BookSmart

Enough is enough, Blurb

This bad software thing is out of hand.  How can a company hope to stay in business if the software used to create the books is badly screwed up?  How can people complete books to buy if the software won’t let them?

 I’m one of those with a large book finished and suddenly I can’t open it without it crashing within 2-3 seconds.

 Blurb needs to go outside and hire some software engineers to clean up the software problem.  Other software doesn’t have such a terrible time with fonts.

 Blurb also needs to improve communication skills.  Talk to us about the problem.  Let us know what’s going to get fixed and when.  Let us know when a new patch is up.  All it says is 1.9.  There are additional patches above that, but we aren’t notified.

 Enough of the contact technical support.  That hasn’t helped.  I got a poorly directed response to my inquiry which didn’t address the problem, which was clearly defined in my email.  I responded, but no follow-up form Blurb technical.  What is this "they’ll stay with you until it’s fixed"?

 Blurb should spend more time reading this forum instead of avoiding it as has been suggested.  They might learn about the frustrations people are having with bad software.

 The books, when we could actually complete them, were fantastic.  What a shame it all got screwed up with bad software.

 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, BLURB.

 

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
deanej
Sep 17, 2008 7:09am PDT
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deanej
 

Howdy deanej,

I’ll try to be as neutral as possible here. I obviously work for Blurb. But I care about authors’ experiences more than covering our behinds, so I’ll be frank, as well.

We have obviously not ironed out every bug in the program. However, the vast majority of files containg these kinds of crashes CAN BE FIXED. There are simply too many varibles and too many potential solutions to simply post all the file repair processes (not to mention the coding expertise requred to implement the fixes).

We read the forums, and take comments to heart. I’m especially concerned that you say you responded to Customer Support’s original recommendation; the ticket I see associated with your email address (at least the one you registered with Blurb) does not contain your follow-up note. If that message bounced for some reason, please do re-send it. Make sure to keep the subjectline the same, and, in your note, please be sure to paste first two paragraphs of the crash log___.txt file as requested. That will allow CS to see precisely what the issue with your file is, and they should then be able to respond with directions specific to your situation.

Jeremy

Posted by
jbates
Sep 17, 2008 11:42am PDT
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jbates
 

Thank you for resonding Jeremy.  I responded yesterday to CS with the requested log information.  Based on your comments, I just responded again.

 The fact that my issue is exactly as others have described leads me to believing the software needs looking at.

 Again, thanks for answering my post.  I, for one, believe Blurb should be more active in the forum answering questions that affect a number of users regarding the software performance.

I am one of those who thinks the Blurb concept is the greatest thing since sliced bread (as they say), and I have many more projects planned, but the software crashes are frightening after days and days of work.

 

Posted by
deanej
Sep 17, 2008 12:53pm PDT
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deanej
 

Howdy deanej,

You have a point regarding our approach to the forums. I used to moderate with a much heavier hand, and jumped on questions within an hour… I eventually found this discouraged BookSmart verterans from participating and speaking up; and it also overly blurred the line between customer support and this discussion arena. If someone needs official support, we want there to be one clear place for him/her to go to get an answer straight from Blurb. That place is blurb.com/help.

We want to cultivate this forum to be a place where people can share their experiences, ask each other for ideas/best practices, demand BookSmart for Linux, etc. Those kinds of posts are most prevalent when the current build of our software is smoothest. When there are some new bugs, the forum, understandably, sees more "help me!" posts. I’m optimistic things will soon smooth out for the folks having troubles (especially for those who contact customer support!).

Cheers,
Jeremy

Posted by
jbates
Sep 17, 2008 3:36pm PDT
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jbates
 

I agree with deanej. I think that blurb is a great company but with a very bad software. I’ve made a book with blurb and the quality is fine and it is a pity to lose customers for software. I’m from Barcelona (Spain) and here I used to use Fotoprix http://www.fotoprix.com/album_fotos_digital/ . Unlike blurb, this is a very bad company with an excellent software. I left to make books with them because the customer service is the worst I’ve ever seen. Please, download the software and see how it’s done. You can install in English. A council with all the affection of the world: exploit the potential that you have and change programmers. (Sorry for my English) ANNA

Posted by
abv91
Sep 18, 2008 2:44am PDT
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abv91
 

From where I sit, having made 34 individual Blurb books, I’d say I’m a loyal, mostly satisfied customer. For me, on a Mac, having used all the variations of BookSmart since October 2006, the problem with the software boils down to increasing overtaxing of my system. That is why the program runs increasingly slower, the higher the beta number. The programmers must make “mean and lean” their #1 priority, now!

Posted by
Michal
Sep 18, 2008 5:10am PDT
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Michal
 

I can close out my problem now.  I started over.  I had PNG full bleed pages created in Serif PagePlus, so all I had to do was drag 138 pages into a new book.  It took about 2 hours.

My probelm started when I cut and pasted the end flap text from an older version of BookSmart.  The lesson is to avoid cutting and pasting.  Create the text in the version of BookSmart you are using.  Cut and paste seems to be a deadly issue at this time and a sure invitation to trouble.

Apparently my emails were not getting through to Technical Help.  Once Jeremy and I realized this, we were able to look at the issue.  He was very helpful and responsive.  My faith in Blurb has been restored.

Having brought the record up to date, I still have to say that I think Blurb needs to work hard on the software issue.  Books have lots of text, and text handling is a troublesome area.  And, the slow performance of the software in general needs to be looked at.

Posted by
deanej
Sep 18, 2008 6:45am PDT
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deanej