An Open Invitation to Photo Book Manufacturers

InvitationI get a lot of messages and responses to my posts asking, “Have you looked at (fill in the blank)?” The answer is almost always no. Products are expensive and at this time, I don’t have the resources to go out and purchase products that interest me for evaluation. When I was at Creative Memories, the situation was different. When I was developing a new product, I would purchase competitive products so that I understood what was available.

For photo books, I am in the same boat as everyone else. I have created many books, and the company that made them, Creative Memories, is no longer offering photo books and has no plans to do so in the immediate future. I need a new supplier.

Panstoria was kind enough to send me sample photo books, and I am glad I had a chance to review their product. Pansotria has a well made product, although there are opportunities to improve print quality.

So far, other manufacturers have not offered to send me products to review. A number of people have asked about Blurb; consequently, I wrote them asking about a sample book to review for this blog. I was told to order one through their regular process on their web site. I don’t think so.

Here’s my invitation to photo book manufacturers. If you provide me a sample photo book, I will evaluate it on this blog and let readers know what I think. Here are the conditions:

  1. The book must be 12×12 with a personalized soft or hard cover.
  2. The book must be produced from my print file.
  3. You must either accept PDF files (preferred) or have a process for accepting full page files.
  4. You must be willing to provide some details about the manufacturing process.

If you produce photo books and would like to provide a sample, please go the About page and leave a reply.

Note: If you would like to know if I have ever written anything about a particular manufacturer or company, use the search box located on the right-hand side of this blog.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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13 Responses to An Open Invitation to Photo Book Manufacturers

  1. nancy Lewis says:

    They are fools to turn you down; makes me wonder what they have to hide. If they have a good product they should be happy to give you a sample and anxiously await your review.

  2. Shirley says:

    Thank you SO much for your reviews! I respect your knowledge and expertise on the subject immensely. I too, am in desperate search to find a new (quality) photo book vendor to use since CM is no offering that service. Thank you and please keep up the work you are doing!

  3. Joyce Nielsen says:

    You have always been the last word on photo quality and safety. Thank you for your blog – those of us who don’t know where to go without Creative Memories Storybooks appreciate your input.

  4. Myrna R. Slater says:

    Thank you. The information you share with us is so helpful. I appreciate what you do.

  5. V Trumm says:

    You have so many follower, that like you are now in search of a wonderful product and respect your expertise and opinion.

  6. Karen Marie Kedzuch says:

    Thanks for putting this out to the vendors. I am awaiting the answers to this research.

  7. Sherry Boland says:

    Thank you Dr. Mark for all you continue to do to help us! I look forward to seeing if any of them take you up on your offer. In my opinion, it says a lot if they don’t.

  8. Karin says:

    I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens with this, since I too am in need of an exceptional photobook supplier!!

  9. lakeside45 says:

    Most of us consultant and customers will receive a free book if we register on the web site of any book printer. Would it be possible for us to give you that ‘coupon’ for the free book, using our new account to do some comparisons? I’d be more than happy to sacrifice a free book if I could find out the quality compared to other manufacturers. I’ve been on several sites and received several free book offers. I am sharing your blog with my customers and other consultants and we all appreciate your work and advise. Keep it up!

    • Mark Mizen says:

      The free book coupons will not generally work in that they usually have restrictions on the book size and number of pages and require payment of shipping charges. In addition, I generally need the manufacture to answer questions and be willing to provide details about their production process.

  10. Craig says:

    The sign of a great photobook (i said great), cannot be measured in dollars or spectral color measurement. It is measured by the emotional response it receives from the customer or whoever opens the book. As someone that is related of the production of photobooks; I recall the reaction of my wife (who is in the ideal consumer demographic for photobooks), when I would show her various products produced by suppliers. Some of the photobooks received a so-so response, but other photobooks dilated the pupils and raised the heart rate, just by their look and feel. Manufacturers of photobooks need to pay attention to their customers’ reaction to their product …more VOC

  11. onecalmmom says:

    Dr. Mark,
    If you have companies that are cooperative I would be happy to contribute to the cost of research. Please let us know if that’s an option. I guarantee there are others who feel the same as I do. Your trusted opinion means a great deal to us.


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