I was almost instantly happy with the Blurb version. It's a nice square shape with a classic poem-left image-right layout, with semi-gloss (not shiny) color printing, in an accidentally rich orange akin to some early Halloween decorations that mix in just a touch of red. So far it's my favorite. I worried though that with a "boutique/vanity printing" costing more, and with one single shipping fee (which feels a might expensive to my artist's pocketbook), I was skeptical about many people ordering it there. However, if you can, that's the one I recommend for quality and layout. Blurb just upped their prices by $1, so it's now currently $22.95 plus shipping.
After that, I looked at CreateSpace which is Amazon's P.O.D. service. For a much more affordable range of print options, I could offer the book from them (and more people) at a lower cost in an industry standard size - with a catch - unlike Blurb, as a DIY kinda project, I had to completely recreate my layout, (in a layout software that you yourself provide, so I had to try a new-to-me freeware program called Scribus - see below):
Well, after days of work, that turned out okay, and I like the quality of the proofs I've received, but I've been going back and forth on the actual image quality (pretty important for an illustrated book). Part of the problem was my own, as I tried to process them differently for this particular printing - first sepia, then screenish blue, then pure black and white, none of which looked great. Note, I'm also trying to print on their matte paper which isn't helping. (I think you can upgrade to additional options of quality but that would defeat my purpose to create a more affordable version).
After all that, the fourth proof will return to the tried and true classic orange/black/white colors. I'm hopeful I will enjoy it, in the same way I enjoy the Blurb version. And that the Amazon version at a cover price of $14.95 with better shipping options, will be another great option of the book.