Blurb Announces Partnership with Amazon to Simplify Self-Publishing Photo Books


As of Yesterday, Blurb — an online platform and service that allows you to create and publish photo books — announced that you will now be able to sell and distribute said photo books through none other than online retail giant, Amazon, regardless of how many copies are sold.

This is considerably big news, as it opens up an entirely new realm of possibilities for photographers who want to get some of their work out there in the form of printed books, but don’t have the means to desire to go through more traditional methods of ordering massive quantities and trying to get those sold.

As said by Blurb CEO, Eileen Gittins:

Self-publishing photographers want to be on Amazon; it’s today’s equivalent of being in a high street shop. We will facilitate the whole thing: get the book an ISBN and print it on demand – there’s no minimum print run, The only difference [to using Blurb’s online shop] is that Amazon has some fees attached [a 15% “referral fee” of the products price].


For those wanting to go big, Gittens also explains that Blurb will store any prints that go over 300 copies in a warehouse for six months:

If you live in a flat in Shoreditch, you can’t possibly house 8 crates of books in your apartment. And then what’s going to happen when someone want to buy them? You have no facility to take their money, let alone go to the post office and ship them. So for 35 to 50 cents per unit, depending on the size of the book, we will warehouse that for you and fulfill it for you, meaning we will pull it off the shelf and do all of the systems work for you. This is radical transformation of what it means now to really self publish and to really have a level playing field.

Leveling the playing field is absolutely right. This new team effort from Amazon and Blurb is to photo books as the Kindle and Amazon’s platform was to text-based writers. It’ll be interesting to see how this changes things, but it’s certainly good news all around, as leveling the playing field for getting such publications out there is always welcomed.

(via Telegraph)

  • Guest

    Wow. Did Amazon not research how poor quality Blurb books are?

  • Anon

    i’ve used blurb before twice and always really loved the results. where would you suggest using that’s better at a decent price? :)

  • Jaleel King

    I’ve search all over for a good printer! Ideally I wanted to sell my books/zines cheap but it’s really hard. I ended up going local which was pricey but people seem to like the end result so I’m happy. This is an interesting idea for those looking for an easier way to get their work out there.

  • Global

    This is good for Competition and improving services offered. Blurb doesn’t have to be perfect to be good & also be improving.

    I would also appreciate a recommendation for any service which is better than blurb (with your reasons why). However, we should applaud this step taken as one more tool in the publishing kit.

  • Kyle Clements

    I’ve used blurb and 4 other print on demand photobook companies, and blurb was easily the best of the bunch that I tried.

    I would love to know which companies print better books at that price point.

  • Jack B. Siegel

    It’s a good thing because Amazon may provide the coverage that could result in a reduction of the cost of Blurb books to photographers. I forget the exact dollar amount, but i have done two Blurb books in the 40 page range (hardcover). If I put a $10 or $15 markup on the book, it comes it at somewhere around $50 to $60. I would like to think I take interesting photographs, but I don’t think I will have many buyers once I get past friends and family.

  • David Liang

    This is a very synergistic move, very interested in this myself. I really like these deals where it benefits the companies involved but also brings control, freedom and distribution to users.

  • Shariq

    I really want to be excited about this but so far I’ve been disappointed with whatever I’ve printed at Blurb :(

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  • Stan B.

    I Used BLURB back in 2009 for a book of B&W images- it made for a suitable dummy of the book you would really want.

    Recently, I used a service called Artisan State. They make (mostly, but not exclusively) small format books on paper that is equivalent to 2 double weight prints dry mounted together; not practical for a full length book- but a great aesthetic and tactile feel for promotional presentations. A 5X7 book of 20 prints… $20. The (B&W) print quality is Absolutely SUPERB- but… I recently received some copies that were cropped well beyond their own red lined safety zone (which they are now reprinting free of charge- as they well should).

    Caution: A lot of these on demand publishers make sure to dot their i’s and cross their t’s on your initial order- after that it’s… let’s see just how much we can get away with…

  • Ron van Rutten

    I live in Holland and here I use for making my albums. Not as cheap as blurb, but I find the quality surpasses it as it’s a true chemical printing process instead of inkjet or rasterized printing.

  • Jay

    Trust is so important. I printed with Blurb once and was so embarrassed for my client when they received the product. I felt so badly that I gave them a refund. The ink / DPI resolution was poor and tones were blotchy (I was using high resolution photos, not reduced / compressed images). It reflected poorly on me as a professional.

    I have since moved to using AdoramaPix and have been very happy with the quality. It’s quite a bit more expensive, but the quality is consistent superb. They ship to Canada and I haven’t paid duties on the import on any of my orders so far.

    Glad to see others find Blurb a fine service, but I have learned to not go cheap with client work.

  • Mike S.

    Is this effective immediately? And is it the same process through blurb or you gotta go through Amazon? I don’t see anything on blurbs website about this.

  • Richard

    Have you tried MagCloud? I’ve printed a number of magazines with them and the quality is quite good.

  • Julie R. Neidlinger

    I used MagCloud for magazines, too. MagCloud just got absorbed by Blurb. Ironic.

  • Richard

    I agree, ironic. It looks, however, like the process will remain the same for a while, which is good for me. I built a number of templates for MagCloud mags in Pages so I’d prefer their process. Blurb’s various apps don’t work all that well for me.