Blurb’s infinite library

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Before I started at Blurb I had this whole fantasy that in the office there would be a library containing every book ever made with Blurb. And while there are books everywhere here, my idea turned out to be just a fantasy. While they all exist electronically (and you can view any public book in the Blurb Bookstore), a physical library would be impossible. We’d probably need a building the size of a small public library to house them all.

And then one day, I stumbled on a strange room full of books. The books had nearly identical covers, all geometric, grids and shapes (like a Jasper Johns painting, without the paint). With utilitarian titles like “Standard Portrait 8×10 ImageWrap 150 Pages” and “Standard Square 7×7 110 Pages.” The contents were equally mundane: randomly chosen text in different sizes, the same images repeated so many times (some in color, some in black and white) that even Andy Warhol would be bored.

This, I learned, was our test-book library. Any time we make a change in our books, any time we create a new size or introduce a new paper type or end sheet, we make new test books. Lots of them. We scrutinize them endlessly. We look at the bindings, the colors, and the image fidelity.

While other books exist to be read, these books exist only so that other books can exist. In a way, this is the library of every Blurb book ever made — as well as the many of the books still to be made. They’re pure possibility, an infinite library. A book nerd’s dream (with a nod to Jorge Luis Borges).

They’re paper, ink, and board. The only thing missing is the content. That’s where you come in.

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4 Comments

  1. It is discouraging that any photograph you post on the web can be downloade by anyone. How does BLURB protects authors/photographers from this problem in ebooks?

    By Cat
      October 26, 2011 – 6:25 pm   Permalink
  2. Hey Cat,

    Putting your work in an ebook is, in many ways, more secure than just posting it on the web (where it can be easily downloaded from a browser). However, someone would have to really work to get the full-resolution original image out of an ebook. What ebooks provide bookmakers is a way to easily distribute their work for a low price, making the option of buying the content much more appealing than going through the work of stealing it.

    best,

    Kent

    By Kent
      October 27, 2011 – 10:14 am   Permalink
  3. I have made 6 books of vacations and family and am a big fan of Blurb. I am 81 and have senior friends that I believe would enjoy doing the same. Do you have any training or materials that would provide an easy introduction to making photo books ?

    Jim Wordsworth

    By Jim Wordsworth
      October 31, 2011 – 5:36 am   Permalink
  4. Jim,
    We will be introducing a series of new video tutorials soon. We’ll announce it on the blog and via email. In the meantime, your friends can find some great information on our Tips and Tutorials page and on our Webinars page.
    best,
    Eileen H.

      October 31, 2011 – 4:09 pm   Permalink

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