Blurb Adds New Community Features, Enhances Social Print Media Experience
Blurb, the creative book publishing service, today announced that it has redesigned its Web site and introduced several new features for Blurb customers who choose to share and market their books through Blurb’s Web site. Adding community-building features enables any Blurb author to communicate and connect with others, share interests, create books together, and sell those books to a wider audience.
“Our customers are passionate about their books. You can see it all over our online bookstore, that our authors want to share their books and connect through them,” said Eileen Gittins, Blurb founder and CEO. “We’re leveraging community features prevalent in the social Web to make the bookmaking experience more personal, interactive, and engaging.”
As an innovator in social print media, Blurb is now providing bookmakers with:
- Profiles – Customers can now create a personal or business profile on Blurb to share contact information and socialize or network within the Blurb community.
- My Blurb – This entirely new, personal dashboard pulls everything a registered customer cares about – current orders, recently uploaded books, Web traffic statistics, and more – into one place for easy access.
- Blurb Badges 1.5 – These free marketing widgets feature an image of the book cover that can be embedded in any blog or Web site. The 1.5 upgrade allows users to customize borders, backgrounds, and the overall look of the badge for specific blogs or Web sites. Badges enable one-click access to purchase the book in the Blurb Bookstore; an ideal tool for viral marketing.
- Bookmark It/Recommend It – Bookmark It is a tool that allows users to share any Blurb book with the entire world via social bookmarking services like Digg, del.icio.us, and Stumble Upon. Recommend It allows users to easily email anyone a link to a particular book. No registration is required to use these services.
Blurb also announced the availability of Blurb BookSmart® beta release version 1.8. Customers can already use Blurb’s free bookmaking software, BookSmart, to make real bookstore-quality books, but this latest release delivers more creative control and improved usability. The latest version – Blurb BookSmart 1.8 – includes these enhancements:
- Color Chooser – Offers greatly expanded color choices for book covers and inside pages.
- Global Folio – Lets customers easily make global text and style changes to their book’s headers and footers, including titles, chapter names, and page numbers.
- Multi-Page Select – Helps customers efficiently move multiple pages from one section of their book to another. This function also makes it easier to delete multiple pages.
Blurb’s BookSmart software is free, runs on a Mac or PC, and offers hundreds of layouts created by commercial book designers. The software enables anyone to create, share, distribute, and market affordable, beautiful, bookstore-quality books.
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.