Blurb Raises $12 Million to “Bring Book Publishing to the Masses”
Blurb, the creative book publishing service, today announced that it has raised an additional $12 million to further its mission to bring book publishing to the masses. Existing investors Canaan Partners and Anthem Venture Partners led the round with the support of additional individual investors. This second round of funding followed Blurb’s successful beta testing of BookSmart®, Blurb’s trademark software that transforms digital content into bookstore-quality books.
“We’re delighted with our continued partnership with Canaan and Anthem,” says Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO of Blurb. “This new round of financing enables us to take our product to market, as well as create new ways for people to make books together and to make money on their books.”
Since early May, thousands of people have tested Blurb’s BookSmart software and hundreds have already produced books that showcase their portfolios, blogs, photos, conference proceedings, business plans, recipes, yearbooks, and more. Nearly two hundred customers have already decided to release their books publicly; these books can be viewed at Blurb’s public bookstore at www.blurb.com/bookstore. “You have to see these books,” comments Gittins. “They’re just like what you’d find in a traditional bookstore, only they’re made by busy people without any special technical skills, who happen to have a great idea that belongs in a book. Blurb takes away all the hassles of traditional publishing, and frees people to act on their inspiration. The results are truly impressive.”
Blurb launched its free BookSmart® beta software in May, enabling users to convert their growing caches of latent digital content such as photos, text, and blogs into professionally designed, ready-to-publish books. “It’s simple, smart technology,” explains Gittins. “BookSmart® puts the power of books in the hands of ordinary people.”
“Already we’re seeing individuals and businesses putting BookSmart® to work for them, and making books that communicate fresh ideas and capture life-changing moments,” says John Balen, general partner of Canaan Partners. In fact, we have been inspired to make our own Blurb book to celebrate our 20th company anniversary, showcasing the many companies and entrepreneurs that we have supported over the years. That’s the thing about Blurb: every idea, every innovation, and every book leads to another.”
BookSmart® is free, runs on either a Mac or PC and is now available at www.blurb.com. Customers pay only when they publish a book. Each book is printed on demand, in any quantity – whether that’s one, a couple dozen, or several thousand. Books cost as little as $29.95 for a single copy of a 40-page hardcover book, custom dust jacket included.
Blurb® was founded on the premise that everyone – not just the talented few – should be able to publish, share, and distribute beautifully realized digital and print books with first class production values. Whether creating books for friends and family, for business colleagues and prospects, or for global audiences who may wish to buy your book, Blurb’s platform is built for you. By creating a business model that enables the company to profit on a unit of one, Blurb has opened up the world of publishing to everyone who has access to a computer and a story to tell.
Blurb’s independent publishing platform offers the ability to design, publish, share, market, distribute, and sell both digital and print books. Further, Blurb puts book creators in full control by providing a comprehensive publishing toolkit: a suite of free book design tools including Blurb BookWright™, an Adobe InDesign® plugin and Adobe Lightroom® integration, a variety of print and distribution options, book format and paper choices, and online selling and social sharing tools.
Launched in 2006 by CEO Eileen Gittins, Blurb now enjoys global scale via more than one million book authors, resulting in nearly three million unique book titles so far.