Since digital photography overtook the old 35mm film format more and more people have found themselves delving deeper into the world of self-publishing and photography. Today, it is possible to go out and take literally thousands of pictures on a digital camera, bring it back home, transfer the photos onto a laptop or home computer, and then set about editing and formatting for a self-published coffee table or smaller photo books. For some, choosing to publish and print online is a way of getting high quality photo books to relatives and friends, while others see it as a way of selling their work. Either way, printing the photo book online is a sure way of getting your work out to the public.
The first step to getting a photo books printed online is to find a suitable set of photo manipulation and formatting software. Photoshop, by Adobe, has been the vanguard of this style of software for over 20 years, but there are many other alternatives today. Depending on your operating system and computer savvy, you may choose to use the simple photo editor "iPhoto" found standard on every Mac sold. Windows users have access to the Adobe products along with a slew of other wonderful software.
Another avenue open to self-publishers is finding online templates and formats through photo hosting websites. Many of these services include access to book formatting and basic photo editing tools, allowing the book to be hosted, edited and published all from one main website and source. This reduces the hassles of figuring out formatting and set up, as the templates available help guide the photographer straight through the process.
Many online services now offer free proof-copies for eReader style devices and iPads. Once the book is formatted and edited, the product gets uploaded to the tablet where it can be proofed and checked for errors or quality. Once approved, users select the quantity of books they wish to have printed. Once selected the order is placed and the books are printed, bound and shipped to the photographer. Some of the sites even go so far as to assign an ISBN number to the book, allowing it to be sold through eBook seller sites such as Barnes and Noble, Amazon and iBook/iTunes.
As always, any photographer should back up the data throughout the formatting and photo book publishing process. Keep your data secure as well as keep multiple copies to prevent unwanted crashes and data loss. Check to see what the time limit, if any, is in place at the photo hosting site to ensure you maintain the contract terms and understand any termination or loss of data rules for the assigned time period.