Thursday, September 16, 2010

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Giveaway & Review: Custom Printed Lulu Photo Book [CLOSED]

This October, my husband and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary! We do not yet know how we will be celebrating, but I did know that I wanted to have some type of keepsake to commemorate this milestone. A photo book from seemed like the perfect thing to allow me to tell the story of our first ten years together as husband and wife.

(Click image to enlarge)

This is not the first self-publish book I have created. I have to admit that I was not looking forward to it. The ones I have made in the past took hours to create, not counting the time it took me to select and gather the digital photos together. Well, it turns out, I was bracing myself for nothing. The Lulu Studio publishing software was extremely user-friendly. Creating this book could not have been easier and took a fraction of the time compared to my past experience with making books.

This particular book is 8.5" x 8.5" and has a casewrap hardcover binding. You start off by choosing a theme. I went with "Eternal". Then you can select from a variety of pre-designed layouts for each page. Some pages could house one or more photos, some only text, and some both. You even have the option of leaving a page blank, but it will still have the themed background printed on it. I was able to upload multiple photos at once, which was a huge time-saver. To design each page, it was only a matter of selecting the layout, dragging and dropping the desired photo into each frame, and adding the desired text, where appropriate.

I have to say that I cannot be more pleased with the results. The photo quality was amazing, especially considering some of the older photos were scans. I was impressed by the quality of the paper, the binding, and the printing. The best part of this book, however, was sharing the past ten years with our children. They loved seeing photos of my husband and myself before they were born and listening to the story told across these 20 pages. offers much more than photo books. You can create and self-publish all different types of books, including cookbooks, books of poetry, and portfolios. You can keep your book private or share it with a select few. You can even opt to make it public and sell copies of it, similar to the way websites like Cafe Press allow you to sell your designs on products. The book I made only costs $19.99 plus the cost of shipping. There are no hidden fees, such as set-up fees, making this an affordable and amazingly personal gift to make for a loved one.

To learn more about the possibilities Lulu offers, visit, the Lulu Blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Thank you to for sending us a sample book free of charge to base this review upon and for providing a second book for our contest prize. This article was written as part of a campaign for the Family Review Network.

What you can win:
One lucky reader will receive a customized 8.5" Square Hardcover 20-Page Photo Book.

This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only. You do not need to be a blogger to enter, but you must have a valid email address and be age 18 years or older. If you enter anonymously and do not include a valid email address in your comment entries, I will not be able to notify you should you win this random drawing.

How to Gain Entries:
Browse the selection of self-publish books available on . Then leave a comment telling me what type of book you would like to make (besides a photo book). You MUST do this to be eligible to win this contest.

Extra Entries:

1) For 5 extra entries, leave a relevant comment on one of my non-giveaway posts. Then leave FIVE separate comments with the name of the post on which you commented. You will earn 5 extra entries for each different non-contest post you comment on.


For 5 extra entries, enter one of my other contests. Leave FIVE separate comments here telling me which contest you entered. You will earn 5 extra entries for each contest you enter.

For 10 extra entries, blog about this contest linking back to this post AND . Then come back here and leave TEN separate comments with the link to your blog post.


For 1 extra entry each, if you are a Friend of mine on Facebook and/or if you have "liked" the 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires Facebook page, then leave a separate comment here telling me so with the link to your Facebook profile.

5) For 1 extra entry each
, follow LuluDotCom on Twitter and/or "Like" on Facebook. Then leave a separate comment for each with the link to your Twitter or Facebook profile.


Follow me on Twitter. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your Twitter profile.


Tweet about this giveaway linking back to this post. Then come back here and leave the link to your tweet in a separate comment. You may do this once per day until the end of the contest.


Subscribe to this blog's feed. Or you can follow me through Blogger or subscribe via email (widget is on sidebar). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.


Subscribe to A Blog of Goodies' feed (the sister site to 3 Garnets & 2 Sapphires). Then leave a separate comment telling me you did so.


Add my button or blog link to your blog's sidebar. Then leave a separate comment with the link to your blog.

(All entries will be verified prior to awarding this prize.)

Random Drawing:

This contest will be closed on Monday, October 11th, 2010 at 11:59pm EST. A random number drawing will be held shortly after. The winner will be announced here and will be contact via email or through their blog. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new number will be drawn.

Good luck in the drawing!