A Delicate Balance: Can Blurb Become All Things To All Authors?

Image - iStockphoto: Wassily
Image – iStockphoto: Wassily

‘The Best Parts Of Your 2014′

If you’re like me, you may find it somewhat difficult to remember “the best parts of your 2014,” but this, nevertheless, is the kind of talk we expect from Blurb.

Here’s some more:

The best parts of your 2014 were moments only you could live. Now turn them into a book only you could create. Transform your favorite photos, stories, and memories into a one-of-a-kind book to treasure for all of 2015—and beyond. Make a book for friends, for family, for the special person in your life, or just for yourself.

From Blurb's year-end specials ad for family photo-book production: the Blurb we've known in the past.
From Blurb’s year-end specials ad for family photo-book production: the Blurb we’ve known in the past.

Go all out and craft a gorgeous, custom photo album that highlights 365 days of your life with:

  • Inspiration to make your best book ever
  • Tools to make a book online or with downloadable software
  • Plug-ins for Adobe® InDesign® or Lightroom®
  • Ways to build an incredible ebook

Not a thing wrong with that advertising copy. In fact, I first heard of Blurb, myself, in exactly this mode.

A Danish friend in Copenhagen introduced me to the birthday-party photo books she enjoyed creating for her children using Blurb’s service. Beautiful balloon-times-with-the-family memorabilia, these slim, slick books were coffee-table winners, hands down, grins hovering near cake, one’s own life and loved ones rendered in Hallmark-esque hardback. Handsome stuff. Also a very specific niche.

After all, even the company’s executive-team bios are set up with photos of each employee — holding a photo book, presumably one that he or she has made.

So it has been to my and many others’ surprise that for more than a year now, Blurb has been working hard not to change its image, exactly, but to expand it.

The slogan, “Blurb. Where Your Ideas Become Great Books.” still works, yes.

Blurb's Eileen Gittens
Blurb’s Eileen Gittens

But the people of Blurb want you to know that this doesn’t just mean pretty picture books. They’d like to be your KDP. That’s right, Blurb would like you to think of them as an alternative to such self-publishing platforms as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, Kobo’s Writing Life, Smashwords, and so on. They want you to come to them with your novel, your lawnmower maintenance guide, and your mother’s memoir. They want the self-publishing “tsunami of content,” as Jon Fine called it while at Amazon, to float their boats, too.

And to that end, you can see some interesting drop-downs on their mainpage.

What you’re seeing is a tiger changing its stripes. But, clearly, only in certain lighting. The medium is more than one message now. Bring us your shots from graduation day, yes. But also bring us your immersive-text fiction and illustrated non-fiction…and magazines, for that matter. Blurb wants to do it all, and is not to be underestimated. The company says it has more than 8 million titles in play.

Read More

There’s more: Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: A Delicate Balance: Can Blurb Become All Things To All Authors?

Originally published by Thought Catalog at www.ThoughtCatalog.com



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