I think the chances are slim, but just in case I ever give you the impression that I’m the person that has detailed scrapbooks of every milestone in my children’s lives (ha!), let me set the record straight. That’s not me. Sadly, printed photos rarely make their way into our albums…or house.

My poor children do not have finished baby books. I’m repressing A LOT of guilt about that one. Eventually, I’m going to have to make up information.

     “First tooth? Oh, that must have been October 14.
      Yes, I’m sure of it, son. I was there! I would know!
      The year? Uh….”

So, when I read about a free new app called Chatbooks, I immediately envisioned being able to live a guilt-free life where my children have printed photos of their childhood milestones.

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The best part? If you use Instagram, you can get a 60-page book for $6. Since I’m not a frequent Instagram user, my 60-page book was $12, but that included shipping. Considering that it took me only 10 or so minutes to tap the photos off my phone that I wanted to print, 12 bucks was a steal! By the way, Chatbooks has no idea who I am. I’m just sharing my experience.


The downsides? There are a few. Is the quality coffee-table-book-worthy? No. Would most people notice? No. Since I’ve been in the publishing industry, I’m familiar with print quality. The printing isn’t the best, but it’s not horrible. Remember that you are printing phone photos, so if the quality of the photo was bad (lighting, blurry, etc.), that’s going to show up in the printed version. The ol’ garbage in, garbage out theory. If you have a post office box, and the mail person folds the package to get it in your box, you’ll notice some curling of the book  – that happened to us. It’s better now though.

On the plus side, besides cost and ease of use, my kids have some printed photos of themselves. Hurray! They thought it was super cool to see themselves in a bound book.


Now, if Chatbooks would just accept uploads from my computer, instead of my phone, I would be able to make books from when the kids were babies! (Oh, and I could edit the photos in Photoshop first!)

I also think these would make terrific gifts. Christmas gift for grandparents? Check. Special way to commemorate a vacation with friends? Check. Easy way to document a school year? Check.


The bottom line, I thought this was a terrific price for what you get and the time it takes to get it done. I’m happily working on making my next Chatbook! Let me know if you give it a try.

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  • Vanessa Quigley

    I am on the Chatbooks team and I just came across your review! We are so happy you love our books. WE are constantly adding features to our app and are happy to announce that very soon the full web version will be live so you can easily Chatbook all of your photos! As a thanks I’d like to offer you a reward code. You can email me and I’ll send it to you. Thanks again!

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