Get PDF Books, Now at Blurb

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Your books, on almost any device

If you’ve ordered a printed copy of one of your books recently, you’ve probably noticed we now offer a cool little add-on: A PDF version of your book. Now, any book, made with any of our tools, can also be converted to a convenient PDF. For those keeping score at home, Blurb now offers printed books, ebooks for the iPad, and PDFs for, well, just about every device.

Here’s why we think it’s so cool:

1)   Instantly yours: Order the PDF version along with your printed book and you’ll have something to enjoy while your book is printed and shipped to you.

2)   Nearly everywhere: Pretty much every device is configured to handle PDFs: computers, tablets, smart phones, and ereaders (like the Kindle 2).

3)   Saveable, shareable: Once you purchase your PDF, you can show it off on your tablet, share it with a cloud-based storage service (like Dropbox), put it on a flash drive, even make it downloadab­le from your website (great for business white papers).

Don’t want the PDF copy? That’s ok. Just remove it from your cart. You can always order it later. Keep in mind that these aren’t “soft proofs,” meaning they won’t contain crop marks and they’re only in screen resolution.

Want a PDF of a book you’ve already made? Just go to your bookstore page, select a book, and order the PDF. Once you do that you can sell your book as a PDF alongside your print book – just enable this in the sellers options on your Book Details page.

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  1. Sorry, can’t see where to order a PDF copy. Went to my last published book, only shows make an ebook. Also, is there a charge for this?
    cheers, Roz
    ps, as you have a relationship with Red Bubble, would it not be an idea to have links on our RB sites to your books?

      September 27, 2012 – 11:45 pm   Permalink
  2. I can’t seem to download my .pdf file I have adobe 9. when I download the file it seems to be functioning but nothing arrives at my destination.

      September 28, 2012 – 6:29 am   Permalink
  3. Hey Tim,

    That’s odd. It’s probably best if you contact our Support Team. They can help you figure it out.



    By Kent
      September 28, 2012 – 11:11 am   Permalink
  4. Hey Roz,

    You’ll find the ability to Download the PDF in the “Order Summary” panel on our “Customize Your Book” page. All you’ll need to do is select the book you want to order in PDF form, then choose to order 0 printed copies and make sure that the PDF option is selected.



    By Kent
      September 28, 2012 – 11:16 am   Permalink
  5. Would like to know pricing of a PDF-ed book, even an estimate, BEFORE ordering.

    By T Lux
      September 28, 2012 – 11:49 am   Permalink
  6. Hey T Lux,

    The PDF version is $4.99 right now. You’ll see the option for it in your shopping cart.



    By Kent
      September 28, 2012 – 3:12 pm   Permalink
  7. Is there a demo of your pdf generation of a book. It would be nice to see it. I’d like to know how you do the cover pdf conversion and what it looks like in a pdf.



      September 28, 2012 – 3:19 pm   Permalink
  8. I would like you to explain why you charge such outrageous prices for my books. I really enjoy using Booksmart to create my book, as it allows me total control, but the one thing I don’t like is the very high prices you ask. After all, you do no editing, no proofing, no nothing except just printing. I realize most all of our products are specialty ones, not mass market material, but still, don’t you think you could charge more resaonable prices? A lot of people, a lot, have remarked to me about the exorbitant prices they would have to pay for a copy of one of my books. Can you please look at this and reduce the cost to a more affordable level?

    By clyman
      September 28, 2012 – 4:29 pm   Permalink
  9. Can you give us an idea of how large the file size is for a PDF photo book of 40 or 60 pages is? It would be good to know since some downloads are limited to 2GB’s.

      September 28, 2012 – 4:38 pm   Permalink
  10. Please give detailed instructions on how to add a PDF copy to my books so I can sell that version also.

    By clyman
      September 28, 2012 – 5:00 pm   Permalink
  11. This is pretty cool. I’ve downloaded two of my photo books, and they look nice and crisp. The thing is, I design the books with a two-page spread in mind. The single pages look odd or worse alone. I can’t figure out how to get Adobe Reader to show me spreads. Is that possible?. Also, the cover of my book is cropped, cutting off part of the title and subtitle. I would not want to offer it for sale. Can you fix that?

      September 28, 2012 – 9:27 pm   Permalink
  12. Does the PDF file have a Blurb watermark?

    By Mark
      September 28, 2012 – 10:14 pm   Permalink
  13. Seems like a great idea. However, I would never order a PDF book of a book I have created for print, since the photos need to be processed lighter for print than for viewing on the average viewer’s monitor, which is uncalibrated and probably set on the bright side, if not actually overly bright.

    But for doing a separate version for pdf, or just a pdf version, I like the idea

      September 28, 2012 – 11:16 pm   Permalink
  14. My book, Playing Pool by the Numbers, listed under, billiard instruction , is well researched and thought out. It just sits here month after month. What steps need to be taken to get this material in the hands of Pool Players nation wide?

    By Rick
      September 29, 2012 – 4:50 am   Permalink
  15. Is book purchase required or can you purchase the PDF only?

    By Darcy
      September 29, 2012 – 8:13 am   Permalink
  16. € 4,99 to get ONLY a PDF version???

    It thought it was free!!!!!!!


    By Marco
      September 29, 2012 – 8:59 am   Permalink
  17. I can’t find the “customize your book” link. The book is already published using Booksmart – how do I get a PDF version?

    By Rich McKay
      September 29, 2012 – 11:00 am   Permalink
  18. Hey Rich,

    Just go in as if you were ordering another copy of your book – make sure to de-select the print copy though when you select the PDF – unless you need another print copy.



    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 10:40 am   Permalink
  19. Hey Marco,

    No, it’s something we charge for in this form. Perhaps you were thinking of ebooks? Right now you can make a free ebook of your printed book.



    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 10:42 am   Permalink
  20. Hey Darcy,

    You will need to have purchased a printed copy at one point. But if you’ve already bought that printed copy, you can just get the PDF version. Just remember to de-select the printed copy when you checkout.



    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 10:43 am   Permalink
  21. Hey Rick,

    A lot of what goes into promoting a self-published book involves getting your book out to those communities. Try bulletin boards, Facebook pages, and discussion groups. It also helps to establish yourself via blogs and social media. We wrote a blog post on promoting your self published book that you might find useful:

    best of luck!


    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 10:50 am   Permalink
  22. Hey David,

    I think a lot of people will be happy with the PDF output as it is, but that’s good feedback. I’m not sure if differently calibrated PDFs is something we’ll offer, but I’ll mention it.



    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 10:53 am   Permalink
  23. Hey Mark,

    It does not have a watermark. But keep in mind that it’s designed for reading on screens and isn’t print quality.



    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 10:54 am   Permalink
  24. Hello Kalpit,

    We don’t have a demo right now, but it may be something we can offer. I’ll ask.



    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 11:01 am   Permalink
  25. If the book has bleeds, will the pdf come with standard bleed settings of .125? Does it come in spreads or single pages?

    By Heather
      October 1, 2012 – 11:11 am   Permalink
  26. Hello Clyman

    I’m glad you like BookSmart, but I understand your frustration. There actually are a lot of costs to us even beyond printing (like employing the awesome people who make and continually update BookSmart). Having said that, I understand pricing can be a hinderance to sellers, so it’s something we’re looking at. Thank you for the feedback.



    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 11:14 am   Permalink
  27. Hello Clyman,

    First, you’ll need to order a PDF copy for yourself. Once you do that, you’ll configure it for sale like any other book format, under the “Sell” tab on your book’s details page.



    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 11:25 am   Permalink
  28. Hey Tony,

    Thanks, we think it’s pretty cool too. There are some ways to configure Adobe Reader to show two-page spreads accurately:


    Unfortunately, Adobe Reader will show a gap or dotted-line between pages. As to the cropping, I don’t know what’s causing that, but I invited you to contact our Support Team, and they can look at the files and help you out.

    Thank you for all the feedback!



    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 11:56 am   Permalink
  29. Hey Heather,

    There are no bleeds, it’s designed to look like the page in your printed book. The sheets are single, but you can set your reader to view them as a single-page or double-spread.

    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 12:07 pm   Permalink
  30. Hey Bob,

    I just spoke to our PDF expert and he said that there are so many variables that it’d be hard to really pin down a number. I can tell you that my 44-page, Trade book, with a combination of two-page full bleed spreads and single images, came in at 10.9 megabytes.



    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 12:12 pm   Permalink
  31. Hi Kent – Few days ago I ordered a PDF of two of my books. Unfortunately there was an error at the Blurb conversion and support said “engineers” were working on it. Blurb refunded my payment because they could not give a time-frame on the fix. Can you give me an update because Blurb is still offering to do PDFs for me. Perhaps it was just the conversion with my books and not other people’s??


    By Thos
      October 1, 2012 – 3:35 pm   Permalink
  32. Hey Thos,

    We’re still working on a fix for this – it seems a small number of books just aren’t converting properly. I’d suggest replying back to your Support Ticket next week and our team can give you an update

    Thanks for hanging in there,


    By Kent
      October 1, 2012 – 4:53 pm   Permalink
  33. LOVE the new PDF option! Finally!

    By Judy
      October 3, 2012 – 8:11 pm   Permalink
  34. Hey Judy, Happy to hear it! I’ll let our product geniuses know that you’re liking it.



    By Kent
      October 4, 2012 – 11:57 am   Permalink
  35. I have a 250+ page book that I’m almost ready to upload for print (in final editing stage). I’ve spoken to family, friends and colleagues and they are not willing to buy my book at the costs you have listed. They expect a book like this to run them around $25-$35 tops. How can I sell my book on your site with your high costs? For me to make a tiny profit, each book would be $130, at least. What are you people thinking?!!!!! It’s very sad that you are doing this to your customers. You aren’t doing any of the work…it’s taken more than a year for me to prepare my book…and all you’re doing is printing it. Why can’t you print at reasonable costs? You should charge me $15 each. I tack on $10 profit and we’re in business. I would sell so many copies and we would both profit from the volume of sales. If you don’t care about your customers, they will not stay with Blurb. At these prices, I’ll have to buy 2 books and give them as gifts and close shop. That’s all I can do. No one will buy my book and I’ll be disappointed that I even began with Blurb in the first place. I wish you could do something about this soon. Increase your profit margin by increasing your customer base….by lowering your prices and increasing the volume of book sales.

    By Joanne
      October 5, 2012 – 6:23 pm   Permalink
  36. Hey Joanne,

    I understand that cost can be a big frustration and I’ll forward your feedback on to our product team. Unfortunately, we can’t offer the same kinds of price cuts on individually printed books that Amazon can offer on mass-produced books. We try to keep our prices low, but there are expenses beyond printing (like all the technology that makes print on demand possible). But thank you for letting us know how you feel and, again, I’ll make sure your voice is heard.



    By Kent
      October 8, 2012 – 10:33 am   Permalink
  37. Love the pdf feature, but it doesn’t seem to work for double-page spreads – even after setting up my pdf viewer to show 2 pages at once. Because the cover is included, all the double-pages are one page off (instead of page 1&2, 3&4, you see Cover&1, 2&3 etc). Any thoughts on whether this could be fixed?

      October 11, 2012 – 9:35 am   Permalink
  38. Of course, as soon as I commented, I figured out the setting in acrobat to fix this, so you can disregard my comment. (turn ON show cover page in two page up, in case anyone reading this wants to know). (Still, it would be nice if I didn’t have to send my non-computer literate family detailed instructions on how to configure their pdf viewer before they can look at the book!)

      October 11, 2012 – 9:43 am   Permalink
  39. Glad you got it sorted out. Just so you know, one reason we chose to make everything a single page was to make books easier to read on ereaders. But, of course, that doesn’t help viewing photo books on computers. I’ll pass on your feedback to our Product team.



    By Kent
      October 11, 2012 – 10:07 am   Permalink
  40. I can create a book. I can now create a PDF. However, I can’t share this PDF. Why can I not email the PDF I bought? If Ido it is just corrupt. It works on my iPad but it will not email.

    By Jason Vaughan
      October 16, 2012 – 3:19 pm   Permalink
  41. Hey Jason,

    I’m not sure. The PDF can be rather large and your Internet service provider may have limitations. You might try zipping it before sending it. If you’re still having trouble though, contact our Support Team and they can take a look:



    By Kent
      October 16, 2012 – 6:04 pm   Permalink
  42. I ordered a PDF version of my new book but it will not download. I keep getting Aw Snap! and need help getting through the suggested resolves. Can’ find most of them

    By Dominic Ierardi
      November 12, 2012 – 6:52 am   Permalink
  43. Hey Dominic

    We’re sorry you got the “aw snap!” Please contact our Support Team and they can help you out:



    By Kent
      November 12, 2012 – 11:54 am   Permalink
  44. great idea having the pdf copy available. Blurb linkedin to user requirements. great to know costs are being considered too.

      December 13, 2012 – 2:25 am   Permalink
  45. i can’t figure out how to make the PDF file available for sale to people who don’t have and iPad or an iPhone. I’ve already purchased a PDF file yesterday. Shouldn’t I be able to make that available for sale, or do I have re-purchase it to sell it?

    It’s so frustrating how much time I have spent stuck on this. Pedraic of blurb wrote, “You can make the PDF file available for sale for people who don’t have iPhones or an iPad” — but that’s all he says. Wouldn’t it make sense to add a sentence explaining how to do this? Have spent two hours trying to figure it out.

      March 29, 2013 – 12:22 am   Permalink
  46. Hey Christine,

    I’m sorry you’ve had trouble. You’ll find the option to sell your PDF in the Seller Options on your book’s setting page – exactly where you set up the sale of your printed book.



    By Kent
      March 29, 2013 – 2:50 pm   Permalink
  47. i found the download button – thanks – but how do i get the .pdf to my ipad?

    By mark
      April 29, 2013 – 1:51 pm   Permalink
  48. Hey Mark,

    It should open itself, but if it isn’t, drop a line to our Support Team and they can help you out:



    By Kent
      May 2, 2013 – 9:33 am   Permalink
  49. Hello blurb

    I published a book after supplying a PDF and I can’t find a way to sell the PDF without having to purchase it back to ‘enable it’. Is this correct? Seems a little strange I have to pay a surplus on something I have provided you.

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Ta very much

    By Jo
      September 17, 2013 – 11:13 am   Permalink
  50. Hi Jo,

    I understand that it seems a little odd if you uploaded an initial PDF, but you do have to buy an initial copy of Blurb book in whatever format you want to sell it in. It’s actually not the exact same PDF that you upload, since the version you sell on Blurb is not print-resolution.



    By Kent
      September 25, 2013 – 11:19 am   Permalink

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