Handling/Ease of Use
Value For Money
Bob Books Review - Features
After downloading the latest BobBooks software to my PC, I set about choosing the style of book I wanted to create using Bob Designer 3.0.
There are 3 types of book on offer here. Hardback - has seven different size and orientations available, [three of which can be printed glossy] and comes with a laminated cover. Photographic Hardback - has three size and orientation options and comes with a personalised cover option and has the luxury of premium photographic paper inside. Paperback – is described as a flexible book produced with the same quality as the other books in the range.
On this particular occasion I opted for the 30cm square 'Photographic Hardback' book from the three options available. This is the most expensive and I wanted to see the quality of the images printed onto the premium photographic paper.
Bob Books Review – Handling/Ease of Use
The software you need to create you book can be easily downloaded from Bob Books
Initially, you will need to download the Bob Designer installer file. When you run this it takes you to the installer wizard screen to begin the installation process. Here there is a checkbox option to 'download the software and install later' – this would be my recommendation as the files required to install the software weigh in at a hefty 104Mb, so trying to run this online [as I did] requires a fast broadband connection.
Installation is a breeze though and no different to installing any other piece of software onto your system. Once launched, the 'Bob Designer' software itself comes with a multitude of page design options ranging from 1 image to up to 13 images per page, you shouldn't really have a problem choosing a suitable design option. That said you can quite easily design your own page styles and even save them as reusable page templates. I did find it handy to be able to design and construct my own page style template that I could use repeatedly throughout my book.
The software interface is simply laid out and quite straight forward too. There's enough for the casual user to find with ease and some further options available for more complex designs if you want them and are prepared to investigate a little. There are plenty of font options available to use too, so there should be something for everyone. If you get a little confused or lost, there is also a handy and comprehensive 'Help' facility online.
Bob Books Review – Performance
I found the overall performance of this product from start to finish to be of a high standard. The printed images on my example are slightly more saturated than the originals and they do feel as if they're a fraction on the dark side – but not unduly so. The pages feel quite thick too, to the point that myself and a few others have tried to 'separate' them when thumbing through.
The quality of the finish on this book exudes quality and it comes well packaged in a robust parcel to ensure it arrives in pristine condition. From purchasing and uploading my designed book, it took 6 days to receive an email notification stating that the book had been despatched and a day later it had arrived.
One other bonus is the ability to upload your book to the Bob Bookshop after you have placed your order. Here you can allow others to browse your book and order directly through Bob Books. You can add your own 'Author Profit' to try and make some money for your hard work.
Bob Books Review – Value for Money
£53.99 + £4.50 p&p for 26 pages is not to be sniffed at but the quality of this product is definitely up towards the higher end of the market. With the Premium Photographic Hardback option you can keep adding 8 pages for £8.00 a time - up to a maximum of 82 pages total.
I 'blind tested' this product with some of my photographic friends and graphic design colleagues to see what they felt the cost of an equivalent book for themselves would be. One of them said they felt it would cost between £40-45 and the other two thought the price was somewhere in the region of £50 … so the pricing of this product is about right for the end result!
Bob Books Review – Verdict
Bob Books are certainly not the cheapest photo books out there, but in my experience you do get what you pay for. The quality of construction feels nice and solid and the printing is of a very high quality.
For me, the overall experience is a positive one which I would recommend to anyone who requires a quality 'coffee table' book that they can use to showcase their photographs. If you only require a basic photo book to give as a Christmas present to a relative then I would probably recommend shopping elsewhere for a cheaper option.
Bob Books Review - Positives:
Easy to design using the Software provided
High quality finish
Bob Books Review - Negatives:
|The quality of construction feels nice, solid and the printing is of a very high quality!
A little pricey for some
|VALUE FOR MONEY
For more information on this product, visit Bob Books