It turns out that CreateSpace only charges $3.65 to print a 24-page picture book, color, full bleed. That’s…incredible. You do pay shipping ($3.59 in my case), but still — $7 to print a picture book for your kids? Very, very nice. I threw together a dummy book to test print quality, and my copy arrived today, ten days after ordering it.
In general, I’m quite pleased. Print quality is very good. I’ve taken some photos below (with no postprocessing, but my iPhone camera added a bit more contrast than there actually is in the book).
The book is perfect-bound, so it won’t open as flat as it would if it were saddle-stitched. I don’t think they have saddle stitch as an option.
The paper isn’t glossy.
Colors aren’t quite as vibrant as they are on screen — blacks aren’t as dark, etc. But for actual use — reading to kids at bedtime — they’re quite fine.
Colors that are similar to each other can be a little harder to distinguish, but anything with sufficient contrast should be okay.