blurb + POD books
i know there are a some folks here who have put together books through
blurb and other vanity presses .. i was wondering if they wouldn't mind
posting a link to their book AND speaking a little bit about their workflow ...
i have made books by hand and submitted work to printers for clients,
but i have never used blurb or paperchase printing, or the others out there ..
i know some are better than others and all that ...
i guess this would be kind of a toot your own horn and tell us about it kind of thing ..
thanks in advance!
I recently used blurb to print a book of color photos I did on 4x5 Astia. I'm sorry, but I don't have it set up for public viewing as the main purpose of the book was a dummy to show my publisher. It was an interesting and somewhat frustrating experience working with blurb. I know people who have had very good luck with them, but I had to have them reprint 3 times before they were able to do a fairly acceptable job. The first 2 times the color was way off and the reproductions were very flat. They were happy to re-do them, but it would have been nice if they got it right the first time. There seems to be quite a bit of variability between printers, and between jobs. The workflow I found to be reasonable, although their word-processor is terrible–slow and has a bit of a mind of its own. I simply uploaded jpgs directly from my computer into their template. They do seem to be interested in improving and their customer service was good. I will use them again.
I have used Blurb to produce the first in a series of B&W monographs - have ordered several copies and all are extremely good quality for the price.
Was very happy when they decided to use AUD in their pricing - reduced the price quite nicely. They allow for "Custom Workflow" which is their higher "quality control" regarding printing, however I have yet to use that, instead settling for their profile in PS instead. The results surprised me as I had read several topics on the forum regarding colour casts - seems that perhaps they have remedied this problem.
You can check the book out: http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/828859
I've used Blurb, Apple and SharedInk. I found Blurb to have the worst quality for monochrome, but the best place to sell (you can make your books available through their marketplace). Of the three, SharedInk had the best quality.
Blurb's software is...uh...interesting to say the least. They are now accepting .pdf submissions which is helpful for me. SharedInk has no software and accepts .pdf. Apple books are nice enough but quality control is kinda spotty and you have to use either iPhoto or Aperture to create and submit (limiting the service to Mac users).
Whichever you use, make sure sure you monitor is properly calibrated so as keep everything as consistent as possible and make sure you read their submission guidelines to make sure that you have the correct color profile (most services prefer sRGB).
BTW, Blurb is not a printing company. I found out the hard way that they contract the jobs to different printing services depending on book size and the geographical location of the order-er. When I asked if they provided a proofing service, the Blurb representative explained that they were a software company. :-/
Last edited by Gadfly_71; 10-17-2009 at 12:16 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: fixed typos, added some info
I have printed my book on Blurb and while
Originally Posted by Gadfly_71
I've read of others' disappointment with the
print quality, I've been very pleased with
the way Blurb has printed and bound mine.
So far, I've sold over 100 copies, and not
one person has written to complain about
print or production quality. My book is 160
pages, with 120 or so B+W photographs,
and it would have been impossible to print
affordably through services like SharedInk.
I was not keen on the Blurb page templates
so I got around them by setting my own pages
and producing each as a JPG file that I then
fed into Blurb's software as a full-bleed image.
For text, I would set each page as a Word file,
so I could control leading and page breaks and
typefaces through Word. Then I would print
each page as a PDF; import the PDF into PS
(well, into Elements, I don't have PS); set the
PDF on a canvas the same size as the book
page; and then save the file as a JPG, which
I then imported as a full-bleed image into
BookSmart. Photographs were simpler: I
would resize each for the book; increase the
image's canvas size to the size of the book page;
type in a caption underneath the image on the
canvas, using Elements' Type Tool; and then
save it as a JPG and import it into BookSmart.
So, each page in my book, including the title
page, is a full-bleed JPG I created in Word and
Elements. The resulting pages look exactly the
way I envisioned them, for better or worse.
Here's the link to the book:
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Another spectacular work from Blurb is
The Naked City by New York photographer
Gary Breckheimer. (Shot entirely in B+W
film, I should add.) Gary has produced it
in two sizes, 12x12 and 7x7. I bought the
large version and it is stunning. Here are
I have a copy of this one and the overall quality is good. Delivery was prompt and I'd certainly consider using the service if I ever wanted to publish a book of my own.
I've made one, and have started working on a second. I found the first a little dark, so adjusted all my scans accordingly, and it looked better. The thing that bothers me a little is... if you want to make a little money on your book, you end up having to charge a lot. Mine would have been a $60 or $70 book in order to make a decent profit, and frankly, I can get a beautifully crafted book from a traditional publisher for about the same money.
Granted, this is "on demand" so you don't have to order up 500 books that will litter your basement forever, so I suppose that's how it goes.
Also, I think they use different printers, so if someone orders the books in Europe and someone in the states, you might see very different quality of each book. At any rate, I find the whole exercise of organizing my work into a book format incredibly helpful in understanding the work, and where I'm taking it.
Good luck, John.
I did this with Blurb just for fun
I was happy with the print quality.
My one concern with b&w (or color for that matter) was whether repeat printings would be consistent. I met the Blurb rep at a show and she assured me that if they were inconsistent they would be reprinted at no charge.
I still prefer handmade books though
Really nice set Rorye.
I've been looking at using Paper Chase, got a very reasonable quote for 100+ quantity of 70ppg softcover B&W books for only ~$11 each. Not really POD but has anybody used them? Their samples seemed nice, but were mostly color.