If DIY self-publishing platform Blurb was celebrating a birthday today—it would be 21! The company was actually founded in 2005, but today, Blurb finally got the keys to the house and put its big-boy pants on. In 2008 I described the company as something of a sleeping giant of the self-publishing services world.
The company has finally placed itself on an even keel with other similar competitors like CreateSpace and Lulu when it comes to distribution offerings. The California-based platform has agreed a global distribution deal with Ingram Content Group allowing its authors to make their books available to established retail channels
in both print and digital formats.
In April this year, TIPM reported that Blurb
had added Amazon as a retail channel and critically also added ISBN allocation. This really was the final key to placing Blurb in a position to fully roll out an expanded distribution option to the retail trade. Books intended for trade distribution
will be available in three trim (size) options for self-published authors—5×8, 6×9 and 8×10.
One of Blurb’s real strengths is not just offering online publishing tools, but the ability to download BookWright
, its book design software, and use it locally on a computer. You can also create fixed-layout ebooks for Apple iBooks or reflowable ebooks that can be sold through Amazon’s Kindle Store. It also has the versatility to offer templates and plug-ins for Adobe® and InDesign®, design programs used by professional publishing designers.
You can read the full press release below.
BLURB LAUNCHES LOWER PRICED TRADE BOOKS, GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION VIA INGRAM, AND OUTPUT TO REFLOWABLE EBOOKS FOR AMAZON KINDLE
New competitively priced Trade Books and a collaboration with Ingram across 39,000 locations empower indie authors to drive new revenue across global markets
San Francisco, Calif. — August 19, 2014 — Blurb, the indie book and magazine publishing platform, today announced three new standard Trade Book sizes, a global retail distribution collaboration with Ingram Content Group, and output to reflowable ebooks for all Amazon Kindle devices and Kindle readers. These milestones represent key pieces of Blurb’s ongoing mission to democratize publishing.
Blurb now has the broadest publishing platform available, enabling independent authors to publish books, magazines, and ebooks in multiple formats, and then sell direct on Blurb.com or via distribution programs with Amazon and Ingram.
“Authors, like artists, want two things: Control over their product and process, and fair compensation for their work,” said Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO, Blurb. “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.”
New Book Range
The world has shifted towards increasingly visual experiences, yet the cost to publish these visually rich books has historically resulted in dampened sales. With the availability of three new industry-standard Trade Book sizes – 5×8, 6×9, and 8×10 – and lower-cost paper options that support content like drawings, photographs, maps, and tables, Blurb authors can now bypass historical price point and distribution barriers.
Blurb authors can now design, publish, and sell virtually any kind of book including how-to books, cookbooks, novels, magazines, photo books, business books, graphic novels, and more. Authors can publish digital and print formats from a single file, output to Amazon Kindle, sell on Blurb.com, and via the new Ingram initiative, be available for distribution to over 39,000 locations worldwide at retail and online stores.
“Ingram is committed to getting content into readers’ hands quickly and efficiently, no matter where they are in the world,” said Kelly Gallagher, Vice President of Content Acquisition, Ingram Content Group. “We are pleased to support Blurb with Ingram’s comprehensive distribution network, as Blurb grows the reach of content for the customers they support.”
Blurb’s work with Ingram enables Blurb authors to choose from multiple discount options, delivering more wholesale pricing flexibility, driving more reach and discoverability for authors’ books.
“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 Gittins.
Blurb’s new Trade Books come in three industry-standard trim sizes: 5×8, 6×9, and 8×10, in uncoated text-weight paper.
Trade Books are available in both hardcover and softcover, and all formats are eligible for global distribution through Ingram, giving Blurb authors a much broader audience reach.
Authors have two print options: Economy and Standard. Economy printing offers a lower print-on-demand starting price ($2.99 for color, $2.49 for black and white), while Standard printing features a wider color range and richer blacks.
Blurb also announced a new beta ebook release that enables text import via RTF plus reflowable output for the Kindle. The RTF Import delivers a critical update to Blurb’s flagship bookmaking desktop app, Blurb BookWright, allowing authors to import text files created via word processing tools. Authors can then easily distribute their ebooks to all Amazon Kindle devices and most ereaders; this service is free to Blurb authors during the beta period.
Blurb® was founded on the premise that everyone – not just the talented few – should be able to publish, share, and distribute beautifully realized books with first class production values. By creating a business model that enables the company to profit on a unit of one, Blurb has opened up the world of publishing to everyone who has access to a computer and a story to tell.
Blurb’s indie publishing platform offers the ability to design, publish, share, market, distribute, and sell both digital and print books. Further, Blurb puts independent publishers in full control by providing a comprehensive publishing toolkit: a suite of free book design tools including Blurb BookWright™, an Adobe InDesign® plugin and Adobe Lightroom® integration, a variety of print and distribution options, book format and paper choices, and online selling and social sharing tools.
Launched in 2006 by CEO Eileen Gittins, Blurb now enjoys global scale via more than one million book authors, resulting in nearly three million unique book titles so far.
Mick Rooney – Publishing Consultant
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