Blurb Authors Inspire the Latest Innovation in Bookmaking

A New Version of BookSmart – Blurb’s Free Software – Simplifies Book Design While Offering Greater Creative Control and Flexibility for All Users

San Francisco, Calif.
October 23, 2007

Blurb, the creative book publishing service, today announced the availability of Blurb BookSmart® beta release 1.9. Driven by extensive customer feedback over the past 18 months, the latest version of the company’s free bookmaking software includes an array of new design elements, more than 45 new layouts in each of Blurb’s four book sizes, and the ability to create community books with content provided by multiple contributors. With this BookSmart release, Blurb radically enhances users’ ability to make professional-quality books.

“This version of BookSmart is our most ambitious product release in company history,” said Eileen Gittins, Blurb’s founder and CEO. “Blurb users make several thousand books each week, and are very vocal about their experiences and what they’d like to see next. We listen, prioritize, and develop based on this ongoing conversation with our users. We've taken their feedback onboard and are now delivering in response a version of BookSmart that is bigger and better than anything we've ever done.”

To create and publish a Blurb book, users start by downloading Blurb BookSmart® software 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. BookSmart 1.9 includes these new features:

Community Book – Blurb authors can now invite contributors to share content and contribute to a community book project. Blurb makes this a seamless experience for both the author and the contributors. Contributors can easily and quickly upload photo content to Blurb’s Web site. Blurb then hosts the shared content so that authors can access it directly from the BookSmart software and use it in a book project.

Page Layouts – Previously, customers had hundreds of page layouts to choose from. With BookSmart 1.9, Blurb has added over 45 new page layouts available in each of the company’s four book sizes. Modern grid designs, playful collage layouts, yearbook pages, journal pages, and classic wedding-album layouts are just a few of the new options for placing text and images into BookSmart.

Backgrounds, Ornaments, and Picture Borders – More than 60 new hand-illustrated artistic accents allow customers to add individual flourishes to their book pages. Some are dramatic, some subtle, but all deliver on BookSmart’s improved flexibility in book design. Particularly when you consider that customers can customize the colors of all new background patterns, ornaments, and borders.

Script Font – BookSmart already supports a user’s own fonts, but Blurb has added an elegant script font that comes built into BookSmart. This guarantees compatibility for those who use the script font at any point size.

Wedding Themes – Baroque, Flirty, Deco, and Flora are the names of Blurb’s four new wedding themes. Each has its own set of multiple backgrounds, ornaments, borders, and colors that reflect the theme, many of which were hand-illustrated by Blurb’s in-house artist. These wedding themes make it easy for Blurb authors to create custom wedding books with continuity and a polished design – they can even match the book’s colors to their wedding colors.

Travel Theme – The travel theme is now available across all four book sizes. It provides illustrations, background patterns, and photo treatments that embody classic travel imagery.

Cookbook Themes – Some customers want a subtle floral pattern for vegetarian cookbooks. Others want a retro fork and spoon for a collection of diner desserts. The four cookbook themes are available in three book sizes and make it easy to create a personal cookbook.

Outside of all the new creative features, Blurb BookSmart will now show additional book measurements in metrics. This move supports Blurb’s international customers following the company’s European launch and global expansion.

About Blurb®

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.

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