Build a better Blurb Badge

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Six weeks ago we released a fun little feature called Blurb Badges. In a nutshell, Badges are simple snippets of HTML that authors can copy and paste into their own site, blog, or even an email footer to promote and link to their Blurb book or bookstore.

The idea has definitely taken off – Blurbarians are proudly posting their Blurb badges all over the place. In fact, the response has been so great that we decided to give our Badge widget a facelift, giving authors even more options.

BadgeExamples Build a better Blurb Badge
The premise is the same: Simply pick the book you want to promote, and then customize the badge to your heart’s content. Take your pick of badge dimensions, a handful of border styles, and a palette of Blurb-friendly colors. Or, if you want to promote your entire bookstore, simply grab one of our classic bookstore buttons. The choice is yours.

Keep in mind, the book is never closed when it comes to our badge widgets. Are there other styles, formats, or options you’d like to see in the future? Leave us a note in the comments section below to keep us in the loop.

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pin it button Build a better Blurb Badge

21 Comments

  1. I like the idea but the choices right now are a bit limited. Would use it if there was a black background option. More options in general would make it more appealing. Thanks!

      May 13, 2007 – 2:10 pm   Permalink
  2. Good point. We’re definitely going to continue to offer more layout and color options in the near future, and darker backgrounds are at the top of the list. Thanks for the feedback!

    By Jack
      May 14, 2007 – 11:10 am   Permalink
  3. I would respectfully submit that by using a badge and further advertising for blurb, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. Directing your customers to the wholesale or manufactures site where they can see just exactly what the product they are interested in costs you has never been an ideal situation in my humble opinion. The way many photographic print labs and wholesalers handle this is to give the client (you) a mock storefront, where there is little or no branding which leads to higher profits. This would be my suggestion for blurb.

      May 18, 2007 – 5:27 pm   Permalink
  4. Hi Lee – You make an interesting point. Of course, we think badges offer the best of both worlds: A direct path to your book, a profit on what you sell (and people are selling!), and as you mentioned, exposing more people to Blurb in hopes they make their own books, which is indeed happening.

    By Kathy
      May 19, 2007 – 6:28 am   Permalink
  5. I certainly agree with Lee Craker. Tiny businesses want to look like big, “real” businesses. The last thing they want is to advertise their service bureaus, to make themselves look amateurish to their customers, and to educate potential competitors. I’ve built several online stores for clients, and in EVERY case, the client wanted their own branding on everything with their outsourcers’, vendors’, and suppliers’ role in the experience masked to look as though it was all being done by the client company themselves. They certainly do NOT want their outsourcers trying to reach out to their own customers.

    I haven’t yet explored your service offerings, so you may already have this covered, but for myself and others for whom I may build a website, I want vendors that stay behind the curtain and make an author in a garage in Palo Alto look like a Major Publishing House. The less visible the outside vendors, the more impressive the “publisher” appears to his customers, and that’s what I think a lot of us will be looking for from our service providers.

    By Glen
      May 19, 2007 – 3:22 pm   Permalink
  6. Hi Glen – Thanks for writing. I understand better what you both are talking about. I’ll be sure to pass your comments on to the team. Feedback like this is great and we do make changes and offer services based on customer needs all the time. Thanks!

    By Kathy
      May 20, 2007 – 6:38 am   Permalink
  7. Lee and Glen – both great points. Blurb Badges are more for non-business users that want a simple way to promote their book from their personal blog or web site, without having to wrestle with any graphics or code.

    For small business users, we currently have a few offerings which include:

    The ability to use your own logo (rather than Blurb’s) in your book.
    http://www.blurb.com/create/book/logo_pricing

    Set Your Price, which allows you to set the retail price of your book, allowing you to keep the profits.
    http://www.blurb.com/my/seller/info

    We’re always working on new functionality to help both individuals and small businesses create and sell books, and feedback like yours is extremely helpful. Thanks!

    By Jack
      May 20, 2007 – 12:43 pm   Permalink
  8. I am a new member with Blurb, and so far I LOVE the product. I have already made two books in the last week, one for myself and one for a client / friend and I can’t tell you how easy it was and fun to do. Now, as far as the badges, one other suggestion for them might be to allow random or rotating ads for people that have multiple books. I realize I could write that code myself, but it’d be nice if you guys delivered that option instead, so that way I could put the code on my site once and then do any management of what shows up via a control panel or admin page on the blurb site. Just my $.02.

    Thanks and keep up the good work,

    Jason

      July 24, 2007 – 6:59 am   Permalink
  9. Hello…just posted my Blurb Badge…..on my website and now am waiting for the sales..lololol

    I saw you on a Webcam Commercial and thougth I would put together the book to help those in this electronci age myself…

    Love your concept and looking forward to adding many more Publications as we were former Publishers in New York, and across the USA

    JEZ

      July 25, 2007 – 11:42 am   Permalink
  10. Hey Jason –

    Thanks for the compliments. Having a “multi-book” badge is a great idea, and something we’ve been discussing a lot lately. I’ll post back to this thread when we have something new for you to check out.

    Jack

    By Jack
      July 25, 2007 – 1:05 pm   Permalink
  11. I think one of the early decisions Blurb will need to make is who is there primary customer. Professional photograhers want a unique and professional image. This means the Burb Badge will need to be sensitive to this need and not give a “small company you can do this yourself image” to the client. The better job you can do to help the pros market these books to their customers like it is a real published work will play best with this market. If you market it as a “you can do this to” to their customers your professional clients will quickly look for other options. At the end of the day you will need to make this decision based on your internal ROI. I will be watching to see how you work though this complex decison. I haven’t yet published my first book but am very interested in how you will allow me to positon myself with my clients. Thanks. http://www.ohlsenphotography.com

    By Dave
      August 9, 2007 – 9:52 pm   Permalink
  12. Hi Dave –

    Great feedback. Not surprisingly, we have several professional photographers using Blurb, and we’re always looking for new ways to better suit their needs.

    Aside from more professional-level badges, what other features would you like to see from us?

    By Jack
      August 10, 2007 – 11:43 am   Permalink
  13. Thanks Jack for the response. I have been working on my book now for a few weeks and still have much more to do before I am ready. I am sure it is difficult for Blurb to respond to all of the suggestions or ideas people offer. I well understand on your end the issues with trying to be all things to all people as you develop your software. If un checked you will end up with a “creeping elegance” that prevents you from offering your product at the price point you need to attract them. It comes down to a balance of price vs performance.

    My book will have large photographs with significant amounts of text. The capability I long for most is the ability to resize and drag both the text and photo boxes around on the page to really make my pages more customized. This way my text could wrap around my photos and I could have full control over the layout of the page. The templates are quite limiting when you work with them for awhile. I am not sure just adding more templates will solve the problem it seems like creative control over the software is what is needed so the user can take an existing template and then resize the text box or have it actually wrap the associated image if it is desired by the customer. Think about a very basic program like Microsoft PowerPoint as an example that can manage text and images in this manner.

    I will want to turn my book over to an editor to review the text, clean it up as needed, as well as potentially re-write text to make it flow better with the images. This will be a bit more awkward than I would like as I will have to have them edit it again in the software Blurb offers. It would be a wonderful capability if for example the document could be extracted into a Word document for an editor to work from.

    That’s about it for now. I am enjoying the process and will look forward to seeing the first output of my labors in hard copy. I will be anxious to see if the printing will meet my standards when done through Blurb. I have read comments on both sides of the fence on this question so I will just have to wait and see.

    Thanks again for your interest in my comments. Regards, Dave

    By Dave
      August 12, 2007 – 11:03 am   Permalink
  14. I agree with Dave and a couple of the other commenters who are professionals and do not want to send their customers to buy a book, only to have their customers see how easy it would be to publish their own book. I would like the Blurb brand to more in be in the background as well, as others have expressed. I understand that a pro can use their own logo instead of the blurb logo… however, if I want to see my blurb-published book from my website, wouldn’t the “buy this book” link take my potential customer directly to Blurb, where they could browse around and find out about publishing their own photos/blogs/recipes/poetry themselves?

    I guess what it really boils down to is “will my book be unique enough and interesting enough to make people want to buy it rather than try to publish something themselves?”

    I have been working with my sister who wants to make a book from her sailing blog. I’m excited about blurb’s possibilities and we have already started the process of designing the book for her on blurb. I will wait and see how hers turns out — then if I like it I will be one of those jumping up and down with excitement and telling everybody else about blurb. So I guess I contradict myself: I’d be one of your best advertisers if I like the product. Still, Dave has a good point.

      August 27, 2007 – 7:56 pm   Permalink
  15. Hey Dave – Sorry, I somehow missed your last reply. Those are some really great ideas. You’re absolutely right about it being hard (and not necessarily a good idea) to try and be all things to all people.

    But, one thing that is very important to us is providing the right solutions for professional photographers, artists and designers. Being able to remove the Blurb logo is a simple step in that direction, and more are coming.

    The layout options you were speaking of: in the next version of BookSmart, there are some interesting new template solutions that will be good to get your feedback on.

    By Jack
      August 28, 2007 – 11:06 am   Permalink
  16. Hi Maureen -

    Looking forward to hearing how your sister’s book turns out.

    From all the great feedback in this string, it sounds like the ability to be able to sell your book online, but not necessarily from the regular Blurb site, is a desired feature?

    By Jack
      August 28, 2007 – 11:10 am   Permalink
  17. Congratulations! Blurb is a great and site with huge potential. I’m really glad to have discovered it! I am what you might call a special needs author. I write music instruction books that are about 200 pgs.each in length and require sturdy spiral wire bindings so they can be opened wide to a 2-page spread and lie flat. Obviously, hard cover books and perfect bound books won’t work. Blurb doesn’t offer bindings like these yet, but would like to suggest that you consider doing so.
    Ned

    By Ned
      October 9, 2007 – 1:11 pm   Permalink
  18. I just published my first book (Painful Paradise) with blurb approximately 2 weeks ago. I’ve had a few sleepless nights… wondering if I should have added more color on my pages, and maybe I should have done this or maybe I should have done that, all for not! I received my copy a few days ago, and I am so pleased at the way it looks (very professional). I haven’t had the chance to advertise much but have sold two books already. I just wanted to let you know how wonderful I think blurb is, and I plan to do a lot of “word of mouth” on your behalf. Thank You and Happy New Year to all!

    By Wanda Thurston
      December 31, 2007 – 2:31 am   Permalink
  19. A wonderful additional product that would be nice for Blurb to offer is a spiral bound Desk calendar weekly or daily.

      January 1, 2008 – 7:41 am   Permalink
  20. How do I insert a badge on my flikr page?

    By Patricia Cuneo
      August 19, 2009 – 6:49 pm   Permalink
  21. I don’t know if any Blurb people still monitor these but I can’t believe you haven’t gotten around to making W3C standards-compliant Badge code. I’d love to use them but I am not going to break my site with bad code. Thanks

      September 17, 2009 – 5:27 am   Permalink

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