Blurb enters licensing agreement to incorporate MagCloud service

Books on Monday: each Monday TNM looks at books and book publishing – either a new book on the publishing industry, a new digital book release, or news on the industry

The independent book publishing platform Blurb has entered into a licensing agreement with Hewlett-Packard which will allow MagCloud customers to access Blurb’s line of books and magazines.

MagCloud-iPad-appThe agreement will transition all of MagCloud’s operational functions to Blurb over the next three months and MagCloud projects will be transitioned to the Blurb.com website within the next six months.

“Blurb and HP have a longstanding relationship dating back to the origin of Blurb in 2006, so the foundation exists to make this transition successful,” said Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO, Blurb. “Further to the relationship however, the magazine at this moment in time represents the perfect intersection of technology, culture, and media: Beautifully designed short-form reading, with multiple contributors, in print, and as an ebook. In this context, the magazine as a genre is very strategic for Blurb. Indie magazines are experiencing a bit of a renaissance, and we’re thrilled to welcome MagCloud customers to the Blurb fold.”

MagCloud has an existing iPad app inside the Apple App Store that is used to read digital magazines, photo books and catalogs that use the service (there is no Google Play app at this time).

Today MagCloud sent its customers a notice of the new move to Blurb:

“When we started MagCloud back in HP Labs we sought to democratize publishing, so anyone could create and distribute their own magazine,” the email said. “In the five years since, we have been honored to print hundreds of thousands of publications from wonderful publishing enthusiasts, photographers, artists and business owners all over the world. Now looking ahead, we feel it’s time for MagCloud users to get even more out of publishing. As of May 5, 2014, we have transitioned the MagCloud business to our good friends at Blurb.”

MagCloud-tabpub(MagCloud was also one of the 44 digital publishing platforms featured in the Guide found inside the Tablet Publishing app released by TNM late last year. The first page of their entry is seen at left. Printing of magazines starts at $0.16 a page depending on page size, and there is no cost for distribution of digital publications through MagCloud.)

Blurb, based in San Francisco, has been known exclusively for its book technology which allows authors to print a small number of titles for sale. Although considered print-on-demand, the product is not truly POD as the author must designate a number of copies to be printed rather than only print them as each sale occurs. Blurb also offers fixed layout eBooks.

Founded in 2005 by Eileen Gittins, the company is backed by Canaan Partners and Anthem Venture Partners. In late April Blurb announced that it has entered into an agreement with Amazon that will allow Blurb customers to include Amazon.com distribution. In late March Blurb introduced a new offset printing option, as well as short term book warehousing and fulfillment.

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