Two weeks ago I made two picture books as gift to friend of mine. Both I am using different software dan company to deal with it. First, I created a book in iPhoto then send it electronically via the Apple server. The problem I had was the account details. The system did not recognised my new UK address and turned out with an 'unexpected error'. Dazzling with these I updating the .mac account stright from server. Another problem turned out that my billing address was different with the delivery address (all right silly sod..!). Again the system failed recognised the change and I endup setting my friend's house as a default address.
Weird that when I ordered it did not let me go through. It just stopped. Really strange indeed. I waited for another 3 days to see any email or massages dropped onto my .mac email. None. I contacted apple customer service which gave an email address. I sent email and email was returened. Again I sent email but now using their general enquiry of the .mac account. I haven't got answer yet.
Puzzled with these I took a change to order it again in a risk that I might double order and apple ripped my money off. The file of the book only about 17.1 MB which is quite small regarding the bandwith. It took about under 10 minutes to tranfer and went the 1-click paying system well. Done that....finished? Nupppss...
I decided to go to the Apple Forum to see what people say about printing services of apple. Lots people had a similar problems specially dealt with the server and iPhoto. But for my comfort some reader gave another printing company that provide good printing services. One of them is MyPublisher. I found it great because they provide plug in to iPhoto to order the book direct to their server. Anyway I will try their service next time as they gave discount for the first order just in case I want to publish my own blog book.
Another book I created using BookSmart from Blurb. This company introduced by tWIT (or Mac Break not sure..) Podcasting program. Based in California Blurb gave more freedom to create wonderful picture book. It won't take very long to actually setting up as your pictures ready after I did some editing on it before -this could take longer though. The problem was about sending file to the server. It was 88.7MB for 24high quality pages took ...unbelievable 2 hours !!!
The other problem was their service only covers USA and Canada, also receive billing/delivery address in both country. But their team was great and really helpful. They put me through (oh..with a funny US address) with little less money than the UK apple. I was not happy with the .mac services in UK as Apple should provide better services for their applications market (uh.. I remember how Steve Jobs did it front thousands people at WWDC 2005).
As I wrote this, I am waiting two books on the hand of my friends. Most will need at least three days to see the result. Pfuhhh..... I am not relieved yet.