San Francisco, Calif. — November 14, 2006 — Blurb, the creative book publishing service, today announced that its new BookSmart™ beta release version 1.5 is available for download at www.blurb.com. Version 1.5 of the BookSmart application enables Blurb customers to create soft cover books and slurp blogs from any TypePad or WordPress account, while the Bookstore now offers a new Book Preview feature.
Blurb enables anyone to create, share and distribute affordable, beautiful, bookstore-quality books. Blurb’s BookSmart software application makes it easy to create a professionally designed book, using simple dragging and dropping of photos and auto-flowing text, in about an hour. “Blurb customers have already told us that they plan to use soft cover books for catalogs, custom brochures, client-presentation workbooks, and marketing collateral,” said Eileen Gittins, Blurb’s Founder and CEO. “Offering soft cover books opens up entirely new markets for Blurb, and gives our users more ways to express themselves creatively and professionally.” Softcover prices start at $18.95 for a 40-page, 8×10 4-color book with the same 80# coated, semi-matte paper and professional print quality Blurb delivers in its hardcover books. Blurb users can now create a single file, then order books in soft cover, hardcover, or both. Blurb has also added features to help people better market their books in Blurb’s Bookstore. Along with showing larger cover images in the Bookstore, Blurb customers can now elect to show prospective book buyers the first 15 pages of their books via a view-only PDF file with the Book Preview feature. Blurb’s new tagging tools allow users to categorize and tag their books for more exposure.
Following a successful closed beta release this fall, BookSmart version 1.5 opens Blurb’s Blog Slurper to all TypePad and WordPress bloggers. Additional blog sources will be added soon. Blurb’s Blog Slurper allows each blogger to identify how they want their blog slurped – by date or topic – and whether to include pictures, comments, and links. Blurb’s BookSmart application then inserts the slurped blog directly into a professionally designed book template, producing a draft book in minutes. Blurb has also added four new travel themes to the latest version of BookSmart: Road-trip, International, Family, and Adventure.
Blurb is a company and a community that believes passionately in the power of books: making, reading, sharing, and selling them. Blurb’s creative publishing service is simple and smart enough to make anyone an author — every blogger, cook, marketer, photographer, traveler, entrepreneur, poet, everyone. Founded by Eileen Gittins in 2004 and funded by Canaan Partners and Anthem Venture Partners, Blurb is bringing book publishing to the masses. Blurb’s free BookSmart™ software runs on a Mac or PC; users pay only when they publish their books. The software is available for download at www.blurb.com.