Are you ordering an XL book? There's a know bug in iPhoto regarding this. The workaround is to boot into Safe Mode and order the book from there. Also be sure to create a PDF of the book as described in this Apple document, iPhoto '11: Preview a book, card, or calendar before you order or print it , to proof before ordering the book and compare with the printed book when it arrives.
I'm interested to know if your photo book ever arrived, and if you were charged for it each time the program crashed.
I've just had the same thing happen to me (iPhoto all updated, and new MacBook Air), ordering a Large book.
I want to try ordering again, but am concerned that I will be billed multiple times. I'm interested to know at what point in the process your credit card is actually charged. I think it should be when the book is completed and shipped, but other posts I've looked at say that their card was charged multiple times.
Thanks for your time.
You are not charged for books that do not print - there might be a short term temp charge but you will not be charged for incomplete uploads
Before ordering your book preview it using this method - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1040 - and save the resulting PDF for reference - the delivered book will match it.
then into safe mode, preview again and order