The seamless evolution of a Blurb Book

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When you work at Blurb you spend a lot of time looking at books and noticing the details. Not just in our books, but those in bookstores, art galleries, and museum shops. You become a connoisseur of bindings and papers. You open a book and wonder, “Can we do that? How can we give people that level of professional quality?” Those details are important to us, and judging by the questions we get about papers, covers, end sheets, printing, and bindings, and bookmaking tools they’re important to you.

Here are some things we’ve done already this year:

  • We improved the quality of our standard end sheets with a heavier weight and switched to a handsome grey color.
  • We started our ProLine book customization options including designer cover linens, beautiful new papers, and four color choices for end sheets.

And today we announced a subtle change to the way we’re binding our books: You’ll no longer see a stitch line on the inside front cover of your books. Insignificant, you say? Just wait until you see it.

This end-sheet treatment will be found in Standard and Premium books shipping to the United States, Canada, and Australia, as well as all ProLine books ordered after August 22 (Customers outside those countries will see this change in Standard and Premium books ordered around late September or early October).

We think it’s the little things that help make a book great. Because for those of us that work at Blurb, Books are a part of our lives and the inspiration to make them better never stops.

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54 Comments

  1. I have recently had a book made up by Blurb and was delighted with the quality. This was a trial sample and I hope to follow up by ordering more. However the book was written for community interest and not profit making. The number of copies to be issued will very much be governed by your purchase cost. Query…Do you offer discounts for copies ordered in number and if so what form does your pricing structure take?
    Regards,
    Dave Knight.

    By David Knight
      August 26, 2011 – 12:57 pm   Permalink
  2. Hi David,
    Take a look at our Volume Orders page on our site. Our discounts start at orders of five or more books of the same title, page count, cover, and paper type. So glad you were pleased with your book!
    best,
    Eileen

      August 26, 2011 – 1:31 pm   Permalink
  3. Je suis très intéressé par vos réalisations. Mais je rencontre quelques difficultés à utiliser votre logiciel. Je trouve la mise en page assez rigide. Y a t’ il une version plus libre pour recadrer les photos à notre convenance ?
    D’autre part je ne maîtrise pas très bien l’anglais et souhaitrai trouver une version française. Cette version existe t’ elle ?

    Thank you for your answer.

    Gérard GHESTEM

    By GHESTEM
      August 27, 2011 – 12:46 am   Permalink
  4. Not Europe? :-( Why?

    By Nick
      August 27, 2011 – 3:22 am   Permalink
  5. Hi Gerard,
    Sounds like you’re having difficulty with the page layouts and I’m not sure which bookmaking tool you’re using — Blurb BookSmart® or our PDF to Book workflow. In either case, I would suggest contacting our Customer Support team. You’ll find their contact information here. They respond quickly to email and can help you out.
    best,
    Eileen

      August 28, 2011 – 11:26 am   Permalink
  6. Hi Nick,
    The end sheet change will appear in books in Europe in late September or early October. Don’t lose faith — it’s coming!
    best,
    Eileen H.

      August 28, 2011 – 11:27 am   Permalink
  7. This looks nice! It would be really awesome if this page could also be printed on.

    By Ben
      August 28, 2011 – 1:05 pm   Permalink
  8. This is great! It’s good to see Blurb striving to always be better. Love the service.

      August 28, 2011 – 1:34 pm   Permalink
  9. hi there, when will u have lay-flat pages so the entire pic is on 2 pages without any folding in the middle. thanks
    mona

    By mona
      August 28, 2011 – 3:47 pm   Permalink
  10. I see that there are more people from the Europe here at this blog. then be harry up please:D we are waiting. and glad to know I am not the only one.

      August 28, 2011 – 3:49 pm   Permalink
  11. Can’t wait for these improvements be available to Brazil! I just love Blurb Books! Thanks!

      August 28, 2011 – 7:44 pm   Permalink
  12. Just when I ask myself “I wonder why the end sheets aren’t seamless”
    Blurb refines with a solution!
    Awesome addition, Thanks!

    By Kile
      August 28, 2011 – 10:32 pm   Permalink
  13. When in Russia? Our market is almost empty.

    By Serj
      August 28, 2011 – 11:01 pm   Permalink
  14. Are you certain that this end-sheet treatment change is for the better? I hope I am wrong, but this look takes me back to those books that crack open and pages begin to fall out, that used to be common. You aren’t taking a step backwards to increase profits are you? Please say no.

      August 29, 2011 – 4:54 am   Permalink
  15. Great to hear.

    As soon as it arrives for Europe we’ll be looking at this new option for our Irish Cottage guidebook

    Best Wishes
    Dave

      August 29, 2011 – 9:17 am   Permalink
  16. Hey Ben,

    Thanks. It’s a nice little improvement. As to printable end sheets, we’ll take it into consideration. It’d be a nice touch.

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      August 29, 2011 – 9:23 am   Permalink
  17. Hey Mona,

    The new end sheet treatment will help the book lay a bit more flat. Though it’s not a true lay-flat. We are always looking at ways to improve our books though, so it’s good to know what our bookmakers are after.

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      August 29, 2011 – 9:26 am   Permalink
  18. Hey Kile,

    We’re reading your mind.

    best,

    Kent

    By Kent
      August 29, 2011 – 9:29 am   Permalink
  19. Hey Serj,

    Books ordered from Russia will follow the same timeline as Europe.

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      August 29, 2011 – 9:29 am   Permalink
  20. Hey Bob,

    I totally understand your concern. It’s a really tough binding — I know because when I was writing this blog post someone here attempted to pull the pages out of a test book to give me a behind-the-scenes look at the end sheets. But if you do ever experience any defects with your book, just contact our support team.

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      August 29, 2011 – 9:36 am   Permalink
  21. I have ordered countless books from Blurb and have always been happy with the service. The new end sheets sound amazing. Thanks for continuing to upgrade your product. I was wondering, though, if there is a way to set a font for the entire book. I find it tedious having to reset for each page. There must be a way.

    By Lynn
      August 29, 2011 – 11:07 am   Permalink
  22. Hey Lynn,

    Glad you’re excited about this change. You should contact our Support Team for an answer to your question, as there are specifics depending on which to bookmaking tool you’re using: http://bit.ly/jr06Fj

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      August 29, 2011 – 1:00 pm   Permalink
  23. I am glad to hear that you improved the inside cover of our books. Especially on my last book of over 200 pages I noticed the stitch line which made me wonder whether the book would hold together. I did not complain about it. However, now I commend you for the change

    By Ursula von Fluegge
      August 30, 2011 – 2:29 pm   Permalink
  24. I just received the latest book I ordered and it exceeds my expectations. You did a great job and I am thrilled. Now I have to decide what project is next. You’ve got my business.

    By Jimmy Z
      August 30, 2011 – 8:55 pm   Permalink
  25. Hi. Just love Blurb, but when do we get a simpler proofing possibility by pdf. Have tried to print to file, but with no success.

      August 31, 2011 – 11:19 pm   Permalink
  26. Hey Stian,

    A lot of this will depend on which tool you’re using. Contact our Customer Support team, they may have some ideas for you: http://bit.ly/jr06Fj

    cheers

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 1, 2011 – 11:04 am   Permalink
  27. Question not a comment. I putting a book together using several really old photos (some are close to 85 years old). Naturally the resolution is pretty bad and I’m getting the usual yellow triangle warning about the resolution not being good. When I resize the photo is just doesn’t work well in the format I want to use. If I leave the warnings on my pages and upload the book when I’m done, will BLURB print those photos in the size I want to use or will they be resized? I really need the sizes to remain the same. I can’t use them if they are resized. I understand about the resolution but that’s what I have to work with. Thank you. Roy

    By Roy
      September 1, 2011 – 3:52 pm   Permalink
  28. Hey Roy,

    They will not be automatically re-sized by us. They will show up the way you put them in if you ignore the warnings. Incidentally, the age of the photo itself doesn’t make a difference. If you happen to have access to the original photos, you can always scan them at a higher DPI (300 or higher).

    best,

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 1, 2011 – 4:43 pm   Permalink
  29. Hey thanks Kent. Thank you for responding so quickly. And thanks for the tip about scanning the originals. I do have access to some of the originals so I’ll give it a try.

    Thanks again”
    Roy

    By Roy
      September 1, 2011 – 11:13 pm   Permalink
  30. I think that the “seamless evolution” was long overdue. I was especially disappointed with my last book (over 200 pp) but did not contact you about the oberly visible stitchline since I didn’t think you had a solution. So now you do, and I command you for that.

      September 2, 2011 – 6:50 am   Permalink
  31. Hey Ursula,

    I’m glad you’re excited about it. It’s a much cleaner look for sure.

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 2, 2011 – 10:12 am   Permalink
  32. Hey Roy,

    Absolutely. If you do have further questions, I encourage you to contact our Customer Support team. Those guys are real experts.

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 2, 2011 – 10:13 am   Permalink
  33. I have a question regarding the end sheets. I am int eh process of putting together a 400+ page book and just ordered an imagewrap hardcover sample of the first 40 pages to see how it;s going to come out printed before i finish the rest of my lay out. When I ordered it automaticly gave me the mid gray end sheets, is where a way to change this or am I stuck with only gray? What if I wanted black or white? Can they be changed? If so where do I do this because it was not in any option on the order, is this an otpion I missed perhaps in booksmart? Thank you for the info…

    By Ed Walker
      September 3, 2011 – 2:03 am   Permalink
  34. Hey Ed,

    Good Question. You can choose other End Sheets when you go to order your book. Before adding it to our shopping cart, click the “Upgrade to Pro” button on the right side of the page. You’ll then be able to select different colored end sheets.

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 6, 2011 – 9:40 am   Permalink
  35. Does this new binding also apply to the soft cover book?

      September 12, 2011 – 2:30 pm   Permalink
  36. Hey Gwen,

    Soft cover books don’t have end sheets, so you won’t notice a difference. Still, there’s no visible stitch line.

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 12, 2011 – 5:01 pm   Permalink
  37. Thanks for another great upgrade!

    Now could you please upgrade the PDF proofing function of BookSmart, so we can make nice looking PDF proofs, good enough for sending to clients?! I have been in contact with your support about this issue a couple of times, but they just keep telling me that this option already exists. Yes, it does, but it is far from good enough, and the generated PDF really doesn’t do Blurb any justice. Your software is great, your books are excellent, so why shouldn’t the proofing options be??

    Here are the problems I think must be fixed with BookSmart proofing:

    1. The files generated from proofing (printing to PDF) inside BookSmart are way too large. I tried the latest book I made for a client, and the PDF generated from an 84 page book in BookSmart is 75 MB!! Way too large to be emailed.

    2. Perhaps the worst problem; the layout and look of the BookSmart PDF proof is really not good enough to show to clients. Every book page is on a seperate PDF page, and the orientation/rotation is a bit weird. If you flip your head left to look at the pages “the right way”, you seem to be going backwards through the book . I have yet to find a client that doesn’t say that these PDFs look terrible. Sorry…

    3. It takes a LOT of time to print to PDF in BookSmart. I’m on a very fast computer with loads of RAM, and it took 50 minutes.

    I have a workaround to get what I want, but it is time consuming, and really should be a built in function in BookSmart. So take this as an upgrade tip to making great looking PDFs in the nest version of BookSmart.

    I put my book in preview mode, looking at two pages at a time. I then capture a printscreen from every spread and save this as an JPG file. So from an 80 page book I get 40 images with left & right page on, and another showing the front & back cover (this is the first page on my final PDF). Then I have to crop all of these 41 images so that nothing but the book pages remain. I crop in tightly around the edges of the page spread. Then I use the output option in Adobe Photoshop Bridge to make a PDF with one image on each PDF page, starting with the front/back cover image. So when my customers flip through the PDF, they look at front cover & back cover first, then one spread (left & right page) at a time. And it looks great!!! It looks like sitting and getting a preview in BookSmart. When saved out, a PDF like this is about 5MB, and can easily be sent to a client.

    Feel free to add a descrete watermark on each page (but shouldn’t be a problem if you make the PDFs lowres), but don’t make it a Blurb logo. Clients have no need to know where we make our books. And a PDF proof like this should also have page numbers underneath the pages so clients easily can refer comments to pages.

    So, how about it then Blurbers?! Could you please take on this challenge?!

    Cheers,
    Eivind

      September 22, 2011 – 11:21 pm   Permalink
  38. Hi,
    my question: is there a way to change multiple page layouts?
    If I want all the pages to have the same layout, It seems to me that I can only do one at a time which is very time consuming.

    Thanks, Mike

    By mike
      September 23, 2011 – 12:21 am   Permalink
  39. Just taken delivery of 6 copies of a book which bhas come out superbely even some lower resolution pics.

    I ordered it with a jacket which has worked very well also but was suprised and concerned that the name of the book etc was not also printed on the hard cover. For future reference what do I need to order to have both the jacket and the covers printed?

    Am working on my next book – an exciting project!

    Richatrd

    By Richard Barwell
      September 23, 2011 – 1:23 am   Permalink
  40. Greetings. When ,where and how do you pay the author the profit margin due on work you have published and sold on line? When I have this anser I will consider sending in some additional material. Denis F. Sheahan

    By Denis F. Sheahan
      September 23, 2011 – 4:10 am   Permalink
  41. Sounds good. Do I now need to download new templates (I’m using InDesign)?

    By Edward
      September 23, 2011 – 5:02 am   Permalink
  42. Hey Edward,

    Great point. Yes, you should download our latest plug-in for Adobe InDesign: http://www.blurb.com/apps/indesign-plugin

    Best,

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 23, 2011 – 9:19 am   Permalink
  43. Hey Denis,

    We let bookmakers set the price for their books and keep 100% of the markup they decide on. You’ll find more information here: http://www.blurb.com/my/seller/info

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 23, 2011 – 9:21 am   Permalink
  44. Hey Richard,

    Glad you’re happy with the finished output. At this point we do not print on the Hardcover linen itself. But it’s something we may do in the future.

    Good luck on your next project!

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 23, 2011 – 9:26 am   Permalink
  45. Hey Mike,

    This depends on which of our bookmaking tools you’re using. Your best bet is to contact our Support Team with that information and they can give you further instruction: http://bit.ly/jr06Fj

    best,

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 23, 2011 – 9:28 am   Permalink
  46. Hey Eivind,

    Thanks for the feedback. Clearly you’ve put a lot of thought into this. I’m not sure what the plans are to implement anything like this in the near future. BookSmart is a great tool, but it’s primarily meant for sending the files to our printers. Using PDF to Book workflow with Adobe InDesign would give you more of what you want, since you get much more control over the output. It’s a steeper learning curve (and InDesign isn’t free), but a lot of people really like it for its flexibility.

    Best,

    Kent

    By Kent
      September 23, 2011 – 9:36 am   Permalink
  47. Hello there.

    Regarding your new binding process.

    We have noticed that any picture that has been made into a double page spread now displays a white gutter down the middle where the pages meet and are bound. I am using your Indesign templates and notice there is no ‘inner’ bleed given on the artwork. Is it possible to butt the pages together so no gutter is visible?

    Regards,
    CaffreyTwo

    By Andy and Sue Caffrey
      September 29, 2011 – 12:00 pm   Permalink
  48. Hi Andy and Sue,
    I would suggest you contact our Customer Support team and they can talk you through the process. Shoot them an email and they’ll get back to you quickly.
    thanks,
    Eileen H.

      September 30, 2011 – 8:39 am   Permalink
  49. Wish you would ship/post to Sri Lanka. Will this happen soon?

      October 27, 2011 – 7:58 pm   Permalink
  50. Hi Dominic,
    We’re always to balance printing and shipping efficiencies – and as you can probably guess, there are lots of variables that go into it. When we do ship to more countries, we’ll announce on the site and on the blog.
    Thanks,
    Eileen

      October 28, 2011 – 9:00 am   Permalink
  51. It’s great that you guys keep evolving. Always wanting the best, that’s a great mentality.

      March 6, 2012 – 9:29 am   Permalink
  52. Hello. I’m wondering if you have a RSS Feed? If so, where can I find it? If not, why not consider adding one to the website?

    Cheers,
    Anthony

      May 17, 2012 – 1:06 pm   Permalink
  53. Hey Anthony,

    Here you go: http://feeds.feedburner.com/BlurbBlog

    best

    Kent

    By Kent
      May 17, 2012 – 5:34 pm   Permalink
  54. hello Kent
    I have enjoyed reading this post, and I also made ​​much use of it. Thanks greetings from The Netherlands ;)

    By Bass
      July 5, 2012 – 11:02 am   Permalink

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