Self-publishing services provider Blurb has launched a series of initiatives designed to help indie authors get their print books into bookstores, one of the hurdles self-published authors face in terms of developing a large audience and one of the main advantages traditionally published authors enjoy.
Through a deal with Ingram, the world’s largest distributor of books and ebooks, Blurb authors can now distribute their print-on-demand or offset printed trade books to nearly 40,000 stores around the world, reflecting that about 52% of Blurb’s business comes from outside the U.S. The titles will be included in Ingram’s catalog and authors will be able to offer a range of discounts to retailers to entice a book being stocked.
“Self-published authors can now get their books into local bookstores,” said Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO of Blurb.
Authors will be able to offer a 25%, 36% or 55% discount to physical retailers who stock their books. New trade sizes and cheaper printing prices from Blurb (see details in release below), which primarily caters to hobbyists who want to create print books, will help authors make money on print distribution, said Gittins.
Gittins anticipates the new arrangement to be primarily useful for authors to get books into their own local bookstores, making personal appeals to shops that may be eager to stock the work of a local who can do readings and signings.
“Local audiences will try it. If it does well, then bookstores will be all to happy to continue to stock it,” Gittins said.
Units will cost as little as $3.00 to $4.00, said Gittins, so an author who suggests a retail price of $14.95 for a paperback book and gives the store a 55% discount will make a few dollars off every copy sold.
Blurb now has about three million titles produced by two million authors, according to Gittins. About a quarter of those are what the company classifies as “self-published” and not hobbyists and artists who are producing small print runs of photo and illustrated books, often for personal use.
The self-published authors are Blurb’s fastest growing group and the company’s latest moves are aimed at accelerating that growth.
The company also launched one-click conversion for reflowable books to the MOBI file format, which is used in Amazon’s Kindle. The tool is free for now and in beta, but when Blurb connects it with Amazon to allow one-click uploads to the online store, it may come with a price.
Related: Blurb Builds Kindle Integration
Blurb Launches Lower Priced Trade Books, Global Distribution via Ingram, and Output to Reflowable ebooks for Amazon Kindle
New competitively priced Trade Books and a collaboration with Ingram across 39,000 locations empower indie authors to drive new revenue across global markets
Blurb, the indie book and magazine publishing platform, today announced three new standard Trade Book sizes, a global retail distribution collaboration with Ingram Content Group, and output to reflowable ebooks for all Amazon Kindle devices and Kindle readers. These milestones represent key pieces of Blurb’s ongoing mission to democratize publishing.
“We are pleased to support Blurb with Ingram’s comprehensive distribution network, as Blurb grows the reach of content for the customers they support.”
Blurb now has the broadest publishing platform available, enabling independent authors to publish books, magazines, and ebooks in multiple formats, and then sell directly on Blurb.com or via distribution programs with Amazon and Ingram.
“Authors, like artists, want two things: Control over their product and process, and fair compensation for their work,” said Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO, Blurb. “The elements are now all in place for independent authors to design, market and sell their digital and print books – at a healthy margin – via global distribution to booksellers both online and at retail. It’s a happy day for both Blurb authors and Blurb employees too; delivering this extensive a range of offerings is a big deal for everyone.”
New Book Range
The world has shifted towards increasingly visual experiences, yet the cost to publish these visually rich books has historically resulted in dampened sales. With the availability of three new industry-standard Trade Book sizes – 5×8, 6×9, and 8×10 – and lower-cost paper options that support content like drawings, photographs, maps, and tables, Blurb authors can now bypass historical price point and distribution barriers.
Blurb authors can now design, publish, and sell virtually any kind of book including how-to books, cookbooks, novels, magazines, photo books, business books, graphic novels, and more. Authors can publish digital and print formats from a single file, output to Amazon Kindle, sell on Blurb.com, and via the new Ingram initiative, be available for distribution to over 39,000 locations worldwide at retail and online stores.
“Ingram is committed to getting content into readers’ hands quickly and efficiently, no matter where they are in the world,” said Kelly Gallagher, Vice President of Content Acquisition, Ingram Content Group. “We are pleased to support Blurb with Ingram’s comprehensive distribution network, as Blurb grows the reach of content for the customers they support.”
Blurb’s work with Ingram enables Blurb authors to choose from multiple discount options, delivering more wholesale pricing flexibility, driving more reach and discoverability for authors’ books.
“Our collaboration with Ingram will be especially welcome for Blurb’s global authors, as they will now be able to make their books available for distribution within their home markets virtually everywhere in the world,” said Gittins.
Blurb’s new Trade Books come in three industry-standard trim sizes: 5×8, 6×9, and 8×10, in uncoated text-weight paper.
Trade Books are available in both hardcover and softcover, and all formats are eligible for global distribution through Ingram, giving Blurb authors a much broader audience reach.
Authors have two print options: Economy and Standard. Economy printing offers a lower print-on-demand starting price ($2.99 for color, $2.49 for black and white), while Standard printing features a wider color range and richer blacks.
Blurb also announced a new beta ebook release that enables text import via RTF plus reflowable output for the Kindle. The RTF Import delivers a critical update to Blurb’s flagship bookmaking desktop app, Blurb BookWright, allowing authors to import text files created via word processing tools. Authors can then easily distribute their ebooks to all Amazon Kindle devices and most ereaders; this service is free to Blurb authors during the beta period.
For more on this news, please visit www.blurb.com.
Blurb® was founded on the premise that everyone – not just the talented few – should be able to publish, share, and distribute beautifully realized books with first class production values. By creating a business model that enables the company to profit on a unit of one, Blurb has opened up the world of publishing to everyone who has access to a computer and a story to tell.
Blurb’s indie publishing platform offers the ability to design, publish, share, market, distribute, and sell both digital and print books. Further, Blurb puts independent publishers in full control by providing a comprehensive publishing toolkit: a suite of free book design tools including Blurb BookWright™, an Adobe InDesign® plugin and Adobe Lightroom® integration, a variety of print and distribution options, book format and paper choices, and online selling and social sharing tools.
Launched in 2006 by CEO Eileen Gittins, Blurb now enjoys global scale via more than one million book authors, resulting in nearly three million unique book titles so far.