General Interest

Locked Why must I buy a book before it can be published?

I signed up for Blurb pretty jazzed about what it had to offer and having the potential of selling photo albums to my clients.  However, I must have missed the fine print somewhere that said I had to order one of the books myself before I could make them available for others to order.  What is the logic in requiring me to buy one?  Are there any ways around this?

Posted by
minimalPixel
Aug 18, 2007 3:06pm PDT
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minimalPixel
 

Minpix,

The best reason to buy a book is to proof it before you foist it on the unsuspecting public. Second you’re using Blurb’s free software and taking advantage of their free bookstore. I suspect at least part of their raison d’etre is to make money. Pony up.

Posted by
yonosey
Aug 18, 2007 5:17pm PDT
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yonosey
 

I agree with yonosey’s reply except for this situation.  I uploaded, purchased, and received a 116 page, 13×11 book (total cost $91, incl. tax & shipping).  Even though I proofed it diligently, when I received it I found one or two small errors that needed to be corrected, which I did.  When I uploaded a 2nd edition, I found out that I can’t make it public until I spend ANOTHER $91 for a copy of a corrected book (which I don’t really need/want).  Now THAT makes no sense. 

 Look at it this way—I got one book, which I am happy with despite the minor mistakes, and I paid full freight for it.  I have others who will be interested in buying it, but I can’t make it public until I buy another one.  We should be able to upload at least one or two editions of the same book without having to shell out almost, in this case, another $100.  Blurb, what is the rationale for this policy please?  Thanks!!!!!

Posted by
gcjones
Aug 18, 2007 6:14pm PDT
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gcjones
 

I definitely agree with gcjones’ response. While I personally had no qualms with ordering a "2nd edition" of my book after some corrections, as the first one was a gift, I can see where in the future I might run into a problem with this.

Posted by
Dalboz17
Aug 18, 2007 7:46pm PDT
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Dalboz17
 

gcjones is totally right!

Posted by
ukaaa
Aug 19, 2007 3:33am PDT
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ukaaa
 

I have had similar issues.  But Because I market and distribute the books my self I get around this by correcting the book in my computer.  When I sell a subsequent copy I upload and delete the copy that has the mistakes.  I sell the corrected version to my clients and keep the original proof version for myself.  This is not ideal but It works for me due to the nature of the type of books I sell.  I wish you could upload just  a page here and there without purchasing a second book.

Regards

Pat T 

Posted by
pattahan
Aug 19, 2007 4:55am PDT
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pattahan
 

<Rant Mode ON>OK, now I’m just ticked off.  I went to announce the 2nd edition of the book I uploaded a couple of days ago (I have 12 days left to order) to the other members of the trip which this book documents.  Lo and behold, I can’t even announce it to potential buyers without buying another copy!  See above post.  When I try to use the announce feature, it tells me "Attention! You can’t announce a book until you’ve ordered a copy. You have 12 days left to publish this book."  So, here’s another question:  Why does the author have to be the first one to buy the book?  If I can announce a book, and get at least one buyer within 14 days, all should be good, right?  If I get no buyer, and I don’t buy a copy, then delete it <del>- I’d be OK with that.  But to not be able to notify potential buyers of a book they will want unless I spend ANOTHER $91 is NOT good customer service.  In the service, we would have called that a Catch-22.<Rant Mode OFF>

 That said, I am very happy with the way the copy I received turned out, as well as another 13×11 book I did (called Ikona -</del> check it out :-)  So far I’ve published 7 Blurb books (2 private) and am sold on this service and hope it matures quickly and moves out of beta.

Blurb, if there’s a legitimate business reason or constraint for this policy, please share it with us.  Thanks and keep up the GREAT work!

 Glenn Jones

Posted by
gcjones
Aug 20, 2007 9:16pm PDT
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gcjones
 

Question kind of on topic….sort of….

If I wish to publish a book and sell copies on blurb, do I have to purchase both a hard cover and a soft cover in order to sell both?  Or can I just order one and offer both to potential buyers?  Just curious….thanks.

Posted by
forevertues
Aug 20, 2007 10:08pm PDT
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forevertues
 

Glen,

Why not market and sell the books yourself.  Can you announce the books via your own personal email?  Can these people write checks to you and can you order the subsequent books your self.  Can you buy the one copy you need and offer it at a discount to the first buyer to get that one book purchased, then do a re market via blurb.  To me 91$ is a lot of money, but have you explored all options.  I market these books my self.  I don’t tell my customers where I buy product.  If any of my customers stumble across my books here they are priced substantially  higher than if they just write me a check.  

I really understand your dilemma.  Been there my self.  But I tell my self there is more than one way to dkin a cat.

regards

Pat T 

Posted by
pattahan
Aug 21, 2007 4:20am PDT
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pattahan
 

Whops

Skin a cat 

Posted by
pattahan
Aug 21, 2007 4:21am PDT
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pattahan
 

Thanks for the suggestion, Pat.  I had thought about that.  However, my target audience is only about a dozen folks from across the country who accompanied us on our trip to Italy and Greece this past June.  <shameless plug mode ON>Although I think it’s a fabulous book with great photos <shameless plug mode OFF>, I don’t think it will have much appeal beyond that—I have no profit motive here.  I just want to be able for them to go to the site and order what they want, but I also want to have the best edition available for them, hence my dilemna….thx!

Posted by
gcjones
Aug 21, 2007 8:13am PDT
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gcjones
 

I completely agree with gcjones here. I does not make sense that the author has to buy the book first to make it public. Why can’t anyone buy it?

I thought I bought the 3rd edition of my book after I uploaded it. But later when the site told me I only have 7 days left before they erase my book, I quickly realized I must have bought the first edition, ouch! Now I have an older edition of my book that has the errors and other issues I fixed in the latest edition, on the way to me, and my newer version is still waiting to go public. This is frustrating.

Matt

Posted by
Mattsahib
Aug 21, 2007 9:07am PDT
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Mattsahib
 

bummer,  Next time b4 you upload a new version delete the present version.  I delete my old version before I upload the new version.  I felt that I would get confused and order the wrong book.  Regards

Pat 

Posted by
pattahan
Aug 21, 2007 10:37am PDT
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pattahan
 

Whoa! I just got the book I mistakenly ordered. It is way different that the hardback version. Way different. The colors in the paperback are mottled and there is a hatch mark like grid that is faintly seen over all the images. It really looks like it was printed on a completely different press. Had I gotten this quality from the first order I would never had reordered.

Question:

Do they do some sort of different printing process for paperback verses hardback? There is no comparison between these two books. Both printed from the same upload version.

Disheartened,
Matt

Posted by
Mattsahib
Aug 23, 2007 11:21am PDT
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Mattsahib
 

Hi Matt. I saw your question buried in this thread and wanted to direct you here. You’ll get more information on the different print techonologies we use for various books. -Allison

Posted by
allibehr
Aug 23, 2007 11:57am PDT
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allibehr
 

I am still working on my first book but I am somewhat confused by all the rants about buying your own book. So here’s a book company and you want to send them a massive file of  your images, have them format them and prepare them for printing, pay someone (i’m sure more than minimum wage) to post photos and all the information about your book on their website. Then they maintain the site and market your book so that someone, someday might stumble across the website and jump at the chance of owning a book about Aunt Harriet’s vacation in 2004 or a maybe my pet poodle with some more out of focus vacation sunset photos from Hawaii? We all think our books are world class but if they were we would be giving them to our publisher to send to Barnes and Noble by the case load. Somehow the business logic of asking a small start-up company like Blurb to front all the time and expense so we might get lucky and sell one or two, defies good business logic. In the case of needing to publish a second one because the first one had errors, wouldn’t you really want to own one that had no errors in it to show to prospective buyers or friends? Ok, said my piece, now back to work on "the world’s finest photo book ever created by man"

Posted by
waltn1
Aug 23, 2007 1:10pm PDT
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waltn1
 

What is the logic in requiring you to buy one? The purpose of this site is for you to be able to create a book and have it printed. Being able to sell it through the site as well is just an added bonus.

Posted by
KyleCozzens
Oct 9, 2007 10:15pm PDT
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KyleCozzens
 

Why produce a book if you don’t want to own a copy?

The software/website space and the development of the blurb service that is required to interface with delivery services, just has to take resources in time and money. The piper has to be paid.

I have no problem with ordering a copy of my own work… it can be used as a CV, an aide memoire, a shop window… anything that requires you to have a copy of work that you have created in the past.

Posted by
jayemcee
Oct 10, 2007 4:20am PDT
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jayemcee
 

All this made me second guess my decision to makes books on blurb. Maybe the reason some of us don’t want to purchase our books right away is because we have no money? Which is why some of us joined blurb in the first place, to make some money. Sounds like I’ll be spening much more than I will be earning. So for now, I don’t think I’ll be publishing anything.

Posted by
Hunniebee
Dec 14, 2009 2:47am PDT
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Hunniebee
 

jayemcee

you can host unlimited webspace and unlimited bandwidth for about 4 per month…so give us a break. sure blurb pays more and has fixed costs, but the variable cost of hosting a book is next to nothing.

making an author repay for his book just because he made a few typo revisions doesn’t make sense for the customer.

Posted by
ventdevie
Dec 14, 2009 12:57pm PDT
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ventdevie
 

Hi,

This post is more than two years old and is a bit irrelevant now since an author or a non-author can be the first purchaser of any book.

So, I’m locking this post. Feel free to start another one.

– Kathy

Posted by
kathybad
Dec 14, 2009 2:57pm PDT
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kathybad