Developed initially as a way of producing picture books, Blurb has bulked up in novel and magazine publishing, and sees itself as the future of the industry – and a massive threat to traditional publishers. “The volume we’re seeing globally is unbelievable,” says Gittins. “We’re entering the golden age of publishing.”
In this video from Forbes' CMO Excursion series, Blurb CMO Brenda van Camp discusses the online book-making company's quest to expand its business.
“Today, Blurb has launched an initiative aimed at bringing even more diverse publications into the marketplace for mass distribution. [...] Essentially, this means that Blurb authors can now publish digital and print formats from a single file, output to Amazon Kindle, sell on Blurb.com, and be available via Ingram.”
“‘Our collaboration with Ingram will be especially welcome for Blurb’s global authors, as they will now be able to make their books available for distribution within their home markets virtually everywhere in the world,’ said Eileen Gittins... [Blurb] has been expanding the book and eBook production solutions it can offer authors, publishers and corporate clients – moving beyond the photo book printing many still think of when they think of the company.”
“Over the last year the service has been aggressively expanding its programs to allow Blurb users to create professional books to be sold into the trade book market. [...] ‘Authors, like artists, want two things: Control over their product and process, and fair compensation for their work,’ Gittins said. ‘The elements are now all in place for independent authors to design, market and sell their digital and print books—at a healthy margin—via global distribution to booksellers both online and at retail. It’s a happy day for both Blurb authors and Blurb employees too; delivering this extensive a range of offerings is a big deal for everyone.’”
“Gittins' company started out as a way for people to make well-designed photo books in somewhat less than an eon. Since then, Blurb has grown into a popular platform for e-books, publishing about 7,000 titles a day and reeling in about $100 million in revenues a year. As Blurb grew, Gittins learned how important it was for her customers to believe there were real live people behind it, and to trust in them.”
“Blurb, which lets authors self-publish and print their books, is buying Graphicly, a platform that lets authors publish and distribute e-books, with a specific focus on image-heavy content like comics and photography.[...] For its part, Blurb earlier this month acquired [MagCloud] from HP to extend its catalog from books to magazines. In that context, it makes a lot of sense for them to pick up Graphicly and its expertise specifically in comic book magazines.”
BLURB CLARIFICATION: We appreciate the great coverage that TechCrunch provided in this article, but, as has been corrected on other sites across the web, we’d like to take this opportunity on our own site to clarify that Blurb did not acquire the Graphicly company (meaning their products, customers, revenue, technology, assets, etc.) but rather hired some of the former Graphicly employees after their Board closed down the company and let their staff go.
“In conclusion, Blurb is now extremely attractive to self-publishing color book authors with their easy-to-use tools, affordable printing services, and a growing distribution network. Blurb has a great reputation for quality, and they offer lots of attractive options like hardback cover with dust jacket, end sheets, and paper stocks that picky color book authors are willing to pay for.
The tools are so easy to use that some authors may even be swayed away from do-it-for-you services [...]. And certainly budget-minded authors will opt to use the tools in lieu of paying professional designers.”
In an age when anyone can publish ebooks, a growing number will — especially businesses.
This is the point of view of self-publishing platform Blurb founder and CEO Eileen Gittins. Some 37% of the company’s revenue already comes from businesses. They use Blurb, which is best known as technology for creating and distributing image-heavy books and ebooks, to create content to use as marketing collateral, to commemorate events and to document creative output. The film producer and director Steven Soderbergh will be using the platform to create custom books about his creative projects, for instance.
“We think of this as long tail,” Gittins told Digital Book World.
“Blurb has announced another big move: On Monday the company acquired MagCloud, a self-publishing platform for magazines, under a licensing agreement from HP (HPQ). [...] In the deal, Blurb takes over the company's technology and operations, as well as its 10,000 (approximate) customers. As with its books business, Blurb will offer warehousing and fulfillment services to customers, acting as a one-stop-shop for boutique and niche publishing.”
“[Blurb’s] popularity is growing beyond its original target market of ‘personal book creation,’ or books generally for close friends, said Blurb CEO Eileen Gittins, during a recent visit to the PW offices. Blurb, she said, is attracting a growing market of self-publishers that want their books to reach an audience beyond their personal circle of friends. Blurb is expanding its services to accommodate a new kind of self-published author she called ‘author-preneurs,’ explaining that, ‘we need a new term for self-publishing.’”
“For many self-published authors, the various ebook distribution platforms that have made it easier than ever to put content in front of readers are the only avenue to publication. But with the variety of companies who have begun to offer legitimate, cost effective ways of offering readers a print edition as well, there’s no reason not to release a book simultaneously in both ebook and print.”
“Blurb has established itself as the premier place online to make self-published books, making 8 million of them since opening for business in 2006, and selling them on its website and at Apple's iBooks store for the iPad. Tuesday, it's adding Blurb BookWright, a tool to let folks sell their books directly on Amazon as well. Founder and CEO Eileen Gittins says this has been one of her biggest requests.”
Blurb has printed and shipped more than eight million books, with over two million processed in 2012 alone. More than 50% of revenue comes from repeat customers. Blurb has paid out more than $3 million to authors to date and can process - at peak - 1.2 million books ordered per second. Blurb is also shipping to 70 countries.
But somewhere in the middle lies new publishing houses that have arisen to help authors produce their eBooks. Some of these are not really publishing houses as much as publishing solutions. These companies offer easy ways to format, complete and publish the author’s work.
I love that you can make a Blurb Book from inside Lightroom. Moving back and forth between your photo organization software and another app or online bookmaking site can be tedious and time consuming and Lightroom really simplifies this.
Blurb magazines and brochures, both of which are made using Blurb’s platform and its plug-in for Adobe InDesign, let anyone create customized publications that push the creative edge. Both products are printed on HP Indigo presses, the industry’s leading printer for on-demand publishing.
Looking for a personalized gift idea? Here are some suggestions from Blurb for giving a customized book or ebook. You could create a photo book, family history book, cook book or even a Facebook book. What a great way to personalize and preserve meaningful moments.
The photo shows the first book I self-published with blurb.com. It's my mother's memories of her childhood. She wrote the essays over a number of years and I gathered them together, edited and arranged them for this book. It won the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award in 2010.
Time to update & impress everyone with your book-making skills. Blurb.com is the new way to make your own book, whether it's for business or a photo book or a personal literary creation, they all look totally polished.
Blurb was one of the pioneers of self-publishing and has established itself as one of the biggest players in the market.
Last night’s inaugural Blurb Food Fair at Stable Cafe was an especially courant evening celebrating the marriage of amateur cuisine and the digital publishing platform.
Blurb, the SF-based digital publishing platform will celebrate a select group of exceptional Bay Area recipe bookmakers with an event designed to showcase their talents. At the Blurb Epic Food Fest, feast on flavorful creations from everyday cooks and food bloggers who have used Blurb to showcase their passion projects.
“The most successful self-publishers don’t view themselves as writers only, but as business owners,” said Beat Barblan, Bowker Director of Identifier Services, in the company’s press release. “They invest in their businesses, hiring experts to fill skill gaps and that’s building a thriving new service infrastructure in publishing.”
Through self-publishing you maintain complete control over exactly how it is written, designed and laid out. It is a fantastic thing to see your idea and vision through from complete infancy to finished product.
These days, however, the humble selfie is taking on new life. Long derided as evidence of a self-obsessed generation prone to oversharing, selfies are now being celebrated as a marketing strategy and creative business card. Selfies are even being turned into books with the help of self-publishing platforms such as Blurb and iPhoto.
For most of us, the reason we use Instagram is to document real life. But some of those candid moments are just too good to leave in an electronic archive.
Hunt, who shared the most comprehensive story at five pages, and Olga Finch, proudly the eldest of the writing group at 81, are a couple of Nous' essayists to have their works printed in hardcover books via Blurb.com. For Finch, a transplant from Irvington, N.J., becoming published was a lifelong dream. For Hunt, it's about putting her thoughts on the record forever.
This innovative app (born from the bookmaking website of the same name) allows its users to create rich multimedia stories that can be shared across a variety of social media platforms. In short, Blurb puts the power of creative storytelling directly in your hands.
After I recommended a blog as a free and easy alternative to publishing a book of wartime e-mails, a reader wrote: "I understand why a blog has advantages over hard-copy publishing, as you point out in today's column. But, darn it, I want to publish my memoir as a book that people (kids and a very few friends) can hold, put on their coffee table, and even toss in the trash."