Yesterday I talked about a bookish app I love, and today I’m talking about a bookish website and software that I’d recommend: Blurb. I’ve mentioned Blurb in passing in a few other posts, but I’d like to tell you more about it.
Blurb® is a self-publishing and marketing platform that unleashes the creative genius inside everyone. Blurb’s platform makes it easy to design, publish, promote, and sell professional-quality printed books and ebooks.
Blurb was founded by Eileen Gittins in 2005, and includes a team of design, Internet and media veterans who share a passion for helping people bring their stories to life. Blurb authors have created millions of books using our full suite of free book-making tools, and today a new book is created every minute. Blurb is based in San Francisco with offices in London.
I found Blurb in 2008 when I was looking for a way to print a professional looking copy of a story that I had written for my mom for Christmas. The Christmas Serpent was a silly story based on an inside joke in our family and I thought she would get a kick out of it. I had created illustrations using colored pencil, too, and needed a product that would support both text and images. After researching and pricing out a few different book companies, I decided to try Blurb. I was happy with the experience and the end result, so I’ve ordered from them many times in the years since.
I used Blurb to create a book for my wedding photos. I used Blurb to print a copy of a short book I wrote. I used Blurb to have a student’s work printed as a senior project. I use Blurb to make scrapbooks of my year and of special trips. Most recently, I created a scrapbook of the 30th birthday trip I took with two of my best friends this fall.
There are several different ways to create your book. If you’re really skilled with a computer, you can use Adobe InDesign, Adobe Lightroom, or bring in correctly formatted PDF files. For fast and easy photo books, there is a new mobile app (although there are fewer options with your layouts and page counts when using the app). Lastly, you can download Bookwright software (for free) that allows you to use templates and as well as create your own layouts for photos and text. I use Bookwright and have found it pretty easy to use. Once your book is complete, you upload your book to Blurb and that’s when you can place your order.
Blurb has several options when it comes to printed books. You can choose a photo book in five different shapes and sizes, a trade book if you’re looking to publish a novel, magazines, and even ebooks. There are also different price points within each of these categories. For instance, you can choose to get the “free” standard paper, or choose a higher quality of paper at a cost.
Also included in the Blurb experience is the ability to sell your books. You can set a price and people can order right from the Blurb website. So if you’re an indie author, Blurb might be right up your alley. This would also be an option for photographers looking for a way to print books for their customers.
If you’re in the market for a professionally printed book – whether with a hardcover, dust jacket, or paperback, full text, images, or a combination – you can’t go wrong with Blurb. I highly recommend checking out their website to learn more about their products and pricing. It pays to sign up for the newsletter/emails, too – they frequently send 15%, 20% and even 40% off coupons. Perhaps a personally created book is just the Christmas present for someone on your list this year.