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- The Good
- Professional quality
- Simple layout software
- Plenty of options to make unique photo books
- The Bad
- High prices for some options
- Must download layout software
Blurb has a lot of positive qualities that will appeal to professionals and experienced amateurs. The books come ready to sell. In fact, you can even arrange to have them sold on Amazon. The high prices and layout software, however, make Blurb unsuitable for people who don’t have any experience with publishing.
- Soft cover photo book
- Hardcover book with dust jacket
- Hardcover book with image wrap
Blurb’s prices start at $14.99 for a basic, 7×7-square inch soft cover photo book. Prices go up depending on size, paper type and other features. You can also get discounts for ordering in bulk. Ordering 50 or more books will get you a 25 percent discount.
- Book Creation
- Custom layout tool
- Flexible graphic design options
Blurb relies on you to create your own photo book. It does, however, provide free graphic design software that you can download to your computer. Once you create your own pages, you submit them to Blurb for printing. You can make your photo books with other pieces of software, many of which require even more experience than Blurb’s layout editor.
- Book Options
- Softcover and hardcover options
- Photo quality paper
Blurb lets you choose between softcover and hardcover options for photo books. If you choose a hardcover book, you can get a dust jacket or image wrap to make it look even more attractive.
- A+ rating
Blurb has excellent photo book printing services. The company does such a good job that some authors use its services to print books that they intend to sell. Unfortunately, Blurb can’t earn an A+ rating because laymen may find it too difficult or pricey to use.
- Phone, email and tutorials
You can contact Blurb’s customer support services via email and phone. The customer service center is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. You can also find answers to common questions by viewing online tutorials.
Blurb: User Reviews
Blurb started printing photo books in 2004. The company set out to offer something different from what other companies were doing. While most photo book companies want to attract typical consumers, Blurb takes a greater interest in working for professionals who want excellent books that they could possibly resell.
How Do Blurb Photo Books Work?
Before you can make a Blurb photo book, you have to download the company’s graphic design software, named BookWright, to your computer. When you start a new project with BookWright, you need to choose layout option for your page. Simply select a layout and drag it onto the page.
Once you have the layout that you want to use, you create a photo and text tab for your page. You then navigate through your images and insert the photo you want on the page. You can add text if you want, but you don’t have to.
Unlike most web-based graphic design software, BookWright has a ruler and guide that will help you lay out your page elements perfectly. This part of the software makes the end result feel much more professional than the photo books you get from most other companies.
Before finishing your book, you can create front and back covers. You can also add information such as the author’s name and the title.
BookWright has a helpful icon that lets you know when you’ve made a page that may not print properly. If you make any mistakes while making pages, this icon will alert you to the problem.
If you don’t want to use BookWright, you can make your designs with Adobe InDesign, Booksmart or Bookify. You can also upload PDF files made with other software options. Again, professional bookmakers adore these options. Most people, however, just want a simple way to make their photo books look attractive. To beginners, these other options feel just as confusing as BookWright. Professionals who have favorite pieces of software, however, don’t have to learn a new platform to work on their projects.
What Makes Blurb Photo Books Stand Out?
Blurb stands out for its commitment to meeting the needs of professional writers and artists. The company knows that it gets negative reviews for taking this approach. Laymen who choose Blurb by happenstance may find themselves confused by the design and printing processes.
While most people say that this creates a weakness for Blurb, professionals know that they can trust the company to finish their projects well. When you want to make and sell a book, you have different priorities than those of people who want their photo books to sit on their living room tables. Blurb is the kind of company that gives professional and semi-professional publishers the services they need to succeed.
Common Reviews of Blurb Photo Books
Not surprisingly, some people love Blurb, and others don’t like it at all. Fans of the company enjoy using its sophisticated graphic design software instead of a web-based alternative that doesn’t come with as many options. In other words, these people have experience with graphic design, and they like using software that they’re familiar with.
Of course, most people don’t have experience using professional graphic design software. Negative reviews from these users point out that the software isn’t as intuitive as Blurb seems to think. Even after watching online tutorials, many customers struggle to make pages look right. To them, it seems like an arbitrarily difficult task.
Customers give Blurb overwhelmingly positive reviews for its wide range of print and cover options. You won’t find many companies that let you choose among newsstand paper, standard book paper and photo quality paper. In most cases, you can only choose between one or two types of paper. Blurb gives you a more professional edge by offering more options.
Blurb clearly knows that some of its users plan to sell their books to consumers. One of the great things about Blurb is that it lets you sell your book through the Blurb website, Amazon.com or your personal website. You can also set up a pre-sell with Kickstarter to fund your project. Blurb has an entire program dedicated to Kickstarter pre-sells. This makes it a terrific option for authors who need to raise money before printing their books.
Some people feel that Blurb has high prices. That’s true when you compare its products to those made by most photo book printers. Keep in mind that Blurb operates on a professional level. When you compare it to other publishers that offer similar services, you will realize that Blurb has affordable prices.
Are Blurb Photo Books for Me?
For the most part, everyday consumers don’t like Blurb. They find the design software confusing, and they don’t like putting so much work into their projects. These people want an easy way to print the photos that they cherish. They’re not interested in unique printing options or selling their books online. If this sounds like you, then you should probably avoid Blurb. It’s a great company, but it isn’t right for you.
Graphic designers and authors, however, will love the printing and selling services that Blurb offers. You would have to get a publishing deal to find a better printing option.
If you want a high-quality photo book that you could sell to other people, then you should use Blurb. If not, then you should look at other photo book printers before making a decision. Blurb has excellent printing services and high-quality printing, but it’s probably not the company that meets your needs. Let people who are more serious about bookmaking spend their money getting professional books printed by Blurb.