Blurb: Friend Or Foe?

December 29, 2008 § Leave a comment

imagesRecently, my wife and I created a book of our wedding photos to give as gifts to our loved ones as Christmas gifts. A friend of ours pointed us to Blurb.

The website looked great and the prices were reasonable, so we thought we would give them a try. As the holiday approached, we noticed that Blurb started posting printer deadlines. Being someone who works regularly with printers, I could see that we needed to get the files to Blurb as quickly as possible and more than likely expedite the shipping (in case anything went wrong at the printer).

Long story short, we got the files to the Blurb on time and upgraded our shipping to two-day. Our book did not ship on the day that Blurb told us it would. It, in fact, shipped 4 days after they said it would. To make matters worse, we were leaving for my parents on the 23rd of December and we needed to have the books before then, so that we could wrap them and get them to other family members who wouldn’t be making the trip.

We eventually received the book at 6:00pm the night we supposed to leave for my parents. We got them wrapped and delivered to where they needed to be in a jiffy.

So what is it? Blurb: Friend or Foe?

The Good: The book was well-produced and looked exactly as I expected. We chose the premium paper (It was worth the extra money) My parents were very excited to receive a professionally printed book of wedding photos.

The So-so: You have to use Blurb’s Booksmart software. If you are used to using Quark or InDesign, this software will initially drive you crazy due to simple features. I would recommend creating your book in the program you like, exporting PDFs of each page, then placing those PDFs into full-page bleed layouts in Booksmart

The Bad: Blurb’s customer service. No phone number is given, you have to correspond with customer service through email. I would not use Blurb if you are on any sort of deadline. You cannot trust their shipping dates and customer service was no help in getting information.

Verdict: Use caution. There is a saying: ” Good. Fast. Cheap. Pick two.” Blurb falls into the category of good and cheap, but certainly not fast. If you have no inpending deadline, then Blurb is great. If you have a deadline, I would make plans to move it back.

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