Has anyone had a good experience with MyPublisher.com?

Back in December 2004, I wrote about my experience creating a coffee table photo book with MyPublisher.com and Shutterfly.com. I preferred Shutterfly because MyPublisher simply didn’t work:

At first it said it couldn’t connect to the server. I clicked retry several times with no change so I stopped and restarted the application. When the application restarted it asked if I wanted to continue uploading. I’d click yes and watch as nothing happened. So, I attempted to contact their technical support.

Here’s something I should have checked beforehand. There is no way to contact anyone in MyPublisher customer service by phone. There are no phone numbers on their site. All contact with support is via email. Shutterfly tries to do all of their support by email too but they at least publish a toll number if you prefer. So, I explained my problem in an email and waited.

Over 18 months later, the comments are still coming in about problems with MyPublisher’s ordering and book creation system and poor customer service. Has anyone had a good experience with MyPublisher? I still like Shutterfly’s service. Any other recommendations for creating photo books?

By John Watson

John Watson is the original founder of Photodoto. If you're interested in what John has been up to, you can browse his personal blog.


  1. Lulu.com is a great self-publishing site, with a wide variety of types of books to create. It took some extra formatting on our end (not sure about your experience with that), but we thought the process was simple enough. We recently did a coloring book through Lulu.com and thought the price was very fair.

  2. I just used Shutterfly for an 80-page book with over 100 photos. Just that beautiful book has completely sold me on Shutterfly. I’m not even going to bother looking elsewhere.

  3. I used MyPublisher for a book of my vacation in Spain – around 50 pages. Creation and service was great, but I wasn’t very pleased with the print quality of some images. I will have to give Shutterfly a try next.

  4. Lulu.com looks like a great product, though I haven’t used it yet. I walked through the steps to create a calendar of my photos, but didn’t actually publish it.

  5. have just spent 4 days trying to upload to MyPublisher, and each attempt i have received a “Network Failure” error message from MyP.
    I have been a customer of theirs on 2 occasions this year, and so have successfully uploaded to their service before. However, this time round, nothing would work. I even tested uploading the same files to 2 FTP sites in the USA and Europe – both uploads worked quickly and successfully.
    MyPublisher CS could only advise that because it was the end of their FALL2550 50% discount offer, they were very busy, and that i should try again later.
    But after 30 attempts spread over 4 days, I think i will try someone else.
    I can’t have been the only person in the world to have experienced this, surely?

  6. Hello Greg –
    I apologize for the frustration you experienced trying to upload. MyPublisher did experience a temporary server issue around that time. This was an unusual occurrence that had never happened before. We have corrected the problem and your upload will go smoothly should you try it again. I would be happy to help you through the process. Feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] and mention this posting.

  7. Just to throw my hat in the ring – I ordered books on November 3. Got a shipping notice with no tracking information on Nov. 7. I got the super-saver shipping, but even with that I should have received them by the 17th.

    I sent an email this morning. We will see, I suppose.

  8. I received great service from mypublisher.com

    I designed my book, uploaded it without problem, used their christmas promotion code so got half price off my order and then the books came looking how I expected them to.

    My only comment would be that I did nearly fall off the chair at the cost of the special shipping option, but as it was the book of my son’s first year and the christmas present for all the grandparents and aunts and uncles so i wanted to be sure it would arrive ok!

    Now you’ve all got me worried because I have recommended it to friends…

  9. Hi Folks,

    I have had great success with mypublisher.com until today. I use the iPhoto Plug-in. The first two orders were for hardcover books – they came out great and color was pretty good. I had the coupon they offer for iPhoto users to publish directly and that made the cost reasonable. I havent priced shutterfly but Apples standard pricing is too expensive.

    Today, however I received an order from them that was for the smaller 6×8 books – these books were poorly packaged and the packaging was torn up and re-taped – this appeard to be before the post office got to it. I actually looks like someone in the finishing room pulled it out of a finisher and them wrapped tape around it.

    I ordered 12 books – all came in one mediamail cardboard envelope, not a box. The books were also not usable. Because of the packaging many were pressed agains each other – there was no padding in the envelope – so there were creases. Then 5 of the books had pages printed off center, upside down, with a barcode showing and folded up – (like when you have a page go through the printer bent). I don’t know if it is the Christmas rush or what but this is messing up my gift plans. I have emailed customer service twice – they don’t take phone calls.

    I agree – with the cost of shipping they shouldn’t be this poorly packaged or printed.

    So good and bad for me.

  10. UPDATE: They emailed me a coupon for $180 and free overnight shipping to cover the cost of the order – I just sent in a new order that cost me nothing – didn’t have to send back other one, so I get a book for free; 11/12 were unusable. lets see how these come out!

  11. I recently used Mypublisher for a book of my son’s first year. The download and the overall process of getting the pictures, organizing them, and preparing them for print went fine. The only area of weakness really in my opinion with the process was the cumbersomeness of organizing the pictures as you would like them displayed. (You have to play around with it some) But the Autobuild feature is great and saves loads of time once you get them how you would like it.

    I received my book and it looked ok, however, I made the mistake in not really reading the resolution and size requirements for preparing the pictures. MyPublisher recommends using photos taken with digital cameras that are greater than 2 mega-pixels and less than 7 mega-pixels. (Images from 5 mega-pixel digital cameras produce the best results.)

    I shoot with a digital camera over 8 mega-pixels, so my pictures printed out alitte blurry and pixilated. I didn’t read that Mypublisher does not recommend you use photos of more than 7 mega-pixels using the BookMaker software unless they are reduced to a lower pixel setting. I am going to resize and do another book to see if the print quality is better.

  12. I have had a resoundingly bad experience with MyPublisher. For Christmas 2006, I ordered six classic hardcover book for relatives, all featuring them, my husband and I in selected wedding photos. After paying an arm and a leg for fast shipping, the books arrived, and…were of the most disappointing print quality I could have imagined.

    They looked like they were printed on a home inkjet. Photos printed at Costco from the same exact files looked much more professional. There were printer streaks, visible pixels, blurring, and distortion. I emailed customer service (because they don’t take phone calls) to complain, and they gave me coupon codes to redo the books and a huge list of specifications.

    The specifications, which boggled my mind, recommended the resolution to be between 180 and 200 dpi (I used 300 dpi), and the megapixels to be between 2 and 7 mp (the photos were taken by a professional wedding photographer, so they were way above that). I’m not a graphic designer, but from years of printing digital photos, I never would have thought that having a higher resolution or megapixel setting would do any harm to the image. I thought it would only cause problems if I was UNDER the ideal setting for the target image size.

    I began to rebuild the books, which took hours due to the resizing and reuploading of the 100 photos I had in my books. And then, as I was making the book, which had several single-photo full-bleed pages, the BookMarker software began to tell me that those pages were in danger of reproducing poorly because the resolution was TOO LOW. This did not happen with the original 300 dpi images.

    At this point, I stopped working on the books and emailed MyPublisher again. I told them if I couldn’t have the full-bleed pages, I didn’t want to do the books at all. I was frustrated that that complication only arose after I resized the photos to 200 dpi like they told me to. I asked for a full refund.

    They emailed back a short reply, with no explanation whatsoever, simply saying “we’re sorry you feel that way” and agreeing to the refund. I get to keep these books, but honestly I am embarrassed to give them to people as Christmas presents. They are simply not professional or presentable in my eyes (which, unfortunately, are extremely picky and perceptive).

    So, though the BookMaker software was pretty fun and easy to use, I’m never going back to MyPublisher. They are my first experience with online photobooks and from what I’ve read here and on other forums, I know the experience can only get better. SharedInk and Shutterfly, here I come.

  13. I just got my first photobook from blurb.com just before Christmas and I was ecstatic with the results. The colour, quality and cost were terrific. I would highly recommend them to anyone particularly first time users. They use a dust jacket rather than a picture window with full bleed pictures front and back, title on the spine and pics and text on the inside flaps which everyone just loves. The improvements i would like to see them make are a larger size(the largest is 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 which I got) and more flexibility on layouts and captions and optional expedited shipping to Canada. My book was 94 pages and cost less than US$50. I could have gone up to 150 pages for the same price! If anyone can recommend a better site let me know because I’m already laying out my next book. Almost all my pics were taken with a Canon digital elf 7 mp camera and they turned out terrific on the full page full bleed format. I did not encounter any of the issues regarding image size raised above.
    I just happened to find this site looking for mypublisher coupons because I just finished a 52 page 12 x 15 book that will cost US$148 and I need 3 copies but based on the experiences set out above and other mixed/bad experiences I’ve read elsewhere I I’ll go back to Blurb.com or go elsewhere that has a larger book format.
    If anyone has any suggestions let me know.

  14. I used myPublisher the first time ever and was generally very pleased with the quality of the printed pages and the bookbinding. I had no issues with the uploading either, altohough it took long time (100 page book).

    Also, the service is very fast, although I used in international shipping to Switzerland. I had no problem using photos made with a Canon 1Ds (> 13 megapixels). I found the auto-correction feature of the software quite helpful. Sharpening the photos in Photoshop CS was helpful of course.

    However, myPublisher could improve in two areas:
    Offer more layout templates (I miss having a photo across two pages and long photos cinema style)
    Offer a slightly better printing and on premium paper, e.g. Hahnemuhle (perhaps then for a premium price).

    Otherwise, I can recommend the service and will use it again.


  15. I used MyPublisher back in September 2006 ( or so I think ). It was pretty smooth and I received my order within a week. I am happy with what I received.

    However, I am not please with their online design. There are certainly room for improvement for greater user experience. For example,
    – I can’t find the login to MyAccount link on their website.
    – I don’t know where I can remove my credit card information that I once put in
    – For the book I uploaded, there is an ID that they emailed me. I accidentally deleted that email, and now, i don’t know how to get through “Enter your Book ID to view”. I gave up on this.
    if the 3 points above is possible to accomplished, it should not be that hard for a user to figure out.

  16. I used MyPublisher in the Fall of “06 for a 100 page
    album of my vacation in SE Asia. I first put the book together in spring of 06 and the process was tedious because of the layout I wanted and the text which can either get cut off our negated once its time to print. After much time and effort I went to upload the project and send to MyPublisher and the server wasn’t accepting the project. I tried for over an hour gave up and tried again the next day. By the time it would finally take it the promotion that I was using had expired (it was 1Am) while I could prove that I had been trying to send it for several hours the standard response from MyPub. was sorry the promotion has ended. So I waited till the next promotion this time no issues, go the book, it looks great but given the processing time, cost and weak customer service, I’m checking out other options.

  17. I tried MyPublisher when my son was born and I also tried Shutterfly about 6 months later. The customer service at MyPublisher was horrible – brief responses to my emails about very poor print quality on pictures I took with my 6MP SLR. I also found their software cumbersome and inflexible in terms of backgrounds and layouts.

    Then I tried Shutterfly’s new photo book tools. I like what they’ve done but it’s hard to go back and forth between pages using their website – it just seemed slow…but much improved from what it used to be. The book I received was pretty good although two of the pages were stuck together with glue or something and when I tore them apart, it marked the pages.

    I did a search for photo books in Google and found Picaboo.com. Their software is very easy to use and allows for much more flexibility than others. Backgrounds, layouts and photos were all very easy to change and experiment with. I was making a wedding book for a customer who was thrilled with the end product. In fact, she ordered a few more books for family.

    I did have some trouble creating an account because of my firewall but was suprised at how fast I received a helpful answer from their support team – and a follow-up email to boot.

    The print quality in the book was excellent even on the full bleeds. They, too, put a logo on the back of the book but suggested that I either remove the thin paper it is printed on or cover it with a sticker. They told me that they are working on a program for pro photographers wereby we can put our own logos on the books…that would be amazing.

    The only downside of Picaboo is that they don’t have a larger book than 11″ x 8.5″ – although they said that they will offer a larger book before the end of the year. I’m sticking with Picaboo for now…

    Bye the way, what helped me make my decision to use them was a 50% off coupon for new customers 🙂

  18. I used mypublisher last year to make a great book of my cruise. I ended up going in and ordering a second for my friend who traveled with me.

    HOWEVER, I have spent all weekend, 4 days actually trying to upload a book I made of my travels to Egypt and Israel. It took forever to layout all 272 pictures and write captions. I have tried and tried to upload it, but it simply wont go through. It looks like it goes through but I never get a confirmation and it takes over 90 minutes to upload. I have been back and forth with customer service about this and they have given me tons of advise, non of which worked, including saving the book to a jump drive and opening it on another computer.

    I am very upset due to the fact that I have bragged about the product and told everyone I know about it and now it wont work for me. Ill try lulu and shutterfly tonight and see what i can do.

    Hope this helps

  19. I have ordered several books from mypublisher.com and had been pleased with the results. However, the last book I ordered arrived, like someone else’s here, bent and creased within a banged up box. I have so far emailed them 4 times over the last three days and have received no response. I am getting really ticked because this was for a gift, and I have no idea if I even get my money back!

  20. I used MyPublisher to produce some books recently and once delivered found the books had branding/Advertising added to the last page of my book. I looked everywhere to see if they told me in advance they were going to do this and all I could find was an obscure faq in their support pages, nothing at all in advance. The response from MyPublisher so far has been cold removed.

    I don’t recall any content producer ever allowing their printer to add highly conspicuous advertising to their books or calendars etc.

  21. MyPublisher’s software has problems specifically with how it justifies to the left, or to the center of the page. I’ve contacted them numerous times, and their customer care people must be outsourced to a foreign country, because they don’t seem to understand plain English. The answers I get back are totally off the subject. They are arrogant and condescending. They seem to think that you don’t know a thing about Microsoft Word, or Photoshop, or Windows.

  22. I had a lot of problem uploading my book to order, it kept gave me error message network failure. I finally uploading it on May 1st, 2007, in early morning, i think luck had a lot to do with this successfull uploading. Mypublisher.com was supposed to mail mail book by Monday,May 7, 2007. Today is wednesday, may 9, 2007. I still have not received the tracking number from them or even a shipping notice.

  23. hello everyone again, i just got my book from mypublisher. the quality is very good. i’m happy with the final results. i uploaded on May 1st, got it today may 9. just on time for mother day. the only problem that i have is mypublisher.com did not send me confirmation of shipment like they promised, i kept checked my email very often. so when i received it, it just come out of blue.

  24. I’m going Pro with wedding photography & all of these comments were very helpful. After considering all I’ve decided to go with Picaboo.com, since MyPublisher seems like too much of a gamble with wedding photos.

  25. I’ve ordered numerous books from mypubisher.com. Headache after headache BUT they’ve got great customer service. The format(s) are too restrictive and I’ve had to create teh last few books from a “patch” because teh regular link doesn’t work. had to recreate a 100 page book TWICE before printing. I’m doing blurb.com from now on.

  26. I used iPhoto on a wedding book for a friend and it came out great and the book came in a week. The friend liked it so much we created a book for his son’s soccer team but had trouble uploading it. We called the Apple 1-800 number and were talking to a technician in under 15 minutes. He had us try several things and came to the conclusion that we had a corrupted file. He suggested we rebuild the file and save it as a PDF before we try to send it to make sure it would go through. That worked! Great service and the printing is excellent, I’ll stick with Apple!

  27. October 17, 2007

    I have spent three months coordinating 3 cds of about 540 photos. I finally made an 8.5x 15 100 page book complete with captions. I was proofing it for the last time when a “fatal error” message came up. I moved to another computer to e-mail customer service. Over many days I was told many things. NOTHING WORKED! I know the book still exists as nothing but MY Publisher was corrupted on my computer, but no one will contact me about how to find it. Anyone with suggestions will be appreciated. If I have to re-do it I will move to IPhoto. Barbara

  28. i had a wonderful experience with them. the book is by far the best of the different companies i tried. i created the book online on a tuesday and it arrived beautifully on friday…amazing.

  29. I had ordered photo book through mypublisher and the print quality is the worst possible. I will never ever order again from mypublisher.

  30. I just got my 138 page 13″x11″ book from blurb. I was lucky to only have a few minor print issues, but the price and overall quality were great. The cost (with shipping) was just shy of $100, but it puts the other coffee table books to shame.

    I did an apple book a few years ago and the quality wasn’t nearly as good as what blurb produced, however I would hope that apple has upgraded their printing technology in the past 4 years. If I were to do a comparable with apple it would easily be more than $200.

    I have pictures and details on the blurb book, including mistakes, here:

    The results were sharp and vibrant and I love hearing people say “where did you buy that…oh, wait, you made that?”

  31. I ordered a book from mypublisher about 2 weeks ago. It is the BEST book I’ve received. I had no problems with the software. The print quality is very good. It’s absolutely great. So until i do have a bad experience, I’m sticking with them.

  32. Thanks. This is very helpful. Have spent two days trying to upload to Mypublisher without success. Off to try other sites as advised…

  33. Yes, I have had great luck with My Publisher. I have made two books that turned out beautiful. I have been extremely happy with the quqlity of the books and the jacket is wonderful.
    Yes even though they don’t have a phone number to call I have had good luck with e-mailing. I would prefer a phone number because I am more of an instant person. LOL
    I have some trouble with freezing up and not being able to get on the site but I just deal with it.
    I like Shutterfly for cards and calendars but I really like the way My Publisher does the jacket and the book is just great.

  34. I just received my photobook from mypublisher.com.
    PROS:The program download was easy, formating the photobook was easy, I had no problems with upload. Ordered book with regular shipping on Friday and received the book on Tuesday (very pleased with quick turn around). I received multiple confirmation notice during each step of the way with tracking number from Fed-Ex…The paper quality is good, I liked the leather binding, looked very professional.

    CON: The images appeared slightly washed out. The colors weren’t as vibrant or saturated as I wanted. The took the pictures using a canon rebel xti (slr camera with 10mp), captured picture in RAW format and then used Photoshop CS3 to edit the pictures and saved in JPEG format. The test printed the pictures on my home printer (canon pixma pro9500) at 4×6 and 8×10 sizes to make sure the image resolution and coloring was correct…Unfortunately, ALL the pictures were slightly washed out appearing, the colors weren’t as saturated as they should have been. Perhaps I’m being a little picky..everyone else thought it came out good..but again they didn’t see the originals to compare with…I did use the auto adjust feature of the bookmaker program…perhaps I shouldn’t have…at this point I can’t tell. (I read a similar complaint from another blog as well, so I don’t think I’m the only who thinks the pictures were overexposed appearing)

    Conclusion: I would use mypublisher again for easy of use, mfast turn around time. Next time, I’m have to adjust my photo to expect slight overexposure on the final print…

  35. I did several books with MyPublisher, the last one was a huge deluxe linen photo book of our wedding pictures. Thanks to a coupon and CostCo member rebate, instead of one book for 77 USD, I got two for only 66 USD. The quality of the pictures usually corresponds to what I uploaded, i.e. professional pictures are sharp and clear even on whole-page-prints while stuff I scanned or where the resolution is not perfect just turns out accordingly. Some of the pictures in the wedding book appeared to be a little dark, but I would rather assume my own mistake here. What I find absolutely amazing is the shipping speed – though I ordered the cheapest method, I once again received the books in less than one week. I am happy with mypublisher.com and would always recommend it to friends!

  36. I just received my photobook from MyPublisher and am not happy with the text sections of it. The photos are ok, but the text is printed over itself, parts are omitted, or the spacing is off. It definitely looks like nobody proofed it before it was sent out. I had no problems uploading it in the morning, tho it failed to upload the evening before. What I am most unhappy about is the customer service issue of no phone contact! Like many others of you, I made this book for a gift and am now going to be going to the party empty-handed, unless MyPublisher gets back to me ASAP! Wish I had read this site before I invested the time and money!

  37. update: finally received word from mypublisher.com and they made it all right! had me retype the print errors and sent me a new book free of charge, and before it was due to be given as a gift. I WOULD use them again!

  38. I used mypublisher and was happy with them, but since then I’ve found mpix.com, whom I LOVE. I can use my own pictures for my backgrounds; I can add more pictures to a page, etc. I love it. And uploading seems to be a “piece of cake”.

  39. I am currently working with My Publisher and having an awful experience trying to get my book ordered correctly for the 3rd time. Dealing with the e-mail back and forth is very frustrating, especially when I don’t get the response I needed. At this point, I can’t even get a full refund back, just unanswered e-mails. I finally did some searching on the internet for a phone number or name of someone I can contact regarding the non-responsive customer service help, so my next attempt will be to contact them. I would not recommend using them!

  40. When i had a problem with the printing of my book they were wright there and now i just did another and FEDX was a problem and my publisher took care of itand sent me a new book I’ll keep on using them

  41. I just got my coffee table books. They are amazing. The print quality is excellent and the book construction is solid, pages are thick and strong. I am one pleased customer. I did have some problems on the ordering end, but the customer service was more than helpful and took care of the mistake right away. Can’t wait to make my next book.

  42. Great post! Learned alot so far. Seems mypublisher, blurb and lulu got most of the market. I just placed an order made with mypublisher and it was effortless. I hope the quality is good. I’m not a pro, so, I suspect I’ll be happy.

    Hate to get people irate, but I just dabbled with WalMart’s photobook interface. It was very nice, fast (and my computer’s old), and simple to use. I haven’t ordered from it yet, but will soon. Anyone ever use this choice?

  43. October 1, 2008

    Well, this is two years too late for your original question, but in case it helps… I recently made a book with MyPublisher, and it really exceeded my expectations. Everything, from the quality of paper and binding to the color rendition, was first-class. I recommend MyPublisher without any reservation. I’m working on a “release 1.0” of that book now, as this was my first try of any publish-on-demand company, and I only created the minimum number of pages (20) to try it out as sort of a “beta.”

    MyPublisher blew me away with the excellent job, and I’m now going to send them a revised file with about 40 pages.

    Hope this helps.

    Best regards,

  44. I was given my first book from My Publisher for Mother’s Day. It was GREAT. So at that time I decided to give photo books for Christmas this year. The process was simple. I just received my first book of 66 pages. The order took 5 days from the time I emailed it until I received it. The quality is top of the line, as was the ordering process. I am so pleased that I have now ordered another copy of the first one and made a second order for a 96 page book. I think I will try the calendars next.
    Good Luck

  45. I have now tried for 12 hours to upload one 20 page book. I have waited multiple hours at a time with the screen animated “Your project is publishing”. I have a 12 megabit line so I am sure it isn’t my upload speed. I have had no reply from their email only customer support. Loved making the book but the uploading experience is HORRIBLE!!! I would never consider using them again as you invest hours in creating a really nice book with text and then you have no way to upload it.

  46. A co-worker used mypublisher.com to create a book for our retiring President and CEO. I don’t know how easy it was for her, but the outcome was absolutely fabulous.

  47. I have Made 26 books with My Publisher. Early on I had terrible trouble with mis-printed pages but each time they made a new one for free. On one book I got so frustrated and a supervisor did call me and it got worked out. I have also used 3 other company’s but my publisher seems to have the best paper and quality of print so I keep going back to them. You really need to process your photo’s in photo shop or some such program and have them good quality or it will show up in the large full bleed pages of the large book

  48. My Publisher is painfully slow!! It’s a very frustrating system. I got locked out and rec’d an “unresponsive” message. UGhhhhh

  49. I’ve used My Publisher and Snapfish. While Snapfish is cheaper it is harder for me to work with and the quality is nowhere near as good a My Publisher. I am still using My Publisher.

  50. mypublisher has a phone number listed on their site now. its seems that they have phone support during day time hours. i called the number and a person answered right away…

  51. I learned about My Publisher from the wedding album that my daughter made. It was really beautiful. I have since made three travel books (another two are in the works) and a wedding album for a neice. They are ALL Beautiful. I find that when I have too many things going on with my computer, the program doesn’t like it! And I continue to find typos that I made myself and missed because I was using a small font, so I can’t blame the program. I love the new colored covers and some of the new features for layout. I LOVE this program, and have received MANY compliments. (number

  52. I have used MyPublisher for many of my clients and let me tell you, the frustration was all worth it after seeing the final product. I wish there were an UPDATE to MyPublisher to fix all the glitches, but all I do is SAVE SAVE SAVE just in case it decides to FREEZE again. My other go-to photobook company is SMILEBOOKS! Very lovely too! Good luck!

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