Sunday, February 22, 2009

San Francisco-based self-publishing company Blurb has reported growth of 200 percent in ‘08, with sales of nearly $30 million.
I took a walk on over, and it seems like a pretty straight forward Lulu type site, per book prices seem comparable, sizes are very limited, and there is no distribution ... all selling is done from the in-house bookstore. But, they do offer something called "Book making software." I assume this is some sort of template software type deal, and since it's free, if it helps a self-pub author create a professional layout, then that's a good thing. -- cannegardner


cyberoutlaw said...

It's an interesting site. I'm not crazy about loading proprietary software onto my system, but I once used them to create a photo book for myself. The photo books are similar to what you can do on Lulu, but I believe Blurb offers more size options. Both sites, in my opinion, are far too cost prohibitive for the photo book option, unless you're just looking to get a copy or two for yourself or a friend. I've never used Blurb for a written book, although I have used Lulu twice, and was satisfied with the finished piece.

cheryl anne gardner said...

I can see by your pictures where book quality would have to be spectacular to really do justice to some of your images. Color being the primary deciding factor. Lulu's book options are nice, but unfortunately, they make you download a jpg image for the cover, and image quality suffers because of that. So, are you a purist or do you enjoy manipulated digital photography as well?

Mick Rooney said...

I think Blurb is a more suitable publishing platform for someone who wants a book for family and friends.

The blurb approach seems to be more 'fun' driven and without ISBN's. While Lulu offers a little more versatility when it come to overall reach and distribution.

Having said that, the are some really eye catching book interiors generated from their software.

cyberoutlaw said...

Nope, not a purist :) But I don't do much manipulation beyond contrast and sharpening. I think the biggest drawback to the photo book option is that your dimensions have to match those in the templates. If you crop your shots in non-standard dimensions you'll have problems. It also helps if your jpeg images are the highest resolution possible, otherwise your pictures look washed out. In fact, if they are below a certain resolution the program will reject them. I think both Blurb and Lulu would have to use heavier paper stock (which would bring the cost up even higher) in order to create a professional quality photo book. But I agree with Mick, it's not a bad option if you have something you want to share, or sell on your own.