Now, I am SO glad they did.
Because I was totally overpaying for my books.
Now I've found a new company, Mypictales.com. I wanted to write a quick review and show pictures of my book in case there is anyone else out there looking for a place to do an 8 1/2 x 11 size book, or is just looking for a good company.
With my old company, I would pay anywhere from $130 to $150 for a book that was between 100 and 118 pages. The quality was excellent. Glossy pages, beautiful covers, and they didn't cut off huge margins of my work.
I chose Mypictales because another scrapper I know recommended them, and she does the 8 1/2 x 11 size page. A lot of companies don't do that size, including the old standby, Shutterfly, which I have never used but pretty much everyone else in the universe does. I liked Mypictales because their editor allows me to upload a 11x17 page as a double layout. Very easy. I just hoped they didn't take enormous margins.
Price: ★★★★ What blew me away was the price. Used to paying over $120 for my books, I was stunned when my total for a 112 page hard bound book was only $90. THEN, I did a search to see if there were any coupons out there. Unbelievably, I found one that was only for the size of book I was doing, and it expired that very day! AH! So my book--my 112 page hard bound book--only cost me $60! I could hardly believe it!
Ease of Use: ★★★ As I already stated, the editor was very easy to use and navigate. However, I did run into a snag when I went to submit it. It just wouldn't upload my enormous book. I would guess that in a smaller book it might not be a problem. But no matter what I did, I couldn't upload it. I followed all the alternate instructions on the site to no avail. Finally I contacted customer service via email. I got a response very quick, and they were so kind and easy to work with. We were able to work out another solution by uploading my book with a shared link in Dropbox. No problem. So even though I had trouble, I still give them 3 out of 4 stars, because their customer service was so good.
Shipping: ★★★★ This one bowled me over. With my old company, I would have to wait 2-3 weeks for my book. MyPicTales took FIVE days! Seriously--I ordered it on the 25th of April, and it was on my doorstep on May 1st--which was my birthday so it was the perfect gift!
Cover: ★★★ The cover of the book is gorgeous. I LOVE the wrap-around option, which I did not have with my old company. Makes it look so nice on the shelf. The only reason I didn't give it four stars is because, when I compare it with my other books, the cover isn't quite as glossy. But--seriously. It cost half as much and it still looks freaking awesome. I am NOT complaining.
Binding: ★★★ The binding has it's good and bad points. I like how tightly bound it is, it won't come apart. But there is a bit of glue showing on the top. All in all, I'm good with it. Once again, I got it for a GREAT price.
Margins: ★★★★ This was one of my biggest concerns I loaded my 8 1/2 x 11 pages into other editors from other sites, and they didn't even fit. I was worried that the book wouldn't be the size they say it is, or they'd take off huge margins from the sides and the insides. Yes, they took some from the inside, but then--you HAVE to, and so I'm happy. Nothing got cut off. But I think next time I'll be a little more careful with my inside border--the binding took a lot. But that' true of all companies, because that's just the way books are bound. There is a flat binding option, but I didn't do it.
Color: ★★★★ The picture above also shows the page as a jpg file, and then the same page in my book. The colors are dead on.
Size: ★★★★ Another reason I insisted on sticking with 8 1/2 x 11 pages was because I wanted all my books to be the same size and fit nicely on my shelf. This book is slightly bigger than the others, but not by much. It looks gorgeous on the shelf--much better than my other books. At my old company, I could only pick the color of the spine and a few fonts with the title. With Mypictales, I could design the entire cover, spine and all. I think it looks fantastic on my shelf!
Overall, I'm very happy to add Year Eight: On Our Way to my collection of yearbooks. It looks great on my shelf, and it's so fun to share! A BIG THANK YOU to Mypictales for doing such a fabulous job! I will definitely order from them from now on!