Years ago, I collected a series of photographs into a photo book, just a few copies for family. I printed the images myself on double-sided photo paper using a photo-quality inkjet printer. The book covers I made by hand from heavy weight board and book cloth from a local arts supply house. It was a very personal gift and I would have made more if it were not so labor intensive.
Today, making a custom photo book is much easier. Several online photo services provide the ability to layout the book and upload it for printing. I chose MPIX, having compared their product to a competitors product. The resulting book looks terrific. But what really amazed me was how fast MPIX produced my book. It was in my hands just 24 hours after I uploaded it! They printed the book and bound it within a few hours and shipped it the same day.
Creating your own custom photo book is so simple anyone can do it. There are varying options such as size, choice of paper, hardcover vs softcover. My book project included 20 images, 10×10 inch pages and a black hard cover with soft suede-like feel, for just $30. Adding a couple lines text to the cover cost an additional $7, which seems like a lot of money when you consider that this is almost %25 the cost of the book it is printed on. Alternatively, a hard cover with photo on it is $50 total for the book. Soft cover with photograph on it is less expensive.