Innovation That Matters

Marketplace for book makers

Publishing & Media

Almost exactly two years ago we first wrote about Blurb, a publishing software and services company that brings bookstore-quality publishing to the masses. The San Francisco-based company has been pretty busy since then—publishing nearly 80,000 unique titles in 2007, for example, and doubling in size every three months—and now it’s come out with BlurbNation, a way for users to monetize their book-making skills. Launched at the start of this year, BlurbNation is an independent marketplace within Blurb where those skilled at various aspects of custom book-making and those in need of such skills can find each other. The idea is simple: Some people are very good at making books, while others may have ideas for books but not the time or skills to make them. BlurbNation is a way for those two sides to meet so that the books get made and those with the skills can make some money from them. BlurbNation book makers can provide such services as writing and proofreading copy; designing pages and organizing content; scanning, editing and restoring photos or artwork; or even creating the entire book from cover to cover. To be listed in the BlurbNation Directory, they must meet a set of minimum requirements, including having produced at least two books on Blurb that are publicly available in the Blurb Bookstore, and having a website or blog that promotes and explains their book-making services. They must also have technical proficiency with image-editing and design applications. Once accepted by Blurb, they can be listed in the BlurbNation Directory with a profile and work samples, and they get marketing support from Blurb. Arrangements with clients, including price, are worked out completely independently, however—Blurb doesn’t take a share of any fees. BlurbNation is a logical next step in the evolution of Blurb’s business model, which is focused squarely on enabling the creations of Generation C. It’s also a beautiful example of what our sister site would call a feeder business—one that feeds, and feeds off of, bigger ones. What other ventures out there need to be fed…? Spotted by: Jono Hey



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