Web Features

Book commenting feature in the works. Tell us what you think.

We all know there’s a ton of great books in the bookstore and you’ve told us that you want to share your feedback with the authors. Well, we’re almost there. Below is a prototype for a new book commenting feature coming soon. But first, we want to hear what you think, right here, in this thread.

Here are some details:
- If you have a public book, you can allow comments or not
- Comments will be viewable on the book detail page
- Only signed-in users can post comments
- You can delete comments from your book detail page
- You can choose to receive email alerts when comments are posted or not
- Anyone, signed in or not, can flag comments for inappropriate content. Flagged comments will be  handled much like what we do with rogue Forums posts.

Keep in mind that this is just the first phase. In the coming months, we plan to roll out additional commenting features.

Your feedback is key here. Please let us know what you think so we can release our commenting feature soon.

– Kathy

Book commenting feature

Replytopic_b_normal
Posted by
kathybad
Jul 7, 2009 6:31pm PDT
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kathybad
 

Looks great to me! 

Posted by
Bebensee
Jul 7, 2009 11:32pm PDT
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Bebensee
 

I find it almost impossible to read your screen print Kathy but from what I can see the feature looks good.

........Tony

Posted by
tfrankland
Jul 7, 2009 11:44pm PDT
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tfrankland
 

This looks pretty good to me, from what I can see.

Posted by
ianx
Jul 8, 2009 9:50am PDT
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ianx
 

Great idea!

Posted by
kgiff
Jul 8, 2009 9:50am PDT
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kgiff
 

It looks good… maybe you can add also a sort of ranking system by users.

Cheers,

                roberto

Posted by
rmarinello
Jul 8, 2009 9:52am PDT
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rmarinello
 

Thank you for working on this ‘comment/feedback’ feature! Testaments given on a book really helps the author/publisher. Furthermore, Blurb is innovative in exploring ways to create a ‘social media’ within Blurb. As you can see Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online book store carry a ‘reviews’ feature that most customers utlize, thus it is fantastic that Blurb will soon be offering kind of tool as well. Kudos to you!

Posted by
carawong
Jul 8, 2009 9:54am PDT
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carawong
 

cool feature !   should help those wanting to purchase

Posted by
naftalina007
Jul 8, 2009 9:59am PDT
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naftalina007
 

Good idea!

Posted by
AnnetteJones
Jul 8, 2009 10:00am PDT
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AnnetteJones
 

How about the ability to design a book and then select from several sizes (and soft / hard cover options) for the same project?  That way, for instance, I could make a book of family photos and make a large hard cover version for myself and my immediate family and smaller softcover versions for more distant relatives.  Clearly they would all have to share the same aspect ratio but should’t there be some way of scaling?

 

And my big issue… profiling!  Can’t we all agree that things would be better if a color profile was used.  That way we could have consistency in our books and more importantly, predictability!  WYSIWYG is a good thing!

 

One other issue…  Let me make some global changes to my book. I made a book recently that was too dark.  If I wanted to fix it, I’d have to change each image.  An option for increasing overall brightness by a percentage wouldn’t be optimal, but it would be better than what is there now.

 

Ok, that’s three ideas.  Where are my $0.06?

Posted by
jeffsstuff
Jul 8, 2009 10:09am PDT
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jeffsstuff
 

Sorry, that’s what i get for not reading before posting.  I saw comment and new features and assumed this was an open forum for new feature requests.

Posted by
jeffsstuff
Jul 8, 2009 10:11am PDT
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jeffsstuff
 

think it is in general a good idea. authors/publishers/designers must be aware though that negative or seemingly unpositive comments can’t be deleted. But good way to get the communications flowing.

  And these little ghosty emoticons sure are cute.

Posted by
evermeg
Jul 8, 2009 10:28am PDT
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evermeg
 

Looks great. Good idea.

Would be more interested in being able to choose to recieve payments via PayPal  – than this,

but it looks good, and might even improve sales… ;-)

Posted by
LotteHjorth
Jul 8, 2009 10:32am PDT
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LotteHjorth
 

evermeg,

Actually, negative comments will be able to be deleted by authors/psublishers/designers. You will have that control, which makes it a little diferent than what we are doing in the forums.

– Kathy

Posted by
kathybad
Jul 8, 2009 10:42am PDT
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kathybad
 

I am a bit confused about the purpose of the comment page.  If it is to comment back to the author, then these comments should go to a page viewable only to the author by logging in.  If the comments are for others who might want to purchase the book, then those should be on the book detail page.  Perhaps a pick box that would allow you to post either author feedback or general feedback might be of use.  As previously mentioned, a rating system would be nice as well.

Posted by
libsen
Jul 8, 2009 11:35am PDT
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libsen
 

not exactly on topic, but what about a way for a book buyer to leave you a note when they buy your book, right on the purchase page? right now, i don’t think there’s a convenient way for a buyer to do this, is there?

also, a way for a buyer/fan to be on an email list and/or rss feed where they’ll get a notice when an author updates a current book or uploads a new book.

Posted by
threecee
Jul 8, 2009 11:54am PDT
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threecee
 

I like the idea very much. 

Ihave no issue but I don’t find it important that you can delete comments. As long as they are not inappropriate (offensive etc.) it is an opinion from somebody and that is ok. At least it would be for me.

I would like an easy 5 star or 3 star rating option as a quick way to give feedback. 1 to 3 or 1 to 5 star (*, **, ***, ****, *****), or a thumbs up like in facebook.

I would prefer Stars (or cameras or …..) vs. thumbs up as it allows more differentiation.

Posted by
Xis
Jul 8, 2009 3:56pm PDT
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Xis
 

I have just seen other suggestions from Jeffsstuff and I really like his idea to make one book and than be able to create different sizes.

It is ok if the author is than responsible to check if certain pages had to be auto adjusted (e.g. if specific layouts are not available in one size) and may need manual work to perfect it. 

This would be a great!!! feature. 

Posted by
Xis
Jul 8, 2009 4:01pm PDT
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Xis
 

I think that’s a great feature. I always read consumer reviews if they’re available and it helps to know what’s beyond the first 15 pages.  Ranking/Review stars would be nice also.

Posted by
bluebirdnc72
Jul 9, 2009 12:17pm PDT
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bluebirdnc72
 

If I go to a bookshop, is see a selection of books. With Blurb/printing on demand nobody is selecting. I know there must be great books on Blurb, but for now they are very hard to find. This commenting thing may help a bit… But more is needed I guess. A system of critics that evaluate book in a transparent way ([as an author] you should be able to submit your book to a critic). If you like the taste of a critic it is much easer to find new interesting books. Or (even) more abstract: you should be able to know the commenter. People that like the same thing should generate(autom.) a profile (page). etc.

Posted by
Schmlschlgr
Jul 9, 2009 12:56pm PDT
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Schmlschlgr
 

I like the idea of critics… the book commenting is a good idea and a good start but perhaps creating a network of critics would be beneficial.

Posted by
mscottault
Jul 9, 2009 3:29pm PDT
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mscottault
 

I like the idea but also agree with a previous comment that the comment deleting should be left to Blurb when reported as abusive or insulting, because if your book really isn’t very good at all and someone posts constructive feedback, I think it’s only fair for potential buyers to know that in advance.

Leaving the choice to the author will make the comments biased and loose it’s purpose.

I also like the ranking/stars idea.

Thanks for keeping up the innovations… I love your products!

D.

Posted by
deeml
Jul 9, 2009 10:42pm PDT
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deeml
 

I think it sounds great! (A bit difficult to read the small print on there, but I get the drift.) I like the idea of being able to remove comments, occasionally people post silly things, and it may not be necessary to flag it as inappropriate in nature.  To counter balance any rigging devious authors may do, I think a rating system, as someone else posted, perhaps stars or some 5 level hierarchy, could be used, which authors would not be able to alter. I’m quite excited about this!

Posted by
firepulse
Jul 10, 2009 8:58am PDT
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firepulse
 

Cannot read your images very well, but they seem to be very good ideas. I’ve nothing to add, except that I find Blurb as it exists very user friendly.

Posted by
jimclark12
Jul 10, 2009 8:58am PDT
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jimclark12
 

Fantastic Idea!

Posted by
balexgilbert
Jul 11, 2009 3:06am PDT
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balexgilbert
 

Very good idea. Anything is better than the silence that now prevails about almost every book on Blurb.

Posted by
pitruzzo
Jul 11, 2009 9:34am PDT
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pitruzzo
 

I think overall it’s a good idea. I like the suggestion of a rating system (5 stars, books or bookmarks, etc.) and the fact that the author can manage/delete comments if inappropriate. The issue, though, is how Blurb will determine that comments/ratings can only made by users who have actually purchased a copy of the book. Relying solely on a 15-page preview would not be very valid.

Posted by
flutterbooks
Jul 11, 2009 10:30am PDT
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flutterbooks
 

The idea that authors could remove any comments they didn’t like seems repulsive and misleading to me.  It’s sort of like a dictator polictical regime only counting the votes in an election that were cast for the dictator in power.

If comments are to have any validity, they all need to remain for a true and balanced view.  The only thing that should be removed is offensive and illegal material.

I find it hard to believe there are individuals who think they should be able to invite comments, then delete any they don’t like so every comment ends up being a flowery commentary on their book.

Posted by
deanej
Jul 11, 2009 11:30am PDT
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deanej
 

In favour just as you’ve described it Kathy  :-)

P

 

Posted by
peteshep
Jul 11, 2009 2:15pm PDT
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peteshep
 

comments: great feature. love the idea.

what about a b3 badge (or announcement) if the book in the shop is using b3 services. it influences the quality and the price – but in the shop is nothing visible yet, if a book is offered only in b3… it can be compared to offering a book with premium paper!

Posted by
mgroenne
Jul 12, 2009 12:20pm PDT
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mgroenne
 

I think it is very important that the authors be able to remove comments.  I am not interested in spending the time and effort to create a book and then have some person who does not share my viewpoint leave negative comments for others to read when they look at my book in blurb.  I also think that authors should be able to choose whether they even allow comments on a particular book.  Another useful feature I have had to use on flickr is the ability to ban someone from leaving comments on your work. 

Posted by
kvantorne
Jul 12, 2009 8:16pm PDT
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kvantorne
 

Love it! Can’t wait to hear other users’ views of the books, will help me decide whihc to pick, buy or recommend to friends ;-)

Posted by
alexhardie
Jul 13, 2009 2:18am PDT
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alexhardie
 

This is a GREAT Idea! I was going to send you an email about this, but now that you are planning to do this, I am very glad. Hope it is implemented A.S.A.P. Thanks blurb.com

Posted by
jmendez_89
Jul 14, 2009 11:40am PDT
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jmendez_89
 

Great idea. Creates conversation in the Web 2.0 environment.

Posted by
karenross
Jul 14, 2009 5:54pm PDT
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karenross
 

Yes, it is a good idea.

Posted by
avphotos
Jul 14, 2009 6:04pm PDT
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avphotos
 

Good idea, also +1 for the 3 or 5 star rating idea!

Not so sure about how you told us all about this though (via an email from Blurb@email.blurb.com ) – all the links point to (presumably) a marketing/tracking website at links.mkt2330.com rather than links back into the Blurb forums (even the account page link and forum link seem to pass through tracking links at links.mkt2330.com) ... which would be fine except from where I am, none of the links work! 

Posted by
rsheh
Jul 14, 2009 6:13pm PDT
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rsheh
 

    I think this will be a very good asset,

Posted by
Ranger1
Jul 14, 2009 6:17pm PDT
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Ranger1
 

Sounds like a great idea. I’ve got three photo books in the blurb bookstore and the only comments I’ve gotten are from family and friends who naturally feel obligated to say how marvelous the books are.  I would like some real feedback ,positive or negative to help me improve both my photography and writing .

Pat Lynch

Posted by
plynch
Jul 14, 2009 6:18pm PDT
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plynch
 

Good idea,

Nothing is more important to an author. An honest and constructive critique helps to iron out the problems, and it opens the door to a better and more satisfying experience for both author and the audience. Price, content, crafting skill, and consumer demand are all on the table.

The filter to keep the system honest, needs carefull attention, though it will prove a bonus when the glitches are ironed out. Looking forward to Friday.

Posted by
countrywide
Jul 14, 2009 6:20pm PDT
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countrywide
 

Love the idea!  I create my books with family photos mainly for my personal enjoyment and that of my relatives.  I am my own primary "buyer"...(but would love to hear that others think my grandson is as beautiful as his Gramma thinks he is!!)  As far as negative comments… (if I had one I would keep it to myself…..besides you might just love the book!)   We all work very hard to produce our books and it will be nice to share our thoughts and appreciation on jobs well done. 

Posted by
sbocz
Jul 14, 2009 6:32pm PDT
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sbocz
 

Ditto ditto ditto.  Great idea.

Posted by
fdwight
Jul 14, 2009 6:49pm PDT
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fdwight
 

Yeah… great idea! Peers are the best critics.

Posted by
bugwagon
Jul 14, 2009 6:52pm PDT
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bugwagon
 

It’s worth a try.  Might have valuable feedback.

Posted by
mgbryan
Jul 14, 2009 7:14pm PDT
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mgbryan
 

How about constructive criticism seen only by the author. I am a retired art and photography teacher and I always taught my students to be able to ‘crit’ the work of others and in that way were able to learn to ‘crit’ their own work. I also taught them not to ‘crit’ the subject, only the way the subject was handled. I called it subject prejudice. If the viewer does not like the subject that does not make it a ‘bad.’ book. Comments on layout and the quality of the photography should be what would be commented on. I have produced thirteen books on blurb.com and have several hundred photos on jpgmag.com. Veiwers can leave comments with your photos. They are mostly positive. When any one photo is viewed that is noted and comments can be left. A viewer can ‘favorite’ a photo. Many, many viewers do not ‘comment’ or ‘favorite’ a photo. Blurb authors and blurb personnel should check out the jpgmag.com system. You can sign in and do this, but not upload any photos. — I find that blurb authors are not really interested in purchasing books, but far more interested in selling their own books. I am an amateur photographer, but it seems only friends, family or former students are interested in purchasing them.

Posted by
onggi
Jul 14, 2009 7:36pm PDT
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onggi
 

good idea!

Posted by
sekihan
Jul 14, 2009 7:36pm PDT
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sekihan
 

jpgmag.com also sends each photographer an automated email every twelve hours (2:00AM and 2:00 PM) letting them know the ‘Comments’ and ‘Favorites.’ This is an excellent tool. It is an excellent way to find out what others like. I do notice far too much ‘subject prejudice,’ sadly!

Posted by
onggi
Jul 14, 2009 7:44pm PDT
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onggi
 

Great idea!

Posted by
lazisusann
Jul 14, 2009 7:57pm PDT
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lazisusann
 

I’m not sure that the preview of our books is of a quality that anyone can seriously comment. I gave up looking at previews because the process was cumbersome and low quality.

Posted by
bomoore
Jul 14, 2009 8:12pm PDT
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bomoore
 

I can’t even read your screen sampler.

I am not agreeable to opening our books to public comments. This is a book not just one photograph. I am not in favor of it.

ASalvador

Posted by
ASalvador
Jul 14, 2009 8:35pm PDT
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ASalvador
 

I think that this is a great idea!

Posted by
cocopuff123
Jul 14, 2009 9:03pm PDT
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cocopuff123