On the DIMAcast: Blurb combines photos with multimedia in e-books

A book on an iPad or other device can be more than text and pictures: it becomes a metaphor, a method for organizing and presenting a story of any kind. Hardcopy photo book printer Blurb has expanded to e-books — and is now expanding what we mean by books and stories.

CEO and founder Eileen Gittins tells us about the transition on this episode of the DIMAcast.

The full interview is here.





Blurb enables Adobe InDesign users to design ebooks for the iPad

Blurb says it has made “massive improvements” to its ebook platform, allowing creative professionals to now design fixed format ebooks for iPad using the new plug-in for Adobe InDesign, optimize them for the iPad using a brand new online editing tool, and then share and sell their work for a profit in the Blurb Bookstore. For a limited time, Blurb ebooks for the iPad can be created for free.

The updated plug-in for Adobe InDesign is an extension of the company’s current integration with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, which provides the tools directly within Lightroom 4 “Book module” to create professional-quality photography books, coupled with a direct link to Blurb.com for printing, marketing and distribution, Blurb says.



Photo book maker Blurb partners with CGX for B2B

Photo book service Blurb is expanding into more commercial fare: The company is now working with Consolidated Graphics CGX, which it says is one of the largest commercial printing business in the U.S., to deliver “high-quality, low-volume print runs for businesses.”

Blurb says it already does “millions annually in the B2B space, which is now the fastest growing part of the Blurb business.” But the opportunity is in the $1 billion range, “and represents a massive untapped segment of businesses and designers with pent up demand for print runs of this kind, with a quick turnaround time.”

The new service, named Publish, utilizes a free Adobe InDesign plug-in allowing businesses to extend the use of their preferred design software to become an end-to-end print workflow solution for high-quality publications. The plug-in includes templates for four cover formats, five paper types, and eight trim sizes – including Blurb’s 8.5-by-11 size, which is exclusive to Publish. Publish also enables designers to complete their projects up to 75 percent faster using Blurb’s custom proofing tools, automated pre-flight checks, and the ability to order via credit card from within the interface, the company claims.

Blurb and CGX will allow for smaller volume runs, one unit and up, and up to 75 percent faster turnaround, without sacrificing quality, the company claims.


Mediasmith signs new client, Blurb

San Francisco, Calif. digital media agency Mediasmith announced it has signed Blurb Inc. as new client. The agency was also signed by digital music site eMusic. Blurb started as a Social Media and Analytics assignment for Mediasmith in summer of 2011.

Blurb takes Facebook to photo book in 5 minutes

Blurb photo book from Facebook

Blurb photo book from Facebook

Blurb Inc., San Francisco, Calif., announced a new bookmaking flow enabling Facebook users to “instantly” turn their album photos into professional-quality books. The Blurb photo book flow for Facebook lets anyone turn their Facebook photo albums, along with their captions and comments, into a 7-by-7 inch square format book, with pricing starting less than $11.

“Facebook currently has over 800 million active users and more than 250 million photos are uploaded daily,” says Eileen Gittins, CEO, Blurb. “The new bookmaking flow from Blurb allows those users to take their curated albums from their accounts into a tangible, high-quality book in a few simple steps.”

To create a book, users sign into their Facebook account on the Blurb website. Once the albums are selected they will then autoflow into a Blurb book and a personalized cover will be automatically chosen. Photo comments and captions associated with a picture are also captured and showcased around the relevant image. The finished book can then be purchased or edited using Blurb’s online bookmaking tool, Bookify. The user also has the option to to share and to sell the book from the Blurb.com bookstore, as well as to create an iPad ebook.