The following is a post from contributing writer Tabitha.
Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to try out the Total Yearbooks publishing website. I explored the site thoroughly so I could see all the different options they offered and then ordered several different products. I could truly see the quality of their products.
I have been pleasantly surprised overall and I would like to share what I’ve learned with anyone looking for a place to publish their own yearbooks or similar items.
Website and Uploading
The website is appealing, and all the different options are easy to read and understand. You can view samples, see different pricing options, and get more of an idea of what they do. This is a beta site, however, so you may encounter broken links or things that may not work as intended.
The easiest and best option is to have the pictures/pages/yearbook you want printed already in PDF format and just upload and order. This was not the option I used, but after seeing the great results I received with their normal templates, I can see endless possibilities using PDF pages.
The option I used was to upload my family homeschool pictures and select some of the templates already loaded on their site to arrange them. I used their simple templates and was able to make something truly incredible. However, there are many templates, both free and for an additional cost, to choose from to make your book.
It was easy to do, after I figured out the upload process. This was rather difficult at first but after some trial and error (and patience) it worked out. I’d have to say this was one of the negatives for the site; however, it is still in beta format and it worked very well as soon as I spent some time on it.
There are endless options for your book. It isn’t a process where every book looks the same. The only limit to what you can publish is your own imagination. I was able to add captions, edit photos, move photos, change order of pages, change page templates, and many other actions to make our books exactly what I was looking for. I have nothing negative to say about the choice of options.
Ordering your book is the same way. Depending on the orientation of your pages, you have many choices for the size of your book, including binding, covers, paper, and print qualities. It is possible to create one book and order it in 10 or more different formats and prices.
When ordering, you can also make your book public or private. Public allows other people to order your book. This is great for a group yearbook or even for a fundraising option. My son has since made an alphabet art book he is offering for sale through the site. Private allows for just you to view and order your book, and there are other options as well for it to be password protected or just available to those have a link. This process wasn’t very easy. While sharing has some glitches, it is possible.
I’ve ordered from other publishing companies including Shutterfly and Snapfish, and Total Yearbook pricing is very reasonable, especially considering the options they offer that are far above and beyond what other sites have. Shipping is also great, with a $1.99 option at a certain purchase level. Just remember that it won’t be the fastest shipping, and that shipping time is in addition to production time.
Last but not least, the products. My books came fairly quickly and were expertly packaged. The pictures were all clear and looked better than they had in preview versions of the book online. The quality is far above what I expected for the price and I foresee ordering again from Total Yearbooks often!
I enjoyed having the opportunity to review their site and products, and while I was provided with site credit, all opinions are my own.