April 22, 2014 Last Updated 12:36 pm

Blurb launches new book design software and Amazon.com distribution program for authors

New program increases short run print book distribution, but costs and lack of print-on-demand services will limit appeal

The self-publishing printing service Blurb today announced that they had introduced new book design software, as well as a new distribution service that will allow sales through the giant online retailer Amazon.com.

Blurb-bookwright-splashBlurb already has an InDesign plug-in and a bookmaking tool called BookSmart. Now they have added a new app, BookWright. The program allows for the creation of print books, eBooks and PDFs, all from the same software applications.

For small and self-publishers, Blurb offers a free ISBN number program, something Amazon has offered publishers of print books built through CreateSpace. Last fall, Apple finally ended its requirement that all books contain ISBN numbers, all but eliminating the need for such numbers by small and self-publishes who only plan to sell eBooks or print books through Amazon or another service.

BookWright offers 13 different pre-built templates, and has its own color soft proofing ability so that designers can see what their work will look like using different paper stocks.

The software is available for both Mac and PC, and has support for English, German, French, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, and Spanish.

Blurb-bookwright-sizes

Blurb will now also be able to offer Amazon distribution. The author or publisher sets the list price and adds Amazon.com distribution by checking a box. For now, at least, the addition of Amazon distribution is free of charge, but after the introductory period of time is over Blurb will charge a $29.99 set-up fee.

“Our customers have told us very clearly that they want to make their books available for sale at Amazon,” Eileen Gittins, Blurb founder and CEO, said in the company’s announcement. “By giving Blurb authors the ability to sell on Amazon, we’re unlocking more potential customers – and profit opportunities – for Blurb authors than ever before.”

For commercial purposes, Blurb’s programs seem still be to way too expensive to consider. A 120 pages photo book, for instance, would require about a $4,000 investment to deliver 100 copies to Amazon, more if other upgrades to cover and stock were considered. This would require pricing a book well above $50 in order to break-even. TNM reached out to Blurb’s PR person for more details on their programs and the new app, but did not receive a response back.

TNM Digital Media currently has two photography eBooks available, but finding a print solution still seems far off.

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