Blurb Introduces New Premium Services, Increases File Upload Speed 2-to-3 Times Faster
Blurb, the creative book publishing service, today announced the availability of its Blurb BookSmart® beta release version 1.7.7. Launched to coincide with the Wedding & Portrait Photographers International show in Las Vegas, this latest release introduces a collection of tools to further enhance and customize the book design process. Professional users will now be able to create books with their own unique branding, and easily market and sell books with fully automated Blurb Badges. Blurb has also improved the time it takes to upload a finished book file, increasing the speed 2-to-3 times faster than before.
“This BookSmart upgrade is really all about the professional photography market,” said Eileen Gittins, Blurb’s founder and CEO. “Professionals are some of our most vocal supporters and we have taken their suggestions to heart. In less than two months we built a new workflow and software upgrade to arm creative professionals with the ability to better design, brand, and market their books. Not to mention, they’ll save production time because uploading books is now twice as fast, or more.”
To create a Blurb book, users start by downloading free Blurb BookSmart® software. The latest version – Blurb BookSmart® 1.7.7 – includes the following new additions:
- Custom Logo Upgrade – This option allows creative professionals to insert their own logos into books. Blurb’s Custom Logo Upgrade is a premium service introduced in response to demand from professional photographers, who will now be able to insert their own branding into Blurb books. Custom Logo Upgrade is available for an additional fee under an alternative pricing schedule.
- Image Container Tool Tips – These tips appear as pop-ups when users mouse over image containers. The tips recommend pixel dimensions for images and the printed output size, which makes it easier to create high quality composite images.
- Blurb Badges – These free marketing widgets feature an image of the book cover that can be embedded in any blog or Web site. These badges enable one-click access to where the book is sold in the Blurb Bookstore. Blurb manages all order processing and fulfillment, and Blurb’s Set Your Price program lets authors keep 100% of any mark-up on their book.
Additionally, Blurb has recently announced two new book sizes: large format landscape 13x11 and square 7x7. These new book sizes are particularly useful in the wedding and portrait categories, and at only $12.95 for a 40-page, full-color 7x7 softcover book, they offer an affordable, bookstore-quality portfolio or brochure option. Customers can buy just one, or many books; discounts apply at 25 copies or more.
Additional features in Blurb’s BookSmart beta release version 1.7 include:
- Expanded blog-slurping support for Blogger and LiveJournal users to convert their blogs into bookstore-quality books automatically, using Blurb’s Blog Slurper. BookSmart inserts the slurped blog directly into a professionally designed book template, producing a draft book in minutes.
- Additional iPhoto integration capabilities. Now all photo libraries saved in iPhoto, including albums and last rolls, will automatically show up in BookSmart, with no import required.
- Increased text formatting support includes line spacing.
Blurb’s BookSmart software is free, runs on a Mac or PC, and offers a wide variety of templates created by commercial book designers. The software enables anyone to create, share, and distribute affordable, beautiful, bookstore-quality books.
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.