BLURBĺ─ýThe World's Largest Specialist Self-Publishing Company
EILEEN GITTINS, FOUNDER & CEO of BLURB
FORBES ARTICLE (By Bruce Rogers - January 28, 2015)
Did someone say that print is dead? Nonsense, contends Eileen Gittins. The Silicon Valley entrepreneur is betting that thereĺ─˘s still a big and growing market for booksĺ─ţyes, the kind made of paperĺ─ţwhen customers get to design and create them themselves. Gittinsĺ─˘ latest start up, called Blurbĺ─ţĺ─˙where your ideas become great booksĺ─¨ is its taglineĺ─ţwas born to put one-off publishing in the hands of anyone with access to a digital camera and the Internet. In the market for self-publishing, Blurb has certainly made a splash: At its peak volume last year, Blurb produced more book titles in three minutes than a mid-sized publisher produces in a year , Gittins says. Gittins expects Blurbĺ─˘s sales to exceed $80 million this year.
"Traditional publishing companies have a model that worked 50-60 years ago."ĺ─ýEileen Gittens
excerpt from article about Blurb in the UK Newspaper The Telegraph
Book minnow opens new chapter in publishing by Andrew Cave..(The Telegraph, Nov. 2, 2014)
Eileen Gittins doesnĺ─˘t like to tell people she is chief executive of the worldĺ─˘s largest specialist self-publishing book company when sheĺ─˘s on a long flight. ĺ─˙If I do that, they tell me about their book for the next three hours and I donĺ─˘t get any sleep,ĺ─¨ she laughs. ĺ─˙I donĺ─˘t mind telling people on shorter flights.ĺ─¨ Itĺ─˘s not surprising that this would happen to Gittins, 59. Blurb, the San Francisco-based self-publishing house she founded in 2006 has now published 3m books. At peak volumes, a new title comes over the servers every 2.1 seconds. Developed initially as a way of producing picture books, Blurb has bulked up in novel and magazine publishing, and sees itself as the future of the industry ĺ─ý and a massive threat to traditional publishers.....READ THE ARTICLE
ĺ─ýJOAN HOLMAN COMMENTS AFTER SPEAKING RECENTLY with EILEEN GITTINSĺ─ý
BLURB'S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGEĺ─ý"Eileen comes from a technology background, which I believe gave her a competitive advantage in building a successful self-publishing company for the 21st century. The internet and print on demand technology has changed the game for the creation and distribution of books and has empowered individuals to try their hand at self-publishing.
SELF-PUBLISHING IS A MASSIVE THREAT TO TRADITIONAL PUBLISHINGĺ─ýWe discussed the future of the publishing industry and the massive threat to traditional publishers posed by the rise of self-publishing that has been fueled by new technologies. Eileen commented that her company was started with a different business model that the traditional publishing companies, whose business models worked 50 to 60 years ago and in the pre-internet era. Today, the creation, publishing, distribution and marketing of books requires a different approach.
EILEEN HAD BUILT TWO INTERNET COMPANIESĺ─ýA dynamic entrepreneur with an impressive background in the technology industry in Silicon Valley, Eileen had already built two internet companies and was very experienced with technology when she launched Blurb. She started Blurb after she got the idea when she was seeking a way to publish a photo essay. She wanted to be able to publish a short run of high quality photo books. She found a strong niche audience and through astute business leadership, she has built a company that is projected to have over $80 million in sales this year.
"A 'serial entrepreneur,' Blurb was Gittinsĺ─˘s fourth startup. In addition to working as an executive for Kodak, she directed a variety of software-focused tech startups before the Internet bubble collapse of 2000, after which she went back to her first creative love, photography, and began thinking about a new kind of print publishing model. 'I decided I wanted to make a book,' she said, thinking, 'how hard could that be?' It turned out to be very hardĺ─ţin 2002 there was nothing like Blurb." (Publishers Weekly)
BLURB'S EVOLUTION BEYOND PHOTO BOOKSĺ─ýWhat started out as a company offering the opportunity to photographers and others to create short run copies of photo books, has now expanded into new options for creating trade books and magazines. And Blurb has added important new distribution opportunities. In 2014, the company announced a new initiative with Ingram which made Blurb-created books and eBooks available via 39,000 locations worldwide at retail and online stores. Authors and publishers can offer three levels of discounts to encourage retailers to pick up their books: 25, 36 or 55 percent.
A MORE VISUAL WORLDĺ─ýOne of the comments Eileen made was that the world has become more visual. Which should be great for Blurb because they were founded upon the creation of photo books. I have used Blurb myself to create photo books for my family and I was really impressed with how easy the process was to design and create beautiful books using Blurb's design tools. I am looking forward to using their new free design app BOOKWRIGHT that can be used for designing not only photo books, but trade books, magazines and ebooks. And with Ingram distribution, you can sell your books on Amazon and other online stores and make your books available to retail stores as well. Thank you Eileen and keep up the good work!"
ĺ─˙Our collaboration with Ingram will be especially welcome for Blurbĺ─˘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."
ĺ─ý Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO, Blurb