You can order the Google Photo Book in 2 formats and sizes… the “softcover” is available in 7-inch Square at a cost of £11.99 for 20 pages (additional pages are £0.49 each) and the “hardcover” version is available in 9-inch square for £22.99 for 20 pages (additional pages are £0.69 each).
There are no “landscape” or “portrait” options – just “square” and no fancy premium cover upgrades.
I went for the larger hardcover option.
I wanted to create a photo book featuring my twin nieces, Mollie & Martha as a gift for my sister-in-laws upcoming “significant” birthday.
Gathering the images for the photobook was such a simple process using the advanced search features in Google Photos. In this case, I used the “people” search. Just click on the person you want to feature and all the pictures of that person will be found.
You can also search and create Photo Books by events, dates, locations, subject matter… Google search tool in Google Photos is one of its major strengths.
I already had an album created of my favourite pictures of the girls so it was just a matter of clicking on “order” and then selecting Photo Book…
In the UK and Ireland, you can only order Photo Books from Google Photos. US users can also order canvas prints and individual images, something I am sure will follow here…
Google will automatically design the album with one picture per page…
Moving the mouse over the page brings up the option to Crop or replace. It does exactly what it says on the tin, as they say!
Selecting crop lets you “zoom” in on the picture and move it around the frame until you are happy with the composition. Then click the “tick” to apply the crop.
You have three different layout options with Google Photo Books…
The image can be displayed in full (either landscape or upright depending on the image) with the option to add a caption. Or you can choose to crop the image to Square, again with the option to add a caption. The final option is to fill the page (no border) with the image – there is no option for a caption with this layout.
There is also an option for a multi-image per page layout – and this is where I think Google Photos is lacking. With many other Photo Books, you can choose from hundreds of design and layout options. With Google Photo Books, in a bid to keep things as simple as possible, they only allow a few – and you can’t control any aspect of them!
Clicking on the multi-image icon lets you select up to 4 images from your Google Photos and then displays (as thumbnails) the layout options. As I mentioned above, you have very little control over the layout and style of these pages.
Adding captions to the pages is also quick and simple.
Just type your caption and then click the “tick” to apply. Again, to keep things simple, Google does not give you the option to change the size, colour or font of the captions.
Another feature you can’t change is the page background – it is always white. Although this is not a deal breaker for me as I always prefer my images with a plain white background.
Overall, the design and creation of the photo book was really quick and easy. The lack of options made the process very straightforward.
The PhotoBook delivery time was disappointing. It took nearly 4 weeks to arrive! Although I have to give them a little leeway as I did order this at the height of the global Coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic and they did warn of delivery delays at checkout.
When it was delivered, it was well packaged (it was sent from Germany so not sure who Google is working with to fulfil the orders) and first impressions were excellent.
Paper quality is good with a good colour reproduction of the images. I did notice that images taken using phones were not as clear and crisp as images taken on DSLR’s and CSC’s but that is to be expected. The binding of the book is excellent.
Google Photo Book Review
The Google Photo Book is one of those things that is as advertised! A really simple and easy to use Photo Book service.
The interface is really easy to use and by keeping it simple and cutting down your options, Google has made the process very straight forward.
The quality is of a high standard, especially when you consider the price! Definitely value for money!
If you want a straight forward, minimalist white page book that is simple to create, then Google Photo Book is perfect for you. However, if you want to be able to customise each and every page, you’ll be very disappointed in this service. Maybe a service such as Snapfish might suit you better.
Sometimes less is more and for a quick, cost-effective way to create Photo Books, Google Photo Books is hard to beat!