Blurb is not all that bad...
I"ve been reading the posts for the past few months, and though I would share my blurb experiences. After all, from reading the posts you would get the impression that most people are having problems.
First, I have done 5 books, ranging from a 20 page 7×7 to a 440 page 8×10 with a total order count of ~20 books over various times. Yes, many hours of dropping and dragging over the past 1+ years.
Most of my books have been great quality, with my only negative comment that the coloring on one order comes out different (less bright) on a second order. I have overcompensated a few of my darker pictures to account for that, but considering what I paid, i’m not that worried.
I have had no software freeze or crash on me (and I’ve been running versions since ~1.5)
I have had no pages fall out of my books – and they are well thumbed through
I have had no problems with shipping, with the exception that the book showed up at my door BEFORE UPS had had a chance to get the info input into UPS online (note I do live in Canada. Maybe that has something to do with it).
Their customer service has been good, then wierd. Depends on who I got. I had an issue with a corrupt upload (1GB+ file), which turned out to be a picture on my end that seemingly died. I emailed, they emailed me back, then asked for my phone # and the rep called me to work it out. She emailed me the solution, then a day later called me to see if it was working. Now, for free software, that is pretty good support. The bad: I had another problem, which was on the blurb end, and was unfixiable, so they sent me a discount coupon instead, which EXPIRED 24 hours after it was mailed. Not that useful since I had to redo my book. At least the thought was there.
Something I do realize:
- their costs are much lower than other printers, online & offline
- their software is FREE. I would grip as much as seemingly everyone else about the little things if I paid $1000 for it, but I didn’t so I just deal with it, make lots of backups and versions, and move on.
- we are all early adopters to this technology, so we need to be patient with upgrades and bug fixes, in particular (again) since we are using free software. Yes, they make their $ on the printing end, so they are truly motivated to have their software work – because if it doesn’t they can’t get things printed for us to make $.
I do have technical frustrations, like the global font and the lack of portability between versions, so don’t think I"m all Blurb-ho! I am just tempering them with the reality of the business model they are going after and realizing it is probably as good or better as anyone else could do (except if Google tried to do it)
So in short, i’m happy. sometimes frustrated, but that’s what we get for working with an emerging technology.