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Bob Books Photo Book Review

Bob Books are put to the test as we try out their premium photo book service.

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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
Swift turnaround

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


For more information on this product, visit Bob Books

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Very nice. I am currently using Blurb services for my books is similar to what you discribe. I am happy with the quality and the dlivery time, so are my customers and it is a little less expensive. You should check it out.

janeez Plus
12 1.8k 8 United Kingdom
I am looking to move from Blurb as I feel the images always appear soft despite using their best quality paper last time I ordered. Hope Bob Books offers sharper image quality.
I have used both Blurb and Bob Books, they both have advantages and disadvantages. The advantage I found with Blurb was the software, its alot more professional and stable, the BobBooks software is good to but on my Mac I have had a couple of times where it has crashed. The quality on blurb books is good for a casual album pages are alot thinner than the Bob Books Hi end paper which is stiff and looks better quality. So in my opinion for a quick book I would use Blurb but for a formal looking album I would definatly use Bob Books. I will have images soon on my website.
Very disappointed with Bob Books. Our photos were taken by a pro (who takes pictures for Getty Images etc). He had adjusted all the photos for brightness, saturation etc and they looked fabulous. When the book came back the colours were lurid, and all detail had been lost in the shadows due to the brightness being reduced. I sent the book back expecting Bob Books to be concerned. After asking if they had received my book I got a curt email telling me not to expect a response for up to 6 working days. After more emails I called a couple of weeks later to ask what was going on. The guy told me they had a huge backlog (probably other people sending back their books) but my book was near the top of the pile. He then found my book, but told me it would need to go to another department to be looked at. He said I'd get a call by the end of the day. The next day I called again (slightly irate by now!) and they told me that my monitor settings were different to theirs and they'd send me an email explaining what I should do. My pictures looked fine on several computers, not just mine (and incidentally, if this was critical to getting your pictures looking right then it should be made clear by Bob Books). Their solution was for me to resend it with "Auto Image Correct" on for all my pictures. As I didn't want a computer to re-balance all my photos which had been carefully balanced already I decided to ask for my money back and go elsewhere. It took another couple of emails before they eventually refunded my postage as well as the cost of the book. Not impressed with Bob Books at all.

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