technical support – blurb, viovio, soon apple

Thanks to Bagelturf for mentioning me on his blog; my reviews have temporarily become popular. 🙂

After printing books and seeing problems comes dealing with technical support. What fun.

Blurb

I emailed Blurb about posterization on april 5, 2007, indicating the flickr set which showed examples along with comparisons of the same non-postersized images in a book from Apple. I immediately received an automated response indicating that I’d receive a reply within two days.

They replied 5 days later, recommending higher DPI, and offering a coupon for US $10 off my next purchase. Both my boss, as well as a friend of mine, Sam, noted that increased dpi (180 to 300) as recommended would not solve the color issue, so I emailed again, asking about posterization again.

Four days later they replied, asking for “digital photos” of the posterization, apparently to assess for a reprint. I replied with jpegs, and also noting that I’d included a link to the flickr set in my original email. I also asked, again, for the link to a page on their website which detailed the DPI info, image size and printer profile to use. I await their response.

I hope the issues can be resolved: blurb has what appears to be the best prices for books (a fixed price for 20-40 pages, 40-60, etc.), even if they layouts are not editable.

Viovio

I emailed Viovio about dark, muddy images on April 2, 2007. They replied on April 3, asking for jpegs (since I’d provided flickr links which they weren’t able to access). I replied with images, and also a link to the flickr set. The initial email was quite cheery,

Mike, greetings!!!! Thank you for your note. I’m sorry for the trouble with your print. Would you mind taking a picture or two of the effected pages and send the pictures to me? I’d like to see what you see and do a little research.

I replied on April 3, but heard nothing. On April 17, I resent the email I’d sent on April 3, and with a couple of hours had received another cheery response:

Hi Mike,

This landed in my queue, and I’ve been tied up with several new trim sizes we have coming out.

I’m going to send book through an alternate process that runs slow but thorough CMYK color conversion process, and see how that works.

Your comparison images are fabulous, and we’ll do everything we can to get the books to match.

And then in another couple of hours I received an email that the (re)order had been placed, and shipment was expected on the 24th.

I hope these issues can be resolved, since viovio will scale an Aperture-produced 11 x 8.5″ (A4-ish) PDF to 7 x 9 (18 x 23cm), and will also accept any PDF to print as well (in the right form factor, of course), and the prices are quite good as well.

Apple

Well, after two amazingly great books, I received the third with printing goop on it, so I need to contact customer support and see what I can do about getting it replaced. The images themselves are great, but what looks like bits of dried ink make it unusable as the gift it’s intended to be. More on how that goes later in the week…

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This entry was posted in apple, blurb, photobook, review, viovio. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to technical support – blurb, viovio, soon apple

  1. Matt says:

    Mike,

    Have you tried Picaboo (www.picaboo.com) yet? I just got word of them and I’m interested to hear how they stack up…

  2. Mike Franklin says:

    Haven’t tried picaboo, since their app is only for XP.

    Their prices are quite high (e.g. $2 per addional page vs. Apple’s $1 per additional page on a hardcover vs. Blurb’s fixed price for 20-40 pages).

    They also seem to have limited printing: 11 x 8.5 hardcover or 8 x 6 soft- or hard- cover…. and that’s it.

    I’m hoping blurb and viovio can reprint their books as well as the Apple books turned out … though I seriously do not look forward to having to print several books just to get a good one.

  3. Niki Lopez says:

    I have been searching the net for 2 things.
    1- a POD service where i can set my own prices and sell my books, calendars, etc
    2- a POD service with QUALITY output, since i am a professional photographer/artist/designer

    I was introduced to blurb.com but as i set up an account, i was then told that lulu.com is better and you can get an isbn number. Then through research, I am finding out about viovio.com and shared ink. Any help? I want to be able to price to sell and make a profit, but I also don’t want to sacrifice quality. Has anyone compared all those with print quality? PLEASE HELP!
    Thanks in advance

  4. Joanne says:

    How would you rate each of the photobooks? A chart or graph with factors such as quality, and price would be great. Or just a list from worst to best?

  5. Lisa says:

    I have used Picaboo a number of times in 2007 & 2008. I was satisfied with the resulting products and being able to share them online. I am looking for a higher quality printed book now for wedding photos. Picaboo was great if you did not care how sharp your pictures appear, but for wedding photos, we definitely want to see the level of quality in the photo book match the level of quality of the pictures going in the book. any ideas would be appreciated. i do like the hard cover, so from what i understand, viovio is out. i also like the client side software that picaboo has. ??
    thanks.
    lisa

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