Web Features

Viewing Blurb Books Online

Is it possible to view & scroll through the Blurb Books online? How?

Is it possible to flip Blurb Book pages online, similar to flipping pages of printed books? Current way of downloading books .pdf files looks very primitive & web antagonistic. And even downloaded .pdf versions are not flippable, like real books are.

See Flippable Album Collection ( http://www.fliplibrary.com/indexstatic.php ) for flipping ideas. You would need to inslall  FlipViewer  IE Pluginfrom the same site to view the FlipLibrary Albums. If you want to create your own flippable albums, FlipAlbum package needs to be installed on your PC.

But – what about Blurb Book flipping features?

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Posted by
arnymars
Nov 9, 2007 3:08pm PDT
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arnymars
 

Its an interesting idea. You can see a similar "flipping" technology on this page on our site.

As for previewing a specific member’s book online, we currently offer a low-res PDF version of the first 15 pages of the book. Not all books have preview "turned on" however – that’s at the discretion of each author.   

Here’s an example, just click on the "Book Preview" link, found under the picture of the book’s cover. 

Posted by
JackLyon
Nov 13, 2007 2:00pm PDT
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JackLyon
 

I would like to make the case for allowing for more than just the first 15 pages of a book to be previewed.  If I go to a bookstore (remember them?) I can look through the whole book before I decide whether it is worth buying.  I have spent some time looking at peoples books on Blurb, and what I notice is that by the time I have scrolled through the introductions, I barely get to see a couple of pages of actual content.  Since Blurb books are by their nature more expensive than mass produced books, it is asking a lot for a potential buyer to decide to fork out $50-$100 when all you have to go on is the first few pages of actual content.I submit that authors are far more likely to sell their books if they let the buyer’s browse the whole book first.  Please Blurb give this serious consideration, and perhaps give the authors more flexibility to decide how much to expose.

Authors, what are you afraid of?  I am unlikely to buy a book if you don’t let me preview it, and the more I can preview, the more I am likely to buy it if it is what I am looking for.

Posted by
glenlan
Nov 27, 2007 10:46am PDT
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glenlan
 

Hey glenlan –

Allowing the author to decide how much of their book is available for preview is an interesting suggestion that we’re hearing more and more.

One potential issue in terms of the "brick and mortar" bookstore analogy is that while you have access to the whole book in the store, it’s highly unlikely you’ll sit there and read the whole thing. However, if you had unlimited access to an electronic version from the comfort of your home and/or office, you may be happy consuming the whole book that way (which is why online retailers like Amazon provide limited previews).

That said, nothing onscreen can remotely compare to having the real book in your hands. It definitely makes sense that the author could dictate how much of their book is available for preview – its definitely something we’ll be looking into in the coming year.  

Jack 

Posted by
JackLyon
Nov 27, 2007 5:04pm PDT
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JackLyon
 

I find it most annoying that I can’t just print to .pdf and put part or all of the .pdf on my web site. The exported odf currently has an ugly watermark that makes it unusable. I think that would benefit both myself and Blurb. This kind of closed system makes me want to find another provider—and I’m certainly not going to do any of my layout in booksmart in the future unless they fix this.

Posted by
DoctorT
Nov 27, 2007 7:56pm PDT
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DoctorT
 

Thanks JacLyon for considering to allow better previews of books.  I think the key is your last point – the reason people are browsing through a bookstore in the first place is because they love books, and are looking to own the real thing.  I know if I am going to spend $50 -$100 on a book in a physical bookstore, especially a photo book, I spend quite a bit of time looking through the whole book to decide if it is what I want. 

Since the previews in Blurb is low res, I think there is very little risk and lots of benefits.  If you are not sure, then please give the option to the authors for how much to reveal.  My book is in proof right now, and I will be the first to open up my whole book for review if you give this option.

Posted by
glenlan
Dec 4, 2007 11:50am PDT
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glenlan
 

I too would love the ability to let visitors preview the entire book.  I was quite dissapointed to find that only a few pages are displayed in the preview.

Posted by
ayemeola
Nov 20, 2009 11:38am PDT
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ayemeola
 

To get more than the first 15 pages your book needs to be public and in the Set Your Price programme. Details here.

…..Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Nov 21, 2009 2:23am PDT
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tfrankland