Once upon a time...
In 2005, Blurb founder Eileen Gittins wanted to do something she thought would be relatively simple: Make a book of her own photography. The “make a book” part was possible, sure, but the costs were prohibitive. And the “simple” part? Not so much. “Why,” she thought, “should anyone have to take out a second mortgage and hire a small army just to publish a few copies of their own book?”
...there was an idea.
One year later, in 2006, Eileen launched Blurb, the world’s first platform for creating, printing, and publishing independent books. The democratization of illustrated publishing had arrived. But these weren’t just any books. They were beautiful, bookshop-quality books on premium paper stock with archival-quality binding. And anyone could make one. Literally, just one. Or two. Or ten thousand. Blurb was one of those amazing big-picture ideas made real: A mash-up of creative freedom with print-on-demand technology. It was groundbreaking. It was liberating and empowering and thrilling. And people like Eileen started making the books they’d always dreamed of, but never thought they could make.
As it turned out, the idea was a popular one
Fast forward to today. To date, Blurb authors have created more than two million books since the company started, with a new book created every minute. The books are as amazing and varied as the people making them. Photo books, cookbooks, travel books, children’s books, graphic novels, not-so-graphic novels...the list is endless. “If you build it, they will come” has never been more true than at Blurb. The question we’ve always asked our customers has been, “What will your book be?” Now we browse our online bookstore and wonder “What can’t a book be?” Because every day Blurb book-makers continue to astound us with unique takes on what constitutes a book.
From idea to industry standard: The explosion of independent publishing
As with any good idea, once it gets a little traction, others get in the game. In the past seven years, the self-publishing market has exploded. We think that’s great, because our mission from the beginning has been to empower people to self-publish. The more ways to do it, the better. The more people doing it, the better. The more books in the world...well, that’s the best part of all. That said, we think we offer a few things “the other guys” don’t.
- Our platform is built for everyone: Personal book-makers, authors of all kinds, creative professionals, small businesses, you name it.
- We have tools for every book-making skill level: An online tool that lets you make instant books from your Instagram and Facebook feeds; seamless integration with Adobe® creation tools InDesign® and Lightroom®; and our flagship tool, BookWright, that lets anyone design and print a professional-looking book and sell and distribute online.
- Books are our business. We couldn’t be more different from companies who offer photo books alongside coffee mugs and t-shirts. We built a self-publishing platform focused exclusively on making bookstore-quality print books, magazines, and ebooks.
- We support authors, not the other way around. The Blurb experience puts you, the author, in control. Everything from how you make your book to how you sell it (distribute through Amazon, to retailers around the world, or sell in the Blurb Bookshop) to how you promote it (free social sharing tools) is designed with you in mind.
So, why Blurb?
We thought you might ask. Here’s our answer: Because from the time you read this to the moment you hold a book you created yourself, every step along that journey has been thoughtfully considered and fine-tuned by book-making experts at Blurb. Could you make a photo book with a company that, say, hosts your photos online? Sure you could. But you won’t get free creation tools like BookWright (purpose-built for designing amazing books, magazines, and ebooks), the option to sell your book on Amazon or make it available to a global retail network (you know, like all those bestselling authors), or the kind of service and support people write books about.
We believe in your stories, whatever they may be, whatever they may look like. They deserve to be told. So here’s another great idea we’ll throw out there: Let’s make beautiful, amazing, incredible books together.