Review: Smilebooks

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This month it was our 10 year anniversary and as a gift for Bob I'd decided to create a scrapbook of our lives together so far. I used a photobook printing site called Smilebooks, and never one to turn down a blogging opportunity I thought it was a great time to add a review of a scrapbook printing service. I will be honest and say I hadn't heard of Smilebooks, they must be flying under my printing radar, but no longer!

As with all scrapbook printing sites you start by downloading their software to create the book. This is a quick and easy process, and I have to say of all the printing sites I've used their software was the easiest to use! If you are a beginner and looking for easy to learn software for creating your photo books then Smilebooks is GREAT! They had lots of size and binding options but I'd already decided on an 8x8 book

After the initial play with the software to get my bearings, I simply imported all the pages I'd created for my book. All 26 pages! (Yeah that took some time creating those!) In Smilebooks you have the option for the photo to cover the whole page or both pages, so once I discovered that I created 2 page spreads and just imported to cover both pages, such a time saver!!!

I had hoped to finish the book sooner but actually didn't end up ordering the book until 30th August. Again ordering was a simple process. One click from their software and the book is uploading to the Smilebooks site, and once completed takes you right to the ordering/payment pages. No fuss! My order confirmation came through almost immediately and I received a shipping notice that weekend!

Now bearing in mind I uploaded and confirmed the order on the 30th which was Labor day holiday weekend, the book was delivered on Saturday 6th September! That's just 5 working days later! I thought that was pretty impressive personally! There was time when I was doubting I'd get it for our anniversary but their speedy shipping pulled me through!

I personally am VERY happy with the quality of the books printing, binding and thankfully Bob loved the book too, as does everyone who has viewed it so far!

I'm not going to share ALL the pages but here are a few:

As you can see I chose the hardback version (this is for our coffee table so needed to be sturdy) and believe me it's awesome! The whole of the album is browns, kraft colored and very scrapbook/notebook style. The focus is all on the story and the photo's. Not gonna do a whole lot of supply lists for these pages but the digi kits used were: My Feeling Krafty kit, Kit by Holly McCaig, Kim Hill, and Rina Kroes.

All in all I am REALLY impressed and actually said that I'd consider doing these for family at the holidays. So if you're looking to get some digital photo's printed, or scrapbook layouts book bound look into Smilebooks, I was really happy with my book!



sb3mom September 23, 2008 at 2:29 PM  

Hi Di
I just love your book. What a wonderful idea. Talk about a great keepsake.
Well done.

Sue ^i^

jan williams September 27, 2008 at 11:40 AM  

Di, This is AWESOME girl! You are so dang talented!!!!

Anonymous,  September 28, 2008 at 3:24 AM  

Di, I love you book, you did a great job on it. Thanks for sharing the info and the pages.


christine.rizzo January 21, 2009 at 2:18 PM  

Your book looks awesome!!!!! I really want to create one now after seeing your book.

Mylerna June 11, 2009 at 7:37 PM  

Hi, I ran across your blog when researching binding techniques for books. I recently ordered a photobook from Picaboo and I'm not really happy w/ the binding. Can you give me some feedback on how your SmileBooks binding is holding up? Would it be possible to get a quick picture of the inside cover at the binding itself?

I'm probably asking alot... I'm sorry! Especially since you don't know me. Just really hate to throw good money after bad and I really love the idea of a photobook.

Photo Book Comparison August 6, 2009 at 6:34 PM  

Your book looks great. I ordered one on SmileBooks too. Thanks for the inspiration!

peter December 9, 2009 at 4:59 PM  

Just want to warn people that I had a very bad experience with smilebooks - ordered the more expensive "photopaper" and it was just a glossy card stock but not an improvement in quality. Picture quality was awful and over saturated - all skin tones dark yellow! I suggest you go elsewhere!

Anonymous,  January 15, 2010 at 11:33 PM  

Your book is beautiful!

I love Smilebooks too. I've used many different photobook sites and in my experience Smilebooks has been the best overall.

@Mylerna (though very who knows if you'll ever see this) - the Smilebooks binding is really nice. So far of all the books I've gotten Smilebooks and Blurb are tied for the best binding. And they're both far above any of the other books I've gotten.

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