It is the dream of most authors to have their books published and available in retail stores. The reality of this scenario is that publishing a book requires an understanding of the industry and a pile of cash, which is why startup Blurb is trying to do something about it.
Blurb’s service allows authors publish, distribute, and sell both print and ebooks through its platform with relatively little fuss. Authors don’t end up having to learn how to convert their books to ebooks that can be sold on Nook, Amazon, Google Play Store, etc., nor do they have to meet with each individual seller.
Today, the company is rolling out three new trade book sizes (5×8-inch, 6×9-inch, and 8×10-inch; which are basically the sizes most commonly found in bookstores) as well as new options for paper quality. Pricing for the new formats starts at $3 for color books and $2.50 for black and white. Along with the new formats, Blurb also announced that it has signed a new deal to distribute paper books via Ingram Content Group and another deal to convert print books to digital ebooks available on Amazon’s Kindle store.
“A lot of other companies can do part of this puzzle or charge you for conversion of one format to another or don’t totally do this or don’t do it right. It’s messy,” Blurb CEO and founder Eileen Gittins told VentureBeat. She explained that Blurb makes this process much easier so that authors only need to walk through the process of conversion/distribution once.
Gittins said the new trade book sizes available to publishers was necessary because those are the standard sizes for distribution, which opens up Blurbs self-publishing model to a much greater audience. The new distribution partnerships mean people will be able to grab these books on the Kindle store, and 39,000 Ingram booksellers will be able to order print books to satisfy demand, thus putting money directly into the pockets of authors when a sale is made.
Founded in 2005, the San Francisco-based startup has raised a total of $21.6 million in funding. Gittins declined to share revenue growth figures, as well as how much more business these new distribution partnerships will bring to Blurb.