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 is a company and a community that believes passionately in the power of designed books — in both print and ebook form. Blurb’s indie publishing platform is simple yet flexible enough to make everyone an author — every blogger, cook, designer, photographer, entrepreneur, poet, everyone. Founded by Eileen Gittins in 2005 and funded by Canaan Partners and Anthem Venture Partners, the Blurb platform enables everyone to independently publish, share, market, and distribute their work. Blurb’s portfolio of free software tools include Blurb’s BookWright, BookSmart, and Bookify in addition to a plug-in for Adobe InDesign® plus full integration into Adobe Lightroom®. With over one million book creators and more than 2.8 million unique titles published to date, Blurb is re-imagining what books can and should be in the 21st century — and who gets to create them.