Post By X33
My husband and I are looking to expand our business and a offer photobook solution.
We are currently researching all the options and would really like some feedback/suggestions from anybody.
The choices at the moment is between the Italo and Fastbind systems - both with very good attributes - so how do you decide? Anyone with personal experience?
Then as far as printers go - OMG!!! There are soooo many options that I feel a bit overwhelmed but are currently looking at the Epson 9900 for large format printing and Xerox 550 for duplex printing. The Xerox is a bit pricey so are there other options that I can look at for printing photobooks please.
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Hmm, I guess that really depends on the quality you are looking to offer. Most photographers I know put together their books and use a third party who specializes in the books. Most of the time, they are printed to photographic paper and assembled into a book for really high quality. The stuff you see on regular paper from online sources like Shutterfly are likely off of a digital press (Indigo, Nexpress etc), not a wide format inkjet and an entry level office copier.
I know a few shops using the Xerox 500 or Xerox 700 with Fastbind equipment. They do some nice work, especially when the cover of the photobooks is customized.
Now, remember that photobooks is just one application, there are many more photo oriented applications that you can do with nice profit margins. check this:
Xerox Photo Publishing Applications Expand Your Business
There is an alternative to Flexbind that you may want to take a look at specifically for photobooks. It uses panoramic papers from Mohawk Paper and binding technology from Convertible Solutions. (Mohawk Fine Papers, Inc. — Premium Papers)
On the equipment side, you really have to determine what your volume needs will be. As mentioned previously, the big guys are using the heavy duty digital presses. If speed and volume capacity aren't big needs, then you can get some great quality from the low to mid production digital printers. Some examples, Canon imagePRESS C1+, Xerox 700, Xerox 242, Konica Minolta Bizhub 70hc etc.
There are definitely a lot of considerations for you! Though the photo market is referred to as high growth, it isn't as simple and building it and they will come.
I don't know a huge heap about LFP however, like you, I'm hoping to expand my business and wanted to do it in-house rather than outsource, so needed to a purchase a decent printer.
I found this video on another forum which swayed me towards Epson LFP's:
YouTube - ‪Masterclass tutorial for image productions - Photokina - Epson‬‏
Should you look to have an online solution to sell photobooks, please give our solution a try.
Photo e-commerce solutions - Koffeeware
Koffeeware / Sales & Marketing Director