If you are interested in this type of project I recommend going with a company that specializes only in book making. You will get a nicer quality book than using photo companies like Shutterfly or Snapfish. I recommend Blurb or My Publisher. Blurb makes professional books, and MP is a little lower in quality but still great and affordable. Like Young House Love, I went with My Publisher for the yearly book even though I was partial to Blurb who we used for our wedding album. The main reason was size- Blurb didn't have the size I wanted. I used My Publisher's Classic Hardcover size for these books and they were just the right size. So far I've taken all 5 years and compiled them into three books. Thanks to a credit and getting each one for 70% off (the "free pages" promotions), I was able to order all three! You can choose a photo wrap cover, leather cover, or linen cover. I picked the linen covers because of all the fun colors. I like the idea of having an array of colors down the road :)
(I'm kind of weird about sharing identifying information for everyone to see, thus the blackouts :)
I'm loving how much easier this process is. Now I store all my digital prints on our Dell in folders according to date (one folder for each year, a second folder for each month). When I take a new set of pictures, I open up my My Publisher's free software, drop the pictures into the layout I choose, and edit them with the click of a button. Then I add the event to the index page and save the project. No more opening up photos in Photoshop to edit them, saving them, uploading them to Shutterfly, ordering them, stuffing in photo albums, etc. My Publisher does all the editing for you with a button, and there is no uploading necessary. At the end of the year, I will just have to review the album and order it. Sooo easy. And with all the money it costs to develop a million 4x6s, it won't cost any more at the end of the day.
Watch out for the 100 page maximum, though. Go with a larger size book from MP or Blurb if you take a million pictures. We take a fair amount and hit the maximum for 2011's album. Blurb also has the option to easily important a blog into a book!
I love how our memories now take up a fraction of the space:
I really liked the index pages they did on Young House Love and made them for each album. It makes it easy to look something up by the front page:
I'll also share my experience making our wedding album for anyone interested in this project. We wanted a high quality wedding album but didn't want to fork out the dough for a professional album. We ultimately decided to go with Blurb. Great decision. The quality was amazing, the layouts were sleek, and I could do everything I wanted design-wise. We preferred Blurb over MP for this project because of the designs, size (we used the Large Landscape size which is 13x11), and no limits to the number of pages. I absolutely LOVED creating this album. I enjoyed piecing together my favorite pictures in the most aesthetically pleasing way. Yes, it took hours upon hours to get it to the point where I thought it was just right, but it was worth it.