Blurb is a self-publishing company that was created by Eileen Gittens, in 2006. The company was created to help authors and photographers to self-publish and sell their books. Blurb has a unique feature that sets them apart from the rest of the self-publishing companies online today. They use a downloadable book design and creating software called BookSmart that can easily be installed on any PC. As a self-publisher, you’re in control of the design, layout, images, and the look and feel of your book. You’ll design your book in the comforts of your own home. After you’re satisfied with the book, upload it to the site, and start printing out copies to sell online or in books stores.
How Does it Work?
- You’ll need to sign up for the site and create your account.
- Afterward, download and install the software on your PC.
- You can now upload a word document or PDF file to the site.
- Using the software, you decide on the trim size of your book. There are many layout choices to select from.
- The book cover, title, chapter pages, and copyright are already formatted and ready to use.
- You can easily customize your book in one of the themed templates on the software.
- You will need your own ISBN number that you can add to the copyright page of the book in order to sell your books worldwide. Furthermore, you can use the ISBN number on the back cover of each book, along with your own logo.
- The software allows you to create eBooks that you can easily sell on your website or even offer for free.
What Does Blurb Have to Offer?
- Blurb hands over the publication of the books to the author. They can easily download and install the software on their computer for free.
- The software that Blurb gives away is the heart and sole of the company and they continue to improve the software. The company designed this software to make it as easy as possible for anyone to use and publish a book.
- The company can print one of the best self-published glossy and polished books on the market.
- Blurb adds your book to their online bookstore, but they won’t help you distribute your books to other stores or online.
- They offer the author many tutorials to help them publish their books and teach them how to make the best quality self-published book.
- They offer you free book creation and layout tools to use when creating your book for publication.
- There is a desktop publishing took call BookWright or an online took called Bookify to use when creating your books.
- Furthermore, you can use Adobe InDesign plug-in and Adobe Lightroom integration on your Pc.
- You’ll have access to the free sharing and marketing tools so you can easily post previews of your books on a website, blog, Facebook or other social media accounts.
- They offer everyone free webinars, workshops, forums, and tutorials to use when creating and publishing your books.
- You’ll retain 100% of the profits when you use the different options to sell and distribute your books to over 39,000 online bookstores.
What Doesn’t Blurb Have?
- When publishing with Blurb’s, you’ll need to obtain your own ISBN number for your books. Some self-publishing companies offer this in their service, but Blurb doesn’t. However, if you publish your book through BookWrite, use the Blurb’s plugin for Adobe In Design, or you upload your book through PDF to Book workflow you can get an ISBN from Blurb. The ISBN will be registered under Blurb. This was just updated on the site in December of 2018.
- The company doesn’t offer third-party distribution of your books. Some publishing companies will help the author sell their books at resellers such as Amazon or even Ingrams. However, you’ll need to contact these companies yourself if you’d like to use them to sell your books. Blurb, however, will help you to get started and they can help you distribute your books once they are sold.
- They don’t have a full author solution service to help people self-publish their books.
- The company doesn’t have a databook registration service for you to use. Therefore, you’ll need to do this on your own.
What Do Self-Publishers Have to Say About Blurb?
- Blurb has received many requests on their forum to improve their self-publishing services to make it easier to upload the highest quality images more efficiently and quickly.
- Many people think the company should be working toward making their product more flexible.
- Others want the company to take an interest in the author’s and make distributing their books worldwide easier through the company.
- The company mainly focuses on photographic and artistic production. They need to be more like Lulu has an author’s solutions for DIY self-publishing.
- The company has one of the best internal book layouts there are.
- People love the low cost of the book and the company prints a highly polished book to sell on the market.
- The company is lacking in helping a person actually publish and sell their books online. Without an ISBN number, it isn’t possible to sell your books anywhere. The company is mainly focusing on a person self-publishing a book for their family and friends and not for resale in the worldwide market.
- If an author wants a logo-free option when printing out their books, the cost per book unit is higher. The company should basically charge you a set fee to have your books printed logo free.
- In order to use the services, the author must have their own ISBN number that is registered in their name. Otherwise, the author needs his own publishing imprint that they’ve purchased from Nielsens Book Data.
- If you pay for a logo-free book and the page count of your paperback book is low, it isn’t financially viable to use the pay exact model for the logo free option to print your books. Even if you don’t add in the shipping and taxes, the profits you receive on the printing cost don’t leave any room for a retail discount.
Cost of Printing:
- The cost to print your books depends on the layout you’ve chosen. The company offers a small square, standard portrait, standard landscape, large square, and large landscape.
- Depending on what size you select a soft cover books starts off at $14.99 to $21.99, however, you can’t print the large square or even the large landscape in soft cover books.
- A printed book with a dust jacket and hardcover starts off at $28.99 and go up from there. The large landscape books cost $58.99 to print.
- The company has many options to choose from and the prices vary depending on what you want.
- If you order 10 to 19 books, you’ll receive a 10% discount on your printing costs.
- Furthermore, they offer other discounts on orders over 50 books, you’ll receive a 25% discount.
Blurb’s Affiliate Program:
- You can easily join the affiliate program the company has to offer. Just advertise Blurb’s on your website or blog and earn money when people signup and use the company’s service.
- You’ll earn a 15% commission for all new customers’ orders.
- The company pays your $1 or each book that sells in their online store.
- When another website or blog owners join the affiliate program under your affiliate link, you’ll earn $10.
- Each time a person clicks on your affiliate link, it installs a 120-day cookie tracker on your website. This ensures that you’ll earn a commission when the person signs up within the next 120 days.
- The company sends out a newsletter with special promotional codes, different promotions, and codes you can use on your website to help earn money as an affiliate.
- To join the affiliate program, you’ll need to register with the company. Just fill out your online information and submit your request. The company will review your website and get back to you with their answer.
- If you’re already an affiliate for ShareASale this won’t be hard to become an affiliate for Blurb. It seems that the two sites have the same affiliate association and if you join one, you can join the other one too.
This is a legitimate publishing company that any author or photographer can use to create their own self-published books to sell. However, the company doesn’t offer an ISBN number and it is up to you to have your own. Also, Blurb’s doesn’t help distribute your books once published. The company will only add your published books to their online store. The rest is up to you and you’ll need to distribute and promote your own books online and offline if you’d like to make any money selling your published works. However, the company has many online tools for you to use. The tools help to distribute your books to over 39,000 online stores
My Thoughts About Blurb:
- The company offers you publishing software to download, install, and create your own books on your PC. They are always improving and updating the software package to make it easier for you to use.
- However, if you’re interested in selling your books to make money, you’ll need to invest in your own ISBN number. Many self-publishing companies offer an ISBN number for each author that uses their service.
- The overall printing cost seems a bit high to me. You will have a hard time selling your books for any type of profit. However, the printing service of Blurb’s is unbeatable when it comes to quality and look. You’ll have one of the nicest printed books if you use this company. They are truly a professional when it comes to printing books.
- There are many self-publishing services online. This will depend on you and what you want. If you are looking to sell your books and make a profit, then it might be best to try another service or check out the prices of another publishing company before printing order from this company.
- I think this company should do a bit more for their clients. Helping to distribute their books online to increase their sales would actually benefit the company in the long run.
- The company doesn’t offer other types of printing services such as DVD’s or even music CDs. This leaves some artists looking for a different publishing company to print their films and music.