Last Friday Luke found a super deal on Slickdeals - a free photo book! I think Albelli is a newcomer to the popular photo book publishing business; I have never heard of them before. Their website isn't as advanced as others (Snapfish, Shtterfly, etc) and because there is no capability to create an account, once the order was placed, I didn't get to check on the status of the order at all. In fact, it wasn't until yesterday that I received an email indicating that my book has shipped.
On the forum, people chimed in about getting inconsistent services - such as delay in receiving confirmation emails and trouble uploading photos. However, this could all be caused by an overflowing of orders they are receiving.
I downloaded the software and it didn't take me too long to get a hang of the application. I would've done a lot more to the layout of the pages, but I was pressing for time. I wanted to make sure I get my order in sooner rather than later. I wasn't sure when the deal would expire.
I think Albelli could offer a little bit more variety as far as background options. Most that are offered right now are pretty...well, blah. In the end, I just picked plain black for my Taiwan book and white for the wedding book.
As for the cost, again, I got it completely for free. However, the regular prices for the books seem to be a bit lower than the competitors.
I created a 24-page medium size landscape photo book (7.75 x 5.75 - imagine a regular sheet of copier paper in half - small!) of our Taiwan 2005 trip. I opted to not have any captions throughout the book, but that was certainly an option. I don't know the quality of the book yet because it's still in delivery, but I will update the post once I receive it!
To test my luck, I also created a wedding photo book using the pro pictures. Not sure if this one will show up though.
This is yet another good example of browsing deal sites when you have time!
Note: The books arrived! Yes, both of them!
1) Now I know why they are cheaper than the competitors, the books are tiny. See the first picture for size - I put it on top of a magazine. Although the small size makes it very portable.
2) The photos are crisp. Great quality.
3) One of my pictures fell off the page and I know it's not a mistake on my part. I am sure that Albelli would make a new book if I complained, but I am not going to.
So would I actually pay for an Albelli photo book? Maybe. No complaints or anything, but there are waaaay too many options out there to just stick with one company.