Blurb Groupbook Introduces Community Bookmaking To Facebook
Blurb, the creative book publishing platform, today launched Blurb GroupBook, an application for Facebook that lets users make real books collectively. Blurb introduced community bookmaking last year to empower socially connected groups of consumers and professionals to create Blurb books together. GroupBook is the next step in the evolution of this concept. The Facebook community can now easily make Blurb books that capture and reinforce their shared experiences and passions, and help bridge their online and offline communities. With over 68 MM active users, Facebook is the fifth most trafficked website in the world, and the number one photo sharing application on the web.
As people share content in online communities like Facebook and Flickr, there is a growing need to take this content and create something tangible. Some content should live online, but other content is meant for people to keep, and its value is as much about "later" as it is about now. Books that memorialize shared experiences create a different impact and meaning than the same content viewed online.
"More than any other social community, Facebook users share real-world connections in addition their online networks," said Eileen Gittins, Blurb’s founder and CEO. "These people travel together, they go to concerts together, and they go to parties and events together. Blurb helps them to bridge their online and offline worlds, so all the things they do together can be celebrated and shared via books."
Here’s how Blurb GroupBook works:
- Install Blurb GroupBook from the Facebook Applications Directory.
- Initiate a GroupBook project. (Whoever starts the project becomes the book’s producer.)
- Use the Facebook platform to invite friends to contribute photos to the project. Once friends accept the invitation, they can easily upload photos, view other contributed photos, and make comments. (Content is stored as a free, hosted, private book project on Blurb’s website.)
- Review the photos and choose which ones to include in the book.
- When ready, slurp selected photos into Blurb BookSmart and get to work creating a book.
When users finish a Blurb GroupBook, they can announce it to their Facebook friends in all the normal ways – via their newsfeed, on the wall, by posting to their profile, etc. Blurb also provides book badges that link a Facebook profile to a Blurb book in the company’s online bookstore.
In addition to launching GroupBook, Blurb has released an updated beta version of BookSmart, the company’s free bookmaking software. Customers can already use BookSmart to make commercial-quality books, but this latest release provides greater stability and improved performance. Blurb BookSmart® 1.9.4 includes the following enhancements:
- Improved performance and stability.
- Superior text handling, including copy and paste functionality from outside applications and smooth text flow from page to page.
- An enhanced font menu now features every font’s plain-text name and WYSIWYG styling that shows what each font looks like.
- New hand-illustrated baby, cat, and dog backgrounds, borders, and ornaments among many other design elements.
- Several new professionally designed collage layouts have been added to the hundreds of layouts that already exist in BookSmart.
Blurb was recently nominated for a 2008 Webby Award in the Services category. Hailed as the "Oscars of the internet" by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the internet, including websites, interactive advertising, online film & video, and mobile websites.
To create a Blurb book, download Blurb BookSmart® software from the Blurb website. Blurb’s BookSmart software is free, runs on a Mac or PC, and offers a wide variety of book layouts created by professional book designers. The software enables anyone to affordably make, share, market, and sell 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.