Blurb Introduces Community Books

Explosion in Digital Content and Social Media Fuels Development of Innovative Community Bookmaking Service

San Francisco, Calif.
October 23, 2007

Blurb, the creative publishing service and innovator in social print media, today introduced Community Books. This is the first ever hybrid client/web service to enable groups of people to make books together. As social communities continue to explode online, people are sharing digital content with each other; what’s difficult is to efficiently translate that online sharing into physical, tangible goods. By empowering both online and offline communities to come together and create Community Books, Blurb has opened up a new way for socially connected groups of consumers and professionals to stay connected and create together.

Community-contributed books can also be shared, marketed, and sold at cost or for profit in the free Blurb Bookstore. The entire transaction, shipping, and customer service is managed by Blurb. Community Book is launching in beta with photo sharing, the most requested community-bookmaking feature. Additional functionality will be added as the Blurb community helps prioritize further features and enhancements.

Community Book was developed in response to demand from both consumers and professionals. Whether a professional photographer soliciting submissions for a book; a corporate retreat book featuring photos and funny anecdotes from the team; a wrap party book from the latest Hollywood film screening; or a wedding book with pictures and stories from hundreds of attending guests, now it is possible to quickly and easily gather content from multiple contributors within Blurb BookSmart®, the company’s free bookmaking software.

“With the exception of the occasional co-authored book, bookmaking has historically been a solo effort. But, what’s happening on the Web now is the rise of the connected creative class. These are people who contribute, participate, and share online and offline. Blurb’s new Community Book capability enables connected creatives to easily make group-contributed books that capture and reinforce their shared experiences and passions,” said Eileen Gittins, Blurb’s founder and CEO.

Community Books can easily be initiated from within Blurb BookSmart software using the Invite Contributors function. With a simple call out to family, friends, colleagues, or community members, content can be contributed and stored as a free, hosted, private book project on the Web.

To create and publish a Blurb book, users start by downloading BookSmart from the Blurb Web site. 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.

About Blurb®

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.