Blurb Review

On April 14, 2012, in Review, by admin

blurb reviewsWhile self publishing companies like Lulu are for authors keen to be known worldwide, Blurb.com is arguably for those who just want to see their name in print without dreams of world domination. Eileen Gittens founded Blurb and claims that creating this company is the most fun thing she has ever done. Certainly, Blurb does not have the global reach of Lulu but it can still provide a useful service to budding authors who are fed up with rejections from traditional publishers. Blurb is certainly not a small company and publishes almost 2,000 new titles a week, an impressive achievement.

Pricing
There has been a subtle change in Blurb’s marketing style over the last few years. When it was originally founded, the company catered more towards the corporate market in the hope of attracting architects, photographers and other high end jobs. Nowadays, Blurb is content to market to all-comers, probably in a bid to increase its market share. Publishing on Blurb is not cheap however. The company offers different prices depending on the size of the book. For example, a ‘trade’ size book (6×9 inches) in black and white text of between 321-360 pages costs £8.95 for a soft cover and a whopping £19.50 for a hardcover. If you order between 50-249 books, you receive a discount of 15% with book volumes of over 250 subject to a larger discount which can be negotiated. A 321-360 page color book costs £51.95 in soft cover and £56.95 in hard cover. There are also eBooks and other book formats on offer.

Features
What Blurb does is allow you the freedom to design your own book if you choose. This is ideal for those who are interested in vanity publishing and have no real desire to spend thousands trying to get the book seen worldwide. Bookify is their online bookmaking tool which offers professional quality books of 240 pages or less. You can autofit, crop, rotate and zoom images of up to 10MB. You can even promote your Bookify enhanced book with the Blurb Bookshow on your blog, Facebook or Twitter account.

Blurb also offers free software download, customized layouts and text, the option to import text, photos and blogs and the ability to convert your work into an eBook for iPad users. Blurb’s PDF to book feature enables you to create books of up to 440 pages using standard paper. The site even helps you brainstorm book ideas.

Overall
Earlier in the review we compared Blurb to Lulu but this really isn’t a fair comparison at all. When it comes to the quality of the book created, Blurb is as good as any site online. The end product is glossy, polished and thoroughly professional. As such, Blurb is a great site if you wish to publish a few copies of a book for family and friends. However, Blurb is relatively expensive and does not help you with sales and distribution. You don’t even receive an ISBN and the site has no real distribution channels. Certainly, Blurb is the site for non-serious authors but those who want to be known around the world may need to look elsewhere.

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2 Responses to “Blurb Review”

  1. Anderson says:

    I just tried Blurb and had a bad experience. My first book project arrived with a damaged cover. Print quality and color rendition was great, but the book cover was damaged in FedEx shipping (FedEx box was crushed, and this impacted cover of Blurb book). No problem, I took a pic of the damaged book cover, and Blurb said they would send along a new copy, no charge. However, when the new copy arrived, the photos had shifted in color a bit. So, I contacted Blurb about the color problem. They responded that they were sorry that the prints came out “too yellow.” The problem is still not corrected. My impression is that this is a completely automated process, with no human quality control points. I’m looking for another publishing vendor.

  2. Greg says:

    Something your readers might want to take note of is that if they self-publish using Blurb’s InDesign plugin (they they can get by going here: http://vcgw.net/U6BM/00113F ) They can remove the blurb logo “bug” from the back and also have different formats available. (User registration with Blurb is required, but I think it’s required anyway when you order something.)

    Disclaimer: I work for The Printery, a Consolidated Graphics company, who recently partnered with Blurb to make the plugin mentioned above. We love print, and we love publishing. 🙂

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