A publishing platform built for everyone
It’s one thing to have great products (and our beautiful print and ebooks are pretty great). It’s quite another to offer a suite of services that surround and support those products at every step along the indie publishing journey. But here at Blurb, that’s how we roll. Here’s a quick look at all of the things we do to ensure that after you’ve poured your heart and soul into making a book, you have everything you need to get that book out into the world.
Print on demand
Traditionally, one of the hurdles in self-publishing has been the upfront costs of printing. You’ve got to shell out a lot of money to cover a minimum print run. And then you have to figure out how to sell all of those books. With Blurb, that’s a non-issue. Our platform is digital press print on demand (POD). That means if you want one book, we print one book. If you want 100 books, we print 100. Or, if you want to put your book up for sale and wait for someone else to buy a copy, we’ll print it and ship it to them—you guessed it—on demand.
We’re sure you’re familiar with the expression “less is more.” Well, in our world, it’s the opposite: More is less. The cost of printing your books with Blurb goes down the more books you order. But you don’t have to order 1,000 copies to get a price break (though we’d love to see you do that). Large order discounts begin at just 10 copies, and the dollars off just ramp up from there. If you’re planning on ordering 500 copies or more, request a quote from us. We’ll set you up with custom account management and some extra Blurb love. We’ll even handle the warehousing and fulfillment if you need it.
Now, as wonderful as digital POD is, there are times when traditional offset printing makes more sense economically for both you and Blurb. So when you know you’re going to order a lot of books (say 5,000 for a major corporate event), we can help bring your costs down even further than our volume order discounts by printing with one of our offset partners.
So you’ve made an incredible book. And now you want it to find as many readers as possible. You’re in luck, because we have two great distribution options:
Trade books in our Global Retail Network get listed in the Ingram Content Group catalog, used by online retailers and thousands of bookstores around the world. You set a list price and determine the wholesale discount, we take care of the rest.
For photo paper books, the Blurb to Amazon program streamlines the process of submitting your book for sale at Amazon.com. You get to take advantage of Amazon’s reach, recognition, and search rankings. We'll take care of the setup, print your books, and ship the orders so you can focus on selling.
If you already have a significant following, Blurb’s Direct Sell gives you the tools to put your book in front of fans and friends via your favorite social media channels or on your blog or website. Our Personal Storefront lets you embed an interactive preview of your book on any webpage. Your fans can buy and share your book right from the widget or at the Blurb Bookshop. You decide what the markup is over the base price of your book, and you keep 100% of the profit.
Getting your books into the right hands is easy with Blurb. We ship to over 70 countries worldwide, from Argentina to the Virgin Islands (we’re working on Zimbabwe so we can do the whole A–Z thing). We offer up to four shipping options for most destinations, with both trackable and non-trackable options. We ship via FedEx, UPS, USPS, and, in some areas, the local postal service. Most books arrive in 7–11 days (that includes the time to print).
And now a brief word (or several) about colour management
Few things are more important in a photo book (or any illustrated book) than colour management. The difference between what you see on your computer monitor and what you see on a printed page can be huge. So we’ve spent a lot of time figuring out how to help everyone⎯from first-time book-makers to graphic design professionals⎯get the best possible book made from a colour management perspective.
Several variables come into play between your monitor and our global print network. In the print on demand world (more about that below), books⎯covers and pages⎯are printed on different print devices, which means some variations are inevitable. So that’s why we created the Blurb ICC Profile. What is that? We thought you might ask. Here’s more info than you probably ever dreamed of⎯but it’s worth a read if you want to make the best possible book you can make. The bottom line: It allows you to “soft-proof” your images so that what you see is what you get.