My Blogbinders books came in the mail yesterday so, as promised, here's my review.
The Blogbinders process is extremely easy. Once you set up an account on their site, you can upload content from one or more blogs (manage content) and then use their wizard to design your book (manage books in progress). You select the title, size & binding, cover color and cover font color, 1" photo for back cover, text for back cover (I used my About page info for this), introduction page text, epilogue, interior font (only a small selection of basic fonts are currently available), and whether or not you want to include the subjects and entry dates from your posts.
After selecting the options you want, a PDF "proof" is created within minutes for you to review and approve. Although, you cannot change anything in this "proof" so other than BB trying to cover their ass by getting your approval prior to printing, I don't much see the point. As near as I can tell, to edit the content of your book, you have to first edit your blog prior to uploading content. Once you approve the PDF, Blogbinders reviews it and pledges to get back to you via email within 24 hours. I created and approved my book on a Friday and didn't receive an email back from them until Monday afternoon. Maybe they don't work on weekends, which is fine, but a notation of that would have been nice. When you receive a confirmation email back from Blogbinders you can order your book. I requested three copies at $18.52 each. I ordered them on that Monday and choose the slowest/cheapest shipping method (I think it was 3-8 days ground) and it arrived on Friday.
There are many different sizes and binding methods from which to choose. I selected "manual" size (7.5 x 9.25) and perfect binding (same type used for most paperback novels).
The front cover only has text. The inclusion of photos is not available.
The back cover can include a photo, but it's a very small (1" x 1") one and you can't change its position (it's placed in the lower left-hand corner)
Posts that you have not completed and/or ever posted do get imported and, as far as I can tell, there is no way to exclude them unless you first delete them from your blog before importing.
Quality of resulting book and a few beefs:
The quality of the book's binding is very good. And, the book held up well to a cover-to-cover reading and it seems to be durable.
Despite the quality of the mechanical process of assembling the book, the rendering leaves a little bit to be desired. The pink color I selected for the front and back cover of the book was streaked and fading in the same exact spot on the back of all three books I ordered. The text printed on the back cover was crooked on one of the three books.
The point size of the book's text is much too large and there is no way to change it. The books look like they are large print for vision-impaired people. While I may appreciate this one day when I'm reading these in the nursing home, right now it's just freaky-looking. Another nit to pick is that the book's left, right and top page margins are much too narrow.
For nearly $20 per book, I expected higher quality printing (Throughout the book creation process, Blogbinders assures you that while the PDF is low-quality for viewing/proofing purposes only, the book you receive will be printed perfectly. That was not the case with my books.).
You do not have the option to remove the unattractive (dare I say, UGLY?) Blogbinders logo printed on the back of your book. If these books were free, then I could understand BB wanting to get a little publicity out of the deal. But, I paid for these books. I shouldn't have to see that putrid green and yellow logo on the back of my pretty pink book for all of eternity. Not cool.
Some characters were not imported correctly. Example, when quotation marks are used, in several instances, the closing quote shows up as a question mark. Again, not the quality I hoped for.
Although there were a few snags with the overall quality of the book, the process of importing content, creating the book, ordering and receiving the book was a snap. And, although the book doesn't look exactly as I thought it would, I'm still very happy to have a relatively inexpensive way to preserve, on paper, my blog posts from the last year. A paperback copy is the ultimate backup of a blog. I would recommend Blogbinders to anyone who wants the same and isn't too picky about quality. But, if anyone out there knows of a similar, competing service whose quality is higher than Blogbinders, I'd love to hear about it. While what Blogbinders offers is serviceable, it's not my dream book.