With my book out, I just need to review the platform I used to make the book.
Blurb has been my choice from the beginning because I knew some people who had made some very good looking books with it. I will review several aspects from the bookmaking proces as I have experienced it so that other people, who wish to self publish or print on demand, have an idea how things work.
With Blurb you can make you book in several ways. If you want to have all the freedom you want to make you book the way you have in mind, than it’s better to use InDesign. Which Blurb supports. I’m not really into making some kick-ass design so I decided to work with their software: Booksmart. A little program you can download from their website and which is very easy to use. You can choose from several lay-outs and importing pictures is very easy. If you’re not really happy with how things look you can change stuff like you want it. It’s actually very easy to use and you can preview the book.
Uploading the book is very easy. In a couple of minutes it’s uploaded to their site and ready to be ordered.
Ordering the book is simple. As soon as you’ve ordered and made the payment they will ship it to you. You can choose between two delivery dates. The first one costing more than the other. But if I were you, I’d just stick with the cheapest as they deliver much faster than they say. My book had to arrive on the 19th but it got delivered the 14th. Just about a week after I made the order.
Blurb is not really the cheapest. My 122 page book (hardcover) has cost me 45 euro’s. But than again it’s ‘print on demand’ and you can’t really expect this to be cheap. Of course when you have less pages, softcover and order a large quantity, the price will drop and things get cheaper. Also don’t forget to check out for coupons to get a discount. Usually you can get 20% off all the time. Depending on you order and their coupons you can get up to 30% or even more.
Of course with prices this high it’s quite difficult to earn a little yourself. For my own book I added an average of 8€ for myself. The rest goes to Blurb. The price is even higher because of this and that is backing off potential buyers.
The quality is surprisingly good. First of all the print is quite nice! I have seen some ‘old’ Blurb books and they had the typical ‘dots’ in their print. It’s like all your pictures were grainy. But to my surprise that’s history. Most of my shots came out better in print than they were on my computer. So print quality is good.
The standard paper isn’t bad either, but there is certainly room for improvement. Blurb offers more expensive papers and I guess these are better. On the other hand, on other sites I’ve read that it actually doesn’t really matter which one you choose. That they are all quite alike. So I guess when you want to have top quality paper you better don’t use Blurb. I’m quite happy with the standerd paper anyway!
The hardcover is good too, but it’s difficult to open the book entirely. It cracks a little, but after a while it gets smoother. You do get some cracks on the cover on the place where it gets bend, but even with normal book you’ll get that eventually. Even though I don’t like dust jackets it might be a good idea to get one to protect your book. If you care more about the looks I’d stay with the printed cover anyway. After all you will get some usage marks with or without the dust jacket.
To my surprise the support they offer is amazing! I had an issue with my settings and mailed to the support team. In less than two minutes I got an answer that actually solved the problem. So there is always some good help if you have any trouble during your proces of making a book.
If you have any additions, comments or experiences you would like to share, leave it here!
And don’t forget to get your copy of ‘Cloud Head’: http://www.blurb.com/books/5689790-c-l-o-u-d-h-e-a-d