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On-Demand Printing of Coffee Table Books

Elayne Savage

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Has anyone had experience using blurb.com? It offers free software assembling your own photo/art books. Do you know of other resources for coffee table books?

— Shirley George Frazier

I chose Blurb to publish three of my non-fiction books (text and photos) that are either sold at speaking engagements or offered as sales incentives. The templates are easy to follow, and the book quality is extremely good.

Your finished book can be ordered by you in quantities of one or more or placed on a Web site or blog through HTML coding for direct sale to visitors.

Lulu.com is a Blurb competitor.

— Heather Hansen

I created one personal book from blurb.com and was really pleased with it.

One of my clients recommended the site to me and showed me his book. He's an amateur photographer with quality pictures. The quality of the book depends on the quality/size of your original photos.


  • Simple editing software — doesn’t take a techie to figure it out
  • Flexible options when it comes to picture layout and text
  • Easy photo uploading
  • Good quality photo printing
  • Several different book sizes and binding styles available
  • Can have books produced and shipped all over the world on demand
  • People can order/purchase your book through blurb's online catalog


  • Be careful about where your books are printed — I had some sent to family in the States and the binding was done very well. The books that were sent to us in Singapore (and printed at their production facility here in Asia) were of a lesser quality. Not a huge difference, but definitely noticeable in comparison.
  • If you’re creating a book to sell, you won’t be able to have a huge profit margin (as you could by fully self-publishing) because their production costs per book are high.
  • Not really a con, but a word of warning: If you’re serious about making a high-quality coffee table book with lots of photos, then you hopefully have a good grasp of photography. You need to pay attention to the quality and dimensions of your photos to ensure that they aren’t grainy when they’re printed.

— Rebecca Morgan

Apple has offered this for years with iPhoto. I think Flickr and Kodak and other photo sites offer this too.

— Vanessa Lowry

Apex Book Manufacturing also offers print-on-demand coffee table books. They are a great company and always expanding their equipment and software to better serve their clients.

Here is contact info for them:

Ahmad Meradji
Apex Book Manufacturing, Inc.
(770) 346-9979
(877) TEL-APEX

— Nancy Stern


— Bill McCurry

The photo industry is changing like all other industries. Some traditional photo labs and camera stores are now doing coffee table books in house. Ask around the photo labs in your town.

SpeakerNet News is produced by Rebecca Morgan and Ken Braly. It is not affiliated with the National Speakers Association. Send comments or suggestions