You’ve spent a bit of time on your book project—editing, curating, collecting, designing, loving. Happy with the result you press the upload button that sends your book file upstream to Blurb and into your personal bookstore. You think about who you want to send a copy to; your spouse, your mother, siblings, work colleagues, yourself. You’ve poured some heart and soul into this book and now you can’t wait to hold it in your hands.
For over 10 years, Blurb has developed unique and dedicated systems to assure your vision and content are represented as you saw them in software, whether you use BookWright, Bookify, Lightroom, InDesign, or your personal PDF. We have made books since day one at a time where marrying digitally printed pages with classic library binding was not as ubiquitous as it is today. Early on, we wrote the rules that helped spawn a self and personal publishing revolution. So what exactly happens when you place that order?
When you order books you are interacting with Blurb’s commerce system. We manage that, along with our storage and production systems, in house to assure we always have a finger on the pulse of the bookmaking environment. Your book file is pre-flighted to look for any errors and is then routed to one of the members of the Blurb Global Print Partner Network—a closely vetted and managed cooperative group of the most skilled craftspeople we can find. Many of them have been with us since we were barely a blip on the book radar screen and we’ve grown, and learned, together over this past decade, becoming experts in combining the technology and the craft needed to produce books that you will be proud to show off and that will last for years to come.
Which member of the Print Network receives your book for printing is dependent on multiple factors—your location, the type of product you are ordering, and the current state of production at each facility are the main determinants. Over 99% of Blurb book files flow right though the systems that impose the book pages for printing. If we find an error, we contact you to solve the issue and get your book back on track. When the pages come off of our presses, primarily HP Indigo models, that’s the first time human eyes see your printed product. A first QA step is done before sending the book along for binding. This is where the craft plays in. Book binding in quantities of one are still done by hand, one at a time. Wearing white gloves and keeping a close eye out for any manufacturing defects, your book finds its way from book block gluing, to cover marrying, and yet another QA check before heading to dedicated shipping stations where it gets securely packaged before our shipping partners pick it up to begin its final journey to your mailbox.
I’m constantly amazed as I walk the floors of our partner’s printing facilities to see what our customers create using our tools. I never get tired of seeing the results of your passion and creativity and I still get as excited now as I did when I saw the first Blurb books coming off the presses in 2005. It’s what we do at Blurb, and we love it. A final word of advice, keep some tissues handy when you give your personally created book to that loved one—you’ll need them.