh's great gift idea list of things he could get me, heheteehe!
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To have a friend is to have a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold and an extra pair of legs when yours are too weak to stand alone...

I have been living buried in books and writing classes... as an added note I must say that it is rather scary when you start dreaming and all you can see within your dreams is words floating everywhere!

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Valerie Lynn Harrell is the published author of a book of poetry, titled "A Little Girl Lost... Was Found Through Her Writing"

#13 digitalnovice

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Posted 27 January 2007 - 03:06 PM

Would you be able to bind anytype of paper or just photo paper?

#14 mirishfamily

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 09:16 PM

As far as I can tell, you can bind any type of paper with it. I bound a book of regular copy paper for a story written by a friend's son, and it turned out great. The only thing I guess you might have a problem with is if you try to bind something really thick, like cardboard -- not that the machine won't bind it, but you would have a tough time turning the pages. The Unibind company does offer book covers with several thicknesses -- up to hundreds of pages, if you think you'll ever need that many! I'm on my fourth book, and I still love it!!!! Two of my friends have been so impressed they ordered their own.

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#15 vykkles

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Posted 02 February 2007 - 07:05 PM

I have been anxiously waiting to purchase the product, too. It is now available at Target.com (online only, a bummer for those of us with little patience). Just so you know - the package at Target is $10 more, but it comes bundled with 6 books instead of 2.

After your review I will definitely be ordering it. I have only one concern. Some of my LO are deisgned to be viewed side-by-side and from what I can tell the only way I will be able to get that is if I can print my layouts good enough double-sided. Have you tried this yet?

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#16 ZachMadsMom

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Posted 09 February 2007 - 08:22 AM

Just curious, when you print your pages at home, how much do you think each page costs? Or are you planning on printing them through a service and then using this machine to do the binding? Just trying to get an idea on how much the books really will end up being in the long run.

#17 mirishfamily

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 12:49 PM

Sorry I haven't responded sooner -- been out of town. I have been printing my LO's on double-sided paper. I got some Canon double-sided paper from Amazon.com for $10 a pack of 10 pages. With this, you can print 20 LO's. I'm not sure how much ink costs me per page, but I have a Canon MP530 printer that has individual ink cartridges, so I only change one color at a time. I just did a 20-page book for my sister's 30th birthday, and it cost me $16.50 for the paper and book, plus maybe a few dollars for the ink. I'm not sure how that compares to the online shops. My Shutterfly book, which cost $47, was 32 pages, so it would have cost me $21.50, plus the cost of ink. Truthfully, the upside for me is that the print quality is sooooo much better on my printer than what I got from Shutterfly, and I didn't have to spend a few hours uploading and configuring my book on their software.

BTW, the Unibind company is located in my town, so I dropped by the other day to see what other cover options they have. They gave me samples of 12x12, 5x7 and 4x6 books. They have several linen colors available, including red, navy blue, and green. They also have a pearl-white cover (not sure what material, but textured like a regular book cover. They also have a light brown leather-look, and a flat black. The company isn't really used to dealing with consumers, so they don't have a catalog, or even a price list. You have to call them up and ask for the sales department, then tell them the size, material and color, and if you want a cutout (they have all different size and shape options for this), and they'll give you the price (remember you must buy a minimum of 10). I got mine in a couple of days.

Still love it! My sisters were very impressed with their books, and they're hard to please!

Brigid

#18 crush4dolphins

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:31 PM

Wow thanks for the review. I was wondering about this. My question is: Did you bind with or without page protectors? Do the books come with page protectors? I'm pretty particular about them beings I leave mine out and the kids love to look through them but forget what might be on their hands! LOL If one can use protectors this is going on my wish list. Let's see next holiday, Mother's Day, perfect :lol:
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#19 mirishfamily

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 09:26 PM

The books don't come with page protectors, but I guess it would bind them. The only problem I could see would be that the page protectors would stick out because of the 1/2 inch or so that they have on the end to put them into a binder (they usually measure like 9x11 with the extra margin). Also,I guess the heat of the machine might melt the edges that are bound. Truthfully, I think you would be better off with a post-bound or ring binder book if you want to use page protectors -- they would be easier to use, and you could switch the pages around whenever you need to. For what it's worth, the Canon double-sided paper is great -- it doesn't show fingerprints AT ALL, and a friend of mine spilled root beer (!) on the book I made for my sister's 30th birthday, and I just blotted it up and let it dry, and you couldn't even tell anything had been spilled on it at all. Whew! I thought I was going to have a heart attack!

#20 Debbyo

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 06:32 AM

Hey Brigid-thanks for doing such a great job on this product review...wonder if I could ask you for another one? You seem pretty happy with your Canon printer, and you told me something I didn't know, about the double-sided paper and I was impressed to hear that your book was even root-beer proof . The reason I'm asking is that I've been shopping around for a new large format printer and am considering the Epson R1800 or the Canon i9000 (which is the replacement for the i9900). Both are priced the same, but the inks are different. The Canon ink (at least here in Canada) is about $4 more each cartridge. I have read on some MBs that the Canon is a huge machine so I was leaning towards the Epson. Any advice, my dear -or anyone else's input would be greatly appreciated. :disappearing-smilie:
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#21 mirishfamily

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 08:41 PM

I have read several reviews on the Canon Pixma Pro 9000 (I think that's the printer you are referring to), and they all say that it's great. It's the same type of ink (ChromaLife 100) that my printer uses, but the 9000 has more ink tanks (mine has 5, I think the 9000 has 8), so I would imagine the print quality is even better. I don't think that Canon has double-sided large format paper available, but you could always use another brand. You could still print double-sided on their 8.5x11 paper on the 9000 anyway.

I did read that it is a large machine, but I'm not sure how big the Epsons are, either. I guess you could get specs off of Amazon or whatever site you would be buying from. As far as the Epsons go, it's funny you should ask, because I was just talking about them today with a friend of mine who is a very talented professional photographer. She was complaining about how much ink her Epson eats up because the print head nozzles get dried out if she doesn't print anything for a few days, and then she has to clean the nozzles, and it just uses up a huge amount of ink. When I was researching printers, I did see a lot of complaints about this. You might want to talk to some people who own Epsons to see if this affects their ink cost per page -- more expensive tanks that last longer may be more cost-effective in the long run.

Sorry I can't be of more help! steves-digicams.com always has really good, in-depth reviews of printers, cameras, etc. You might want to check there.

Good luck! :monkeydance:

Brigid

#22 Lori Bragg

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 02:16 PM

I am wondering if anyone has any recent experience comparing hardback book binding systems. I just recently noticed the Unibinder Photobook Creator and figured since it has been on the market for a couple of years competitors might have popped up. It looks like Fellowes and Powis have also come out with possible products but I'm apparently too dense to compare from the online descriptions!

Since I saw this thread I thought I'd jump on it and see also if the Unibind product held up well after much use.

Thanks for any insight...

Lori

#23 Butternut

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:24 PM

I saw this advertised on the Simple Scrapbooks newsletter. It is sold at Target for about $100. You buy the outside of the book, print your pages, insert them in the spine, put that in the machine and it binds them. Looks like a neat way to produce bound photobooks from home. Anyone tried them yet?



This sounds so exciting. I've read all of the replys to you and I was wondering if you could take some photos of the covers and insides of your books and post them somewhere in this thread. Maybe that's not possible. Maybe you can put it in your gallery (like I know what I'm talking about). It seems you ladies can work magic.

#24 Butternut

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:27 PM

I saw this advertised on the Simple Scrapbooks newsletter. It is sold at Target for about $100. You buy the outside of the book, print your pages, insert them in the spine, put that in the machine and it binds them. Looks like a neat way to produce bound photobooks from home. Anyone tried them yet?


Dear bsktcse, I love your creative name. I had a good laugh when I figured it out.

#25 lori92760

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 07:18 PM

it is an amazing product. i did a traditional scrapbook for my daughters h.s. graduation. four years later, i did a digital one for my son and i and i bought this product because i found a super deal on ebay. oh my goodness, it is so easy and the book is so beautiful (a huge thanks to scrapgirls and customers for all the hints and help over the last year or two of learning this art). at his graduation party it was on the table with the cake and nearly everyone who looked at it cried. and wanted to know who i had do it or what company bound it. ME ME ME! i have an auto immune disease that is impairing my site and i havent done much crafting in a couple of years. digitally, i can enlarge way up and see and i can feel artistic again.

www.digitalscrapbookplace.com this place sells the albums in packs of one. some sites, sell only ten at a time. really nice man to work with.

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#26 Lori Bragg

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 08:28 AM

Thanks so much for your insight Lori! Good luck on further scrapping... Lori Bragg




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