An Open Letter from Blurb’s CEO

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Eileen Blurb31 An Open Letter from Blurbs CEO

I have not been this excited about what’s on deck in a very long time.

Not that we’ve been sitting on our hands. This past year we introduced our super streamlined online bookmaking tool, Bookify; significantly upgraded our other book making tools - BookSmart and PDF to Book workflow; launched new ways for you to share your books online (BookShow); plus offered a new Premium Paper (Lustre); and a new trim size for text-driven books (Trade 6×9). We also continued our international expansion with a French edition of our service and increased investments in Canada, Germany, and Australia. Whew.

Other good things happened too: We rolled out chat support to great acclaim; we opened the fantastically popular Pop-Up stores in London and New York; and we launched a comprehensive branding project to get laser focused on who we are, what we do, and for whom.

The results? In 2010 we added nearly a quarter of a million new (paying) customers, delivered just shy of 1.4 million books, and amazingly, processed two new book orders every second during our annual peak.

But wait, there’s more. Really.

This year is going to top all that. While revealing all would be no fun – here’s a sneak peek at some of the things coming your way:

    1. You’ve heard of Apple’s iPad, right? And a zillion other tablets that were just launched at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas? Let’s just say that you’ll be able to enjoy the same level of beautifully designed books you’ve created and appreciated in print with Blurb, on these devices very soon.

 

    1. Less is good unless you want to do something more. And that’s what we’ve heard from our creative professional customers – they need a “bespoke” book offering with choices for papers, end sheets, and cover materials, and…well you get the idea. Yes, it will cost more money. And yes, it won’t be for every project. But, for those projects that make the cut, it will be wonderful. Really wonderful.

 

    1. Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

 

    1. For those of you who would like to profit from your books – broader online distribution outlets might be nice. Yes?

 

    1. And finally, you’ll see more of us this year, hopefully in a neighborhood near you as we take some form of Blurb Academy on the road.

 

    1. Oh, and you may see us in a favorite magazine or even television show. Stay tuned.

 

  1. OK – really finally. Check out our ongoing musings and thoughts on the future of the book at http://next.blurb.com/

These are definitely exciting times for Blurb. Our plans for this year remind me of childhood visits to Disneyland. Back then ticket books had only one or two “E” class tickets for the fanciest and most popular rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. Ever since those trips my family refers to the best, the most spectacular, the most special anything as an “E” ticket ride.

So strap on your seat belts, people, for what we expect will be an “E” ticket 2011 ride.

Happy bookmaking and storytelling, all.

Best,
Eileen Gittins signature An Open Letter from Blurbs CEO

Eileen Gittins
CEO, Founder and President
Blurb

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30 Comments

  1. All of this sounds really great Eileen.

    I’ve had well over a hundred books printed by you now and have been very happy indeed. I like all that you have said above. Looks like it will be a great 2011 for you.

    Now – if you could just find a way to shave a few percent off the price too……

    :-))

    By Ken Douglas
      January 19, 2011 – 12:25 pm   Permalink
  2. I took my mother, 94 to Churchill, Manitoba to see polar bears in the wild. We spent 7 hours touring the tundra on a tundra buggy and I took lots of pictures. The next day, my mother had hand-written six pages of her day-long adventure and when I saw them, I offered to edit them. Inspiration! Why not put my photos, her text, and a few captions together and have it all published by Blurb.com. When she opened her Christmas present we were all very excited. Her name was on the cover as an author and she was featured in some of the pictures. She still carries it around her seniors home showing it off to all who will look. Thanks, Blurb! It was the best Christmas present ever; for her and for me.

    By Greg Giesbrecht
      January 19, 2011 – 1:24 pm   Permalink
  3. Brilliant news! I love the Blurb philosophy for publishing. Totally liberating. Utterly the future. Wish I had a time machine to go forward a few months … I will watch the site with great interest. Oh, and expect my continued support through publishing more books ;-)

      January 19, 2011 – 2:17 pm   Permalink
  4. All good news.
    I am with blurb because of booksmart and those neat previews and promo widgets.
    I had also published with lulu previously. Now I was informed that they automatically offer your books on e-bay and amazon.
    Any plans in that direction on blurb?

      January 19, 2011 – 2:58 pm   Permalink
  5. Hi Eileen, all my best wishes for a happy new year.
    I’d be very interested by a French version if it means the books can be distributed in France or is only for Québec?
    As for now when one clicks to Français one gets nothing in French :(
    Soon fixed i guess..
    A+

      January 19, 2011 – 3:11 pm   Permalink
  6. Congratulations on a wonderful service, no wonder people are flocking to blurb. I have just one worry, your shipping does not cover my country Maldives. While in New Zealand doing a PhD I have produced four books through Blurb. They were printed and delivered upto expectation and more. Right now, I am returning home (Maldives) and would be hardpressed to do anything with Blurb because there is no delivery there. I hope Maldives will be covered in your shipping destination soon. Its not that way out, well serviced by all major airlines and courier companies. I hope to continue using Blurb for my furture book projects and hope the shipping issue will not hinder me using your excellent service.

    By Faisal
      January 19, 2011 – 11:00 pm   Permalink
  7. When is the general time frame for the iPad books? I’m really excited about that option and can hardly wait!

      January 20, 2011 – 11:19 am   Permalink
  8. Great list. I am anxious to see how No.1 will be implemented. No.4 is the big questionmark? ;).

      January 20, 2011 – 12:02 pm   Permalink
  9. Yep, we’re working on it. Thanks for chiming in. Great things to come!
    best,
    Eileen H.

      January 20, 2011 – 1:31 pm   Permalink
  10. Hi Emily,
    We’re just plowing ahead and as soon we we’re ready to unveil, you and all the other Blurbarians will be the first to know. Keep the creativity and the comments coming.
    best,
    Eileen H.

      January 20, 2011 – 1:32 pm   Permalink
  11. Great letter to receive in my inbox – a very forward thinking company and exciting times ahead.

    By Jess
      January 21, 2011 – 4:26 pm   Permalink
  12. Please, please, please, tell us that you will offer leather covers?! My first results with you were awesome… I need a leather cover to complete my new portfolio projects. I am aware that the cost will be more for a leather cover. You did hint at new cover options…

    Thanks for a great product!

    Chris

      January 23, 2011 – 3:34 pm   Permalink
  13. Chris,
    We’ll keep you posted on the developments. The team is working hard at putting together a great selection of “bespoke” options and I’ll pass your comment along.
    best,
    Eileen

      January 24, 2011 – 2:40 pm   Permalink
  14. Thanks for this great update on the future of Blurb! I’m very interested in #2 and #4 and am currently designing a project that might benefit from new choices for papers and covers, etc. Like the other comments, I’m anxiously awaiting a time frame as I’d prefer to order my book and begin selling it only after I see what the new options are.

    By Nicole
      January 25, 2011 – 1:53 pm   Permalink
  15. Can you post a time-line for the “bespoke books” availability? Also, I’m wondering if the “bespoke” books will offer higher quality printing – i.e., sharper images, more brilliant colours, etc.,?

    By Anne
      January 25, 2011 – 3:54 pm   Permalink
  16. Hi Anne,
    We’re as excited as you are about introducing bespoke Blurb books – but we’re not quite ready to put out specific dates yet. We’ll definitely keep you updated as things progress, so stay posted.
    As far as printing quality goes, we’ll still be using our print-on-demand (POD) technology (it’s how we’re able to deliver professional-quality, affordable books to you), and though we get close, POD doesn’t quite attain the quality of offset printing. But if you’re serious about getting the best possible color for image in your Blurb book, check out our Color Management Center for some great advice and tips.
    Thanks,
    Lauren

      January 26, 2011 – 10:49 am   Permalink
  17. Hi Nicole,
    We’re moving full steam ahead on bespoke books and new distribution channels, and as soon as we’re ready to launch you and all Blurbarians will be the first to know!
    Thanks for the comments – great to hear your support and ideas.
    Lauren

      January 26, 2011 – 11:20 am   Permalink
  18. Hi Faisal,
    We’re very glad you’re happy with your PhD thesis book – thanks for using Blurb. We’re always adding new shipping destinations, and thanks for the suggestion. Please check in with Customer Support to find out more about global shipping.
    Thanks,
    Lauren

      January 26, 2011 – 11:21 am   Permalink
  19. Hi Greg,
    Thanks for the kudos and your support. We’re as excited as you are about future plans, and you and all Blurbarians will be the first to know as we move forward.
    Lauren

      January 26, 2011 – 11:23 am   Permalink
  20. Thanks Greg! Sounds like a great adventure, a great book, and so glad your mother enjoyed her gift, too.
    Lauren

      January 26, 2011 – 11:24 am   Permalink
  21. Hi Ken,
    Thanks so much for your support and creativity – we’re looking forward to sharing all the new developments with you.
    Lauren

      January 26, 2011 – 11:26 am   Permalink
  22. Thanks Eileen, I’m looking forward to more options in 2011. I published my book (http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/1644955) in June 2010 and it’s been far more successful than I’d imagined.

    I’m thrilled with the possibility of an iBook (or kindle friendly) edition as well as the hint of any kind of a distribution deal that will enable blurb books to be sold at amazon, bn.com or to be available in your neighborhood bookstores.

    My experience with blurb has been 100% positive and I hope for more good things and exciting options in 2011.

      January 26, 2011 – 3:35 pm   Permalink
  23. I’m very much looking forward to hear more about the choices for papers, end sheets, and cover materials – as for us professional wedding photographers BLURB is not an option. Not yet!

    I have done lot’s of other book with blurb, and they are fantastic!

    By uli
      January 31, 2011 – 11:54 pm   Permalink
  24. Hi Uli,
    We’re always glad to hear the kudos, so thanks. And we’re also excited about the new bespoke book options to come – they’ll give all Blurbarians some great new choices (though plenty of wedding photographers are currently using Blurb to make professional-quality wedding photo albums).
    Lauren

      February 1, 2011 – 1:06 pm   Permalink
  25. Hi Philippe,
    Thanks for your message – and please try clicking on “Français” to get to our French site again. It should be in good working order, and we hope you’ll enjoy it!
    Lauren

      February 1, 2011 – 1:21 pm   Permalink
  26. Dear Eileen

    Thank you for the great work you and your entire organization do for new writers like me. My first Blurb published book The McLeod Scotties, sold its FIRST copy on Amazon today!!! Amazon ordered additional copies for inventory a few minutes ago. Of course that means new orders for you too.

    I am working on book number two now!

    Best Regards

    Ken McLeod
    Chandler AZ

      February 9, 2011 – 8:03 am   Permalink
  27. Great news. I’ve been looking into Blurb for a while now, and I’m working on my first book on booksmart. I really hope more distribution channels become available, and also ISBN bar code. ISBN feature I think will be so great in so many levels. I hope that’s in the works as well. Keep up the good work!

      February 9, 2011 – 10:30 am   Permalink
  28. Hi Kay,
    Easier distribution is definitely on the docket. We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, have fun with your book. Looking forward to seeing it in the Blurb bookstore.
    best,
    Eileen H.

      February 9, 2011 – 1:22 pm   Permalink
  29. Regarding the bespoke options…
    Will you be making any strides towards other types of binding—-lay-flat binding, or a binding more amenable to journaling?—, or will the changes mostly involve what materials are used (papers, covers). I’m waiting for these options to be revealed so that I can print my wedding album with you. I’ve already printed copies for my parents and mother-in-law, but I want something snazzier for my new husband and I. Are you considering photo paper as a paper option? I love and exclusively use your premium paper upgrade, but am also I’m willing to pay the prices for these kind of even higher quality add-ons.

      February 25, 2011 – 10:00 am   Permalink
  30. Hi Joan,
    There are plenty of improvements in the works so stay tuned. We hear you and are busily working on bespoke improvements as I type. Thanks so much for your comment. It’s always great to hear straight from bookmaking Blurbarians and all your comments get passed along to our product development team.
    best,
    Eileen
    Blurb Voice

      March 1, 2011 – 10:08 am   Permalink

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