Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Photobook Review

So last month I stumbled across an offer for a completely FREE photobook (meaning the book AND the shipping were FREE). I didn't share it with you all right away because I was a little skeptical of the offer. After all, how good can the quality be if you can get it for free? The deal is, you can get one completely free book per month. So what's the catch? The catch is there are advertisements in the book. The site claimed they are easy to remove and "family friendly". My experience: They were easy to remove and they were for the company I got the book from, so hard to say what the other advertisements can be like. (On a side note: I thought it was a little "low" that the coupon on the advertisement had an expiration date of two days after I MADE the book, so three days before the book even SHIPPED!) Overall though, I'm happy with the book. The shipping took FOREVER, but I think that was the post office, not the company. So here are the pros and cons as I see them:

  • FREE
  • Decent background/layout selection.
  • It's FREE!
  • Pretty easy to use the site.
  • Decent quality.
  • And did I mention, it's FREE
  • Background/layout selection. I know I put this on the pro list too :o) While the selection is decent, it's not as extensive as some of the other photo sites out there and some of the backgrounds weren't to my liking (sculls, flames and such). However, I still consider it a "pro" because it's free :o)
  • Image size is a little small. Unless you go for the book that has full page pictures, the images are a little small. I didn't measure them, but they look a little smaller than a 3 x 5 print.
  • Text. I didn't like the fact that the front of the book has your title, but also says "My Hotbook" or something like that (depends on which layout you get I think). Also there was a text only layout page, but it only gives you a line or two, not a whole page. You can add captions to your photos (I didn't do this, so not sure how it turns out).
  • Shipping. They appear to use media mail shipping, which is not a priority as far as the post office is concerned, so it can take a while. Also, the shipping and postage info is listed on the back of the book. They simply put the book in a clear plastic sleeve and mail it to you (like some magazines). This also makes it more vulnerable to damage (it is a soft-sided book).
  • There are advertisements in the book. They say they wont be printed on the same pages as your pictures, are family friendly and easily removable. If you don't like the idea of ads, you can purchase the book for $3.99 + shipping (not sure how much shipping is).
Like I said, overall I'm happy with it and will most likely order more :o) My thinking is, as I take pictures each month, I'll put the ones I especially like in a separate "to print" folder and at the end of the month I'll make a FREE book with the pictures that I've set aside. This way I get "printed" pictures without having to spend an arm and a leg.

The website is www.hotprints.com. They also have a calendar that is a similar deal to the photobook, but I haven't checked it out.


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