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® is a company and a community that believes passionately in the power of designed books and magazines—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™, Blurb 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.

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