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Flickr launches Photo Books, turn your images into a hardcover for $35

Custom-made photo books have been knocking around for as long as images have been appearing online, with plenty of companies now offering up an array of solutions to get your photos printed and bound as gifts for friends and family, or as something to place casually on your coffee table in the hope that a visitor might dip into it during a pause in the conversation, be suitably impressed by your photographic skills and offer up a compliment.

Just in time for the holidays, Flickr has announced that it, too, has decided to join the party, launching Flickr Photo Books for US-based users (an international rollout is coming soon).

Up to now, the Yahoo-owned photo site has been working with partner Snapfish to offer a number of printing services, including photo books, though it’s not clear at this stage to what extent Flickr’s new service steps on the toes of Snapfish.

In a blog post Tuesday introducing Flickr Photo Books, the company’s Rajiv Vaidyanathan outlined the basics of the new Web-based offering, stressing the tool’s ease of use – “your photos can go from Flickr to photo book in as easy as one click” – as well as the quality of the final product.

flickr bookYou can start building a book by hovering over one of your photo sets and clicking on the book icon that appears. Flickr will take care of the rest, laying out the images with its “intelligent” tools, though of course, you can have total control over the design too, if you wish.

The basic book comes with 20 pages of premium white proPhoto paper with a lustre finish, with your chosen images “wrapped in a sleek, photo wrap high-gloss hardcover complete with a matching dust jacket. No cramped formats, no awkward descriptions, no spoiled memories,” Vaidyanathan writes.

The basic hardcover book has dimensions of 11 x 8.5 inches, comes with up to 20 pages and costs $35. Additional pages can be added for $0.50 each. If your photo collection is massive and you feel all your images are worthy of inclusion, you can make one with up to 240 pages, leaving you with a brick of a book that may require you to perform some reinforcement work on your coffee table.

After years of neglect, Flickr has undergone many changes since Marissa Mayer took the reins at Yahoo in 2012, with the new Photo Book tool offering further evidence that the Web company is serious about continuing its efforts to develop the photo-sharing site.

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