View Full Version : [Publishing svcs] Blurb

04-04-2009, 04:58 AM

I am currently reviewing Blurb.com's service (free, but like everything in life, nothing comes without a trade off) and wondered if anyone has recently used their 5 x 8 text b/w option with their Booksmart software. I'm not looking for an overall 'beware' critique on them, but rather how some self publishing authors see them and may have utilised their print/display service.

What results have you had with the service?

How do you specifically intend using Blurb for your book?

What changes/improvements would you like to see?



04-09-2009, 10:30 PM
Sorry--I know you didn't want a "beware", but I'm compelled to point out that Blurb's book prices are astronomical.

- Victoria

04-10-2009, 03:30 AM
Yes, I do agree Victoria. Very much a point I brought up in my reviews of Blurb. As it stands, and for other reasons I discuss, it does not represent a viable option for self publishing authors wishing to seriously market a book and make any kind of profit at these prices.

Blurb has some pros but remains a 'work in progress' if it is to even compete with Lulu et all


04-13-2009, 05:08 PM
Blurb is ideal for fundraising efforts or any specialty novel ideas to capture those special moments in time with friends and family. They do have high quality printing. I have published a book as a fundraiser with them. It is a picturebook and I am very pleased with the high quality paper they use. They offer hardback and softcover. The only thing is the price tends to be higher than expected as you can set your own price - but in order to make any money you have to set it higher, which pushes the price upwards of $25.00 or more per book, which can become expensive. The price to the author is rather high as well. But you can't beat the user-friendly system they have and the overall quality is exceptional. They also keep track of how many views and sales you get on a weekly basis.

As far as promotion goes, that is completely up to the author. Blurb does have their own online bookstore where they list everyone's books in different genres. Just like Lulu.com. The only thing with lulu is their system isn't so user-friendly and a lot more labor intensive as far as getting everything downloaded. You don't see the finished product until you have labored to get everything in place and making changes is a pain too. With Blurb, you see as you go and can make changes right then before getting all the way to the end.

05-15-2009, 04:08 AM
I can,t speak to their 5X8 B&W, but can offer more insights into their color service.

I generally print full color. I have not had a book printed from Blurb but have seen many of their full color books, have played with their site software and have read many online reports of photographers who have used them for books. I think they consistently offer reasonably well put together books with reasonable image quality. The image quality is probably not appropriate for fine art or reallly good coffee table books. I think they are a fine choice for specialty projects like wedding albums, sport team year books, family photo albums, etc. Their prices are such one could never compete financially with traditionally published full color books, even with direct sales, which is one reason I've never used them. I feel their online bookstore is useful for the above mentioned projects, but not for selling to the general public. Like most online photo books, their template driven layout system is easy to use and allows anyone with no experince to create a nice looking book with some diversity, but in the end you are stuck with the limitations of a template driven system. (which is another reason I've never used them.) I'm fairly certain, you can't save anything you've created with their software as a pdf to use elsewhere. (Which is understandable)

If I wish to use an easy template driven design system, I prefer Iphoto books which work in conjunction with my photo library. I feel Winkflash offers a better quality image, at a more affordable price, but their online template system is awkward to use. I know many photographers choose Mpix or B&I for their limited edition higher end photo books, but they pay for it. Using InDesign or even Word and converting it to a print ready pdf offers much more design flexibility and less expensive printing options than are available through the burb photo books, but one needs more layout knowledge and software knowledge in addition to the software itself.

01-16-2010, 06:13 AM
Here's an example of the online reports by photographers: http://www.aphotoeditor.com/2009/05/15/photographer-banned-by-blurb-books/

09-18-2011, 03:54 PM
Is there any information here on Blurb.com ?

It seems to be doing the same thing that Lulu used to do -- provide a way to upload content and have it printed as a book, without their taking any ownership of the content.

Old Hack
09-18-2011, 03:57 PM
I think there are various discussions about Blurb here already but I can't find them right now: when and if I do, I'll merge this with them.

Blurb is mostly good for highly illustrated books, I think, unlike Lulu which is better for books which contain mostly text. There are plenty of other POD services for you to choose from, though, if neither suit your needs.

09-19-2011, 04:59 AM
I think there are various discussions about Blurb here already but I can't find them right now: when and if I do, I'll merge this with them.

Blurb is mostly good for highly illustrated books, I think, unlike Lulu which is better for books which contain mostly text. There are plenty of other POD services for you to choose from, though, if neither suit your needs.

Thanks! I was thinking about them for converting photograph albums.

12-04-2011, 12:30 AM
I came across this http://www.blurb.com/ and thought some of it was pretty cool. I guess I was thinking along the lines of those who sometimes use places like Tate when they can do it themselves. (Aside from createspace and LuLu.) Plus sometimes people say they only want a few for their family, it might be good for that

I don't think their pricing for books with all color photos is too bad, if you were going for hard covers (although I'm no authority on that.) Might be good for kids books too. I haven't investigated the site totally, just wondering if any of you had any thoughts or done anything through them?

I was mainly interested in the free downloadable apps for book layout. I downloaded the one that works with Microsoft Word to see if it makes book layout easier. Then I want to see after if I have to save it in some special "blurb" file only usable at their site or if it saves as a word doc I can PDF and upload to a place other than blurb (like createspace.)

I'm going to be self pubbing some non-fiction, and the layout stuff in MS Word I wish was a little more user friendly.

(Wasn't sure where to put this so mods, feel free to move it if I'm in the wrong place.)

J. Tanner
12-04-2011, 10:27 PM
It's focused on photo-book production.

Their pricing doesn't look competetive for novels or primarily text non-fiction.

12-05-2011, 12:22 AM
Ahhhh. Thanks for letting me know. I think though I may still try that free app they have that goes with MS word to see how it sets books up into chapters, if it helps any, and if it still saves it as a doc file.