Your guide to creating and printing photo books


And get your first book FREE!

Book on the left is an 8x8 in Mpix book. The book on the right is a 6x6 in Chatbooks book.

Book on the left is an 8x8 in Mpix book. The book on the right is a 6x6 in Chatbooks book.


It’s summer vacation. And for us here in Europe it means fantasy vacations and once-in-a-lifetime adventures! I’ve been watching my friends’ Facebook feeds fill up with beautiful photo albums full of beautiful destinations and breathtaking moments.

And my one plea to them is to PLEASE PRINT THEM OUT! I cry at night thinking about these memories getting lost in a sweeping sea of social media never to be seen again. I weep when I imagine these families reminiscing next year after they have PCS’d back to the States and then spending 20 minutes scrolling through Facebook on their phone hoping to find the photos from their Scottish and Italian and Irish vacation to show to their new friends.

So I am here to dry my tears and to resurrect those incredible memories you’ve captured and help you preserve them into tangible heirloom momentos that you and your family can treasure for years to come! Imagine how much more special those stories of your Baltic Sea Cruise will be if you can sit down with a photo book full of your stories…. instead of a camera roll on your phone.

I’m going to walk you through step-by-step and show you how to take those photos from your phone or social media feed and turn them into beautiful books! And… your first book is going to be FREE!

Step One- Organize your photos.

I’m going to show you how to print books from your Camera Roll using Chatbooks. You can also link your social media accounts to Chatbooks and create a subscription so that after a certain number of photos, a book is automatically created for you. It’s a pretty simple process so if that is something you are interested in doing - which I think is an amazing idea! - I’ll let you navigate those Chatbooks features on your own.

For now I will show you how to create event driven books for a single vacation.

I want you to go into your camera roll on your phone and find the photos that you took during your last vacation. If you have photos from a “real” camera as well, Airdrop them to your phone so that all the images from your trip are in one place on your phone. Now I want you do one of 2 things: Favorite them with a heart or add them to their own album. (I’m using iPhone terms but Android phone have similar features.)

Once all the photos are in their own space, I want you to open the album (or Favorites folder) and review all the photos. Most likely you won’t want or need to print all of them. Scroll through the photos and remove the ones that you don’t want or need in your photo book.

Fabulous! The hardest part is done!


Step Two - Install Chatbooks app.

We are going to use Chatbooks to create our book. I like Chatbooks because it is so dang easy! The quality is good and they are relatively quick with turn-around. You can customize your book as much or as little as you like and spend as little or as much as you like. They have designer covers and you can build your book on your computer or your phone. Best of all - books start at just $10. Bazinga!

Download the Chatbooks app on your phone. iPhone App Store | Google Play Store (I’ll be giving you a code to use at the end to use towards your first book. If you are using your computer to make a book, use this link.)

First things first - create an account. This is pretty self-explanatory so I’ll just wait until you’re done!

Welcome back! :)

Ok let’s build that book!


Step Three - Build your book!

This is the fun part and also the last step that requires work on your part!

First thing you do in the app is click the icon in the bottom middle. It will take you to a page of the different products Chatbooks offers. Scroll down to find “Custom Photo Books” and click on it.


On the next screen you can pick your size and cover type. Chatbooks books start at $10 and like I said you can upgrade and customize as much or as little as you like. I like the 8x8 inch size, which starts at $15. You can see the size difference in the very first photo in this post.

You have the option of choosing a soft or hard cover. I like the soft cover, but the hardcover is just $5 more.

You can also choose the color. The color will be applied to the back cover and spine. I like the white option.

Depending on the number of photos you have, additional pages will be added. 30 pages are included in the base price. It is 50 cents a page for additional pages.

Click on Create Book. It will take you to a menu to choose where your photos are located. Click on Camera Roll and then Album. Click on the album you created for your photos (or Favorites if you put them in there).


To make things easy, you have already edited down the photos you want and don’t want. Now you can just click the circle at the top next to the album name and it will select all the images. Click Preview Book.

Now you can personalize the book!


Click on the gray box for the Book Title. Edit the title and choose if you want it printed on the front cover or not. You can also choose to have it printed on the spine but this is only available for books 60 pages or more.

In Book Options, you can change your size, type or color options as well as add universal layouts to the pages and choose if you want certain information included with your photos. If you are importing your photos from social media, the Show Captions option pulls the captions from social media and prints them in the book. Cool, huh!?

Now let’s edit the cover. Chatbooks defaults the cover to the first image in the album. Click on Edit Cover to change the crop and change the photo.

Click on the blue plus button on the bottom right. It opens up more options to customize the book. You can add a page with a photo collage. This is a good way to cut down on pages if you have gone over too much. Collages are 4 square photos. Select the 4 photos you want and it will create the photo collage page. You can edit the position and crop by clicking on the collage page and then the photo you want to adjust. Then you can delete the individual pages with the duplicate photo.

To delete a page, click Select at the top and then select the page you want to delete. Click Remove at the bottom.

From the blue plus button you can also add a text page. I like to write a narrative about the vacation in the front of the book. Add the text page and then drag and drop it to the position in the book you want it.

You can also add individual captions to the photos. To add a caption, click on a page and then click Add Caption. Type in what you want to write and the hit Done.

Once you have edited the book to your liking, click on Add to Cart at the top of the screen.


Once in your cart you can adjust the quantity in case you want to purchase a book for another person you traveled with. When my dad came to visit I made a book of his trip and made one for him and for us.

Now you will enter your promo code for $10 off your book! If you went over your 30 pages, sorry - I can’t cover the rest! But $10 is a good start!

Use promo code X6AHN3JW at checkout.


Step 4 - Sit back and wait!

And that’s it! You finished! You made your first book and it was SOOO easy! Now you can create a collection of these memories that you can share and show off to friends. My kids love sitting down and looking though the books from our vacations. We tell stories and they get excited to see photos of themselves!


I also make photo books using Mpix. Their photo books are of the highest quality and they start at a higher price point. There are also more options to customize your book. Mpix is a web based application and needs to be accessed on a computer. The book making process is simple but time consuming! If you are looking for a higher quality book, I definately recommend Mpix! Sign up for their newsletter and wait for a sale. They are always running awesome deals!

When your book arrives, I’d love to see it! Share a snapshot in the comments or tag me in social media!

Some fine print - I am not an affiliate with Chatbooks. Nor is this post sponsored. I just love Chatbooks and how easy it is to create a photo book with their app! I use them and have been a customer of their’s in the past. My referral code/link does earn me credit on my account to spend on Chatbooks. I only recommend products and services that I have personally used and love.