As photographers, we generally like to share our work with others. A custom book of your photography would be great right? The stopping point for most is cost and flexibilty. A one off printing of a custom photo book can be very expensive if you farm out the work. You can use online services like Apple’s iPhoto to make nice photo books. However, you will be limited in terms of media used and number of pages.
If you want a truly custom creation you will want to print and bind it yourself. Luckily, you have a mini printing press right there on your desk. (Gutenberg would be jealous)
Photoshop, In-Design, and even Lightroom can be used to design your book. Just make sure you are comfortable with the program and can use its layout functions efficiently. Unfortunately, there are few templates available online. You might look at Shutterfly.com or a similar service for pages ideas and layout tips.
Choose your paper carefully. Surface, texture, and thickness are all part of the custom book experience. Choose a media that matches the subject of your photography. If you have a pigment ink printer like Epson’s UltraChrome or Canon Lucia, be careful about using 2-sided matte and cotton art papers. Black inks tend to leave some residue on the paper surface that can offset on to facing pages (bad!). Do some TESTS first before leaping into a project. The listing of popular Red River papers for book printing is here
Lots of options are available. Heat based “perfect bound” books solutions are available from Unibind and Bind It Photo. These usually feature hard covers and have a bookstore book look and feel.
For a more album like look, post bound book kits are available from companies like Red River Paper and Moab Paper.