Blurb, Inc.

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Blurb Inc.
Type Private
Founded Incorporated 2005
Headquarters San Francisco, CA, USA
Key people Eileen Gittins, CEO
Industry Publishing
Products BookSmart
Employees unknown

Blurb is a company which provides a print-on-demand publishing service for the general public.



Blurb offers a free, downloadable, book-layout software client, BookSmart, with which potential authors create their books using their own text and images. The completed book layout can then be uploaded to Blurb's web server, after which copies may be ordered for printing and delivery. Blurb also allows authors to sell their books to anyone and retain a mark-up on the printing costs as author profit. An ISBN number can be obtained through any ISBN provider and added to a book for distribution through third-party retailers.

The company's revenue grew from $1 million to $30 million in two years. In 2008 they published more than 300,000 titles.[1]

Blurb is capable of printing books in full-color or black-and-white, with hard or soft covers, in six different sizes and formats.[2]

The company was founded in 2004 by Eileen Gittins and funded by Canaan Partners and Anthem Venture Partners. Blurb's headquarters are located in San Francisco, California.


Blurb's BookSmart software tool is designed to allow users with no experience in publishing layout or graphic design to lay out a professional-looking book. It contains multiple templates, into which users can drag and drop images and text. BookSmart is capable of importing content directly from blogs, one's computer, Flickr photo sets, iPhoto albums, Picasa web albums, SmugMug, and Photobucket. A major consideration is that material can only be imported, not exported. The only output is paper books purchased from and locally printed pages with a watermark superimposed on them, indicating they are proofs.

BookSmart runs on Windows 2000, Vista or XP, and on Mac OS X. Blurb released the beta version of BookSmart in May 2006, following a trade premiere at the 2006 DEMO consumer technology conference in February 2006.[3] The company reports that nearly 10,000 individuals signed up to receive BookSmart while the software was still in its beta-testing phase.[4]

Blurb also offers PDF to Book, allowing users to design their books in the design tool of their choice. Users can download Blurb's pre-made templates for Adobe InDesign, or use Blurb's guidelines and specifications for all available book sizes and cover types to get started. Once users PDFs are complete, they simply upload and order their book.

Time Magazine named Blurb one of 2006's "50 Coolest Web Sites,"[5] and the service has been featured in the New York Times,[citation needed] Wired News[6], USA Today[7], and elsewhere.[8][9][10][11][12]

See also

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