Object of Desire: Blurb Instagram Books

September 26, 2011

By Dan Havlik

When they’re not taking pictures with their “real” cameras, most photographers we know spend a lot of time noodling with the Instagram app on their iPhones. Not familiar with Instagram? It’s a highly addictive, free photo app for Apple iOS devices that lets you share images after running them through a variety of cute effects.

Yes, we thought it was pretty silly at first too. And then we started tweaking our iPhone 4 photos with Instagram’s analogue-style filters such as Toaster, Hefe, 1977 and Lord Kelvin, and began sharing them with friends through the app. Pretty soon, we were hooked.

Now there’s a potential way to monetize your Instagram photos by making a customized book via Blurb’s online self-publishing service. The process is simple: Just visit the Instagram page on Blurb ( and click the “Get Started” button. The interface will let you log onto your Instagram account and your photos will start popping up in a Blurb layout. There’s an algorithm that dictates how your shots are automatically selected—based on your most “liked” and most recent images—but you can change the order any which way you wish.

Images are printed in a 7 x 7 format and start at $10.95 for a 20-page softcover book. (They can go up to 160 pages and include hardcover and premium paper options.)

We can’t vouch for the print quality yet—we’re still waiting for our own book to be delivered—but if it’s anything like Blurb’s other products, it should be pretty solid. Along with making Instagram photo books for self-promotional purposes, we could see wedding photographers offering these mini-albums to their clients as a fun add-on service.