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Help with requirements for Photo Book Builder software.

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  • Help with requirements for Photo Book Builder software.

    We're thinking about writing our own web photo book builder component. And I decided to ask first people from printing industry for "must have" features by their opinion.
    We already have vector editor component which implements a majority of SVG features and can be embed to any website: https://www.cleverbrush.com/editor also on top of it we built a collage builder https://www.cleverbrush.com/collage what I'm thinking to do now is to extend it and create a photo book builder.
    How I see it (features to be added to what we already have):
    1. User can select from predefined page formats while creating new photobook.
    2. User can switch between the pages easily.
    3. There must be possibility to edit either whole center spread or page by page.
    4. There must be possibility to reorder pages quickly.
    5. While creating a page user can select what type of the page should be created (editor or collage).
    6. There must be support for bleed.

    I'd appreciate a lot if somebody give me their opinion on what are real life requirements for printing industry.

  • #2
    We have used both the Photofinale (USA) and Dakis (Canada) solutions and are familiar with some others. There are quite a few choices, but it took most of the vendors about 4 years to have a pretty stable, easy to use solution, so this is a very big task to create that kind of software. Your list is reasonable but I would add a bit more. Uploading images quickly with ease is very important. Consumers will want to upload from various cloud storage, local drives, mobile local storage, mobile cloud storage, and assorted messaging systems. They will not understand resolution issues. They will fail to make an account so they can pick up deferred projects. Moreover, the more features you add, the harder it will be for them to understand how to use the book builder. They will load sRGB, Adobe 1998 RGB, CMYK, Prophoto,24 bit color and high bit color images. Other than that and several other issues, it is a breeze.
    Last edited by Lorenzo, lab guy; 09-01-2018, 05:53 PM.

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    • #3
      Thank you, Lorenzo. How much they approximately charge from their customers? From their sites I see that they sell complete solutions (with w2p storefront included)...Or there is a possibility to select what features you need and integrate a photo book builder as component to your website?

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      • #4
        Andrew, Both of those software solutions will sell a book/card/print system without necessarily requiring you to get a full end-to-end solution. We do not use their website solutions, just the online order and kiosk solutions. You can get a order portal and local order manager as a solution if you like. We run our own Wordpress content manager with links in it that send end-users to various print portals. Prices vary for those print portals but start at $35 per month plus 6% of gross sales. You can pay a higher fixed fee for a lower % share. Photofinale has a 60 minute tech support response included in that price. They will remotely manage and repair our order manager server as needed whenever we have technical issues (during a normal business hours). Kiosks for inside storefronts are an additional cost. For those print shops wanting to participate in the retail photo business these are good systems, but only part of a complete business plan. We do a lot of cards and prints but have backed off of photobooks for several reasons. Photobooks require quite a lot of end-user support and also an extensive bindery capability, both of which don't mesh well with our business plan. We do really like doing many other consumer press printed products and we have extensive finishing capabilities for those products.

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        • #5
          Thank you for comprehensive explanations! Will share our results as soon as we have a working solution

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