gman's Posts

Large Landscape and other book boxes
BlurbNation Member Forum

Joe –

Thanks for mentioning these. I talked with Peter several times while he was developing prototypes and will just second your comment about Peter’s boxes being worth a good look. Good guy who gets what Blurbarians need in terms of boxes. (And I am not on any commission either!)

Cheers,

Gareth

Posted by
gman
Jul 2, 2009 9:12am PDT
Permalink
gman
 
12 x 12 Scanner??
BlurbNation Member Forum

Hi Lisa -

Hmm… you might try posting this in the general Blurb forum as well. :)

Best,

Gareth

Posted by
gman
Jun 26, 2009 10:06am PDT
Permalink
gman
 
BlurbNation Member Pages and Directory Feedback
BlurbNation Member Forum

Great feedback, Cara. Thanks. We’d love to hear feedback from everyone on all the recent changes. As I just mentioned in another post, the plan is to get these major changes live then gather feedback and usage data for awhile to we better understand best next steps we can take.

We’re hoping the change to the front door of Blurb.com – with "Hire an Expert" a prominent option – will drive lots more business to BlurbNation members listed in the directory. Keep us posted!

Gareth

Posted by
gman
Jun 26, 2009 10:05am PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Non US Blurb Nation members appearing in the USA list, sorting options &...
BlurbNation Member Forum

Hi Steve,

Thanks for your post. I just filtered the directory for members in North America only and all results were from that region. Please let me know how you’re getting this result and we’ll check it out.

We have lots of ideas for the directory and love hearing more from the community, soplease  keep ‘em coming. We’re excited to have taken this first, big step and now are learning how the directory is used by members and clients alike to help chart next steps. I can also imagine that clients might want additional search/filter options as you suggest.

Glad you’re excited about PDF – we are too!

Gareth

BlurbNation

 

Posted by
gman
Jun 26, 2009 10:01am PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Welcome to the BlurbNation Resource Center and Member Forum
BlurbNation Member Forum

Hey Colin – Congrats on your first client book!

Glad you like the Resource Center. A few more articles and case studies in progress now, soon to be posted…

Here’s the link for the BlurbNation Rewards reporting form: tinyurl.com/blurbnationrewards

Q1 rewards should be done next week. (Tallying these up is still a fairly manual process but we’re almost there.)

—Gareth

Posted by
gman
May 6, 2009 11:25am PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Sales info never showed up on sales page..
BlurbNation Member Forum

Hi Heather,

Just closing this post out so others know the outcome. Sounds like the sale was actually a complimentary book I ordered for another member which is why it didn’t show up in your sales. Future sales of this book, yearbooks, and all others should show up just fine.

Thanks,

Gareth

Posted by
gman
Apr 29, 2009 10:48am PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Yearbook campaign invitation
BlurbNation Member Forum

Hi Cara,

Blurb will cover the cost of one proof book for each project. By "soft copy" I meant that we recommend sending a PDF proof to your client to get a first round of comments before ordering the printed book proof that Blurb will cover.

But yes, the client does get a free proof copy of the book. This is one reason why we’re asking members to focus on projects with 30 or more potential book buyers.

Hope that helps!

Gareth

Posted by
gman
Apr 23, 2009 2:57pm PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Yearbook campaign invitation
BlurbNation Member Forum

IT’S ON!

For those of you participating in the BlurbNation yearbook campaign, you can check out the landing page here. The Blurb newsletter featuring this campaign is just going out to several hundred thousand people, many of whom no doubt have some ties to schools, teams, clubs, etc.

This is a first of its kind experiment for Blurb so we have no idea what to expect. We can’t wait to hear if this generates business for you and Blurb … so please keep us posted.

Gareth

 

Posted by
gman
Apr 20, 2009 12:33pm PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Running the business
BlurbNation Member Forum

Hi Heather,

I agree it would be useful to have an article on agreements and related recommendations.

In a week or so we’ll be posting a new article that provides recommendations for initial client discussions – really great information written by Suzzanne with great contributions from Deak and Andi. It includes brief coverage of agreements but is fairly broad in scope.

We formed a small "working group" to create this article (good idea from Deak) – here’s how it workd:

  • Suzzanne wrote a draft article
  • 45 minute conference call to discuss and expand (3 members plus me though I’m not really needed)
  • Suzzanne revised the article with more contributions via email from Deak and Andi
  • Blurb folks are polishing a bit and will post in the Resource Center
Mentioning this as a possible model for this and other member-created articles. Just need a leader (Heather?!) and a few folks willing to collaborate. Just an idea, entirely optional…I’m happy to faciliate if this sounds good.

Gareth

Posted by
gman
Apr 17, 2009 11:37am PDT
Permalink
gman
 
BlurbNation Updated Directory
BlurbNation Member Forum

Platteford and williamhoard, it’s almost as if you’ve been walking the halls of Blurb!

I’ll provide two "preview" updates below: One on new membership policies and one on how the redesigned directory will work. It’s still in development, but I expect the redesigned BlurbNation Directory to launch in the next six weeks or so.

 

Membership and directory listing requirements starting May 1, 2009

1. Standard BlurbNation membership

  • Qualification: At least two unique titles (set to public with previews turned on) in applicant’s Blurb bookstore.
  • Benefits: Full access to the Resource Center, member forum, and special member events.

2. BlurbNation Directory listing

  • Qualification: At least five unique titles (set to public with previews turned on) in member’s Blurb bookstore. 
  • Grandfather clause: This rule will be applied only to new applicants until the end of 2009. If you are listed in the directory as of May 1, 2009 but have fewer than five unique titles (set to public, previews on) in your Blurb bookstore, don’t worry. You will remain listed and have until the end of 2009 to meet this requirement to remain listed. At some point this requirement may become five unique titles created in the previous 12 month period to ensure the directory features members who are actively building their businesses.
  • Benefit: Client referrals! The current not-so-pretty, functional, or findable directory has done a pretty good job referring clients to BlurbNation members. Look for this to surface more on the Blurb site and in Blurb communications programs very soon (maybe even something good this Thursday…).

 

New BlurbNation Directory

This is still being designed but here’s an early preview:

  • Client centric design: Clients will be able to search for particular provider types (designer, illustrator, writer, editor, etc.), market focus (blog book, business, family, fine art, etc.), and location.
  • Search results listing order: Members will be listed in order of the number of unique titles published (more titles means closer to top of list). This rewards the most active designers (Will, we totally agree!).
  • Profile: You’ll have a new, expanded profile that helps you present your business more effectively.

BlurbNation is all about supporting talented, entrepreneurial creatives who are building businesses around the Blurb publishing platform. More new features coming, but hopefully this preview is helpful.

Best,

Gareth

BlurbNation HQ

Posted by
gman
Apr 8, 2009 12:04pm PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Yearbook campaign invitation
BlurbNation Member Forum

Hey BlurbNationites –
 
We had an idea. Then we thought about it and realized it’s a pretty interesting idea, and we’d like to get you involved.
 
Spring is coming up, which means schools, clubs, and teams are approaching the end of semesters and seasons. This means it’s almost yearbook time, so we’re planning a campaign that drives business for you and for Blurb. Interested? Read on.
 
The idea
 

  • Create a simple yearbook package that’s easy to message and easy to purchase
  • Blurb promotes the heck out the package – we’re sorta, kinda really good at this
  • A client chooses a participating BlurbNation bookmaker who quickly responds, closes the deal, and commits eight hours to creating a great yearbook
  • BlurbNation bookmaker uploads the book to their Blurb account, sets the price, and the client promotes it to their community
 
The model
 
Rather than require an individual parent to pay a large package fee – which is a lot of money for one person and would likely require the miserable task of collecting contributions from other parents – our proposal is for you to set the book price so you earn a $10 margin on each book purchased. Thus, the client price for a 40-page 10×8 softcover would be $29.95 and for a 10×8 ImageWrap, $41.95. Put another way, there’s no up front or per project design fee – your earnings would be based on book sales.
 
Since we can’t predict how many books will be purchased and want to make sure this test is worth your time, Blurb will guarantee $250 minimum compensation for each yearbook project that results from this campaign. If the book you create sells more than 25 units (at $10 profit per book), then you make more than $250. If it hasn’t within 60 days, we’ll make up the difference. The guarantee isn’t bail-out-the-banks money, but hopefully enough enticement to get you to join this experiment! Again, the idea is for you to create great yearbooks but within a tight scope of work – roughly 8 hours of design work and in-template vs. custom design, unless you and your client agree to something different.
 
We’re not sure how this will go, but love the idea of massively reaching out to drive yearbooks – and including you in the plan.
 
We’re looking for 10 Blurbnation bookmakers for an initial test. If demand surfaces, we’ll add more. Interested? Email me at blurbnation@blurb.com by Friday, April 3 at noon Pacific Time. We’ll randomly choose 10 bookmakers from those who respond.
 
This is a very new concept we’re still figuring out so a) there may be more details to come and b) we’re interested in your thoughts and ideas. Have questions? Let ‘em fly.
 
Best,
Gareth
BlurbNation HQ

Posted by
gman
Apr 1, 2009 11:08am PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Want forum posts to arrive via email?
BlurbNation Member Forum

The new BlurbNation forum doesn’t have the same email settings the Google Group did, but here’s a decent workaround:

Check out feedmyinbox.You provide the forum RSS url and feedmyinbox sends new posts as email as they happen. No digest option, but I know I do better when things are pushed to me.

Here’s the url to use: http://forums.blurb.com/forums/8/posts.rss

I just started using this but it seems to be working.

If you use an rss reader, you can also just subscribe to the forum feed. Look for the Subscribe to Feed link in the lower right corner of the main forum page.

 

Posted by
gman
Mar 30, 2009 10:29am PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Welcome to the BlurbNation Resource Center and Member Forum
BlurbNation Member Forum

Thanks all for the congrats. Huge thanks to several BlurbNation members for their contributions… and thanks in advance to all of you for adding more articles, case studies, and more as we more forward. ;-)

The Resource Center and Forum are 100% for you so don’t be shy about telling us what you need.

 

Helena, I’d suggest submitting the large order quote form using your best guess for shipping address and any other specs. You’ll at least get an idea of the price of the books. Your request will go to a live human (Jacqui) who can get back to you about any other questions you have. Be sure to identify yourself as a BlurbNation member!

Posted by
gman
Mar 30, 2009 10:22am PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Welcome to the BlurbNation Resource Center and Member Forum
BlurbNation Member Forum

Hey BlurbNation!

This members-only forum is here to help you connect with other Blurbarians who are building businesses around the Blurb publishing platform. Use it to share ideas, get and give support, network, and whatever else you need for your business – it’s here for you.

Check out the guides, articles, and case studies in the Resource Center and let us know what you think. Have suggestions? Let ‘em fly. Want to submit an article or case study to help your fellow members? We’d love to hear from you (and will give you some Blurb bucks to make it worth your while). Our focus is on helping you help each other, so we invite you to help us build a deep and useful library of support content.

Thanks for being part of the BlurbNation community!

-Gareth
Senior BlurbNation Program Manager

ps A few basic guidelines apply to ensure this forum is welcoming and useful for all members – read about those here. Also, I will migrate a small collection of the most useful posts from the old BlurbNation Google Group and will leave that live for awhile longer while everyone gets used to this new forum.

Posted by
gman
Mar 26, 2009 3:01pm PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Flow to Full Bleed with custom page layouts
Tips and Tricks

Hi murphyspubli,

Here’s a shortcut: create 10 pages each using a full bleed layout. Select all ten in the page thumbnail section (click the first, then shift click the last of a contiguous group). Choose copy and then paste – do this several times. Each time will add 10 full bleed layouts. Takes about a minute to get to 300 pages of full bleed layouts.

 

Hope that helps.

Gareth 

Posted by
gman
Feb 28, 2008 1:58pm PDT
Permalink
gman
 
Signature journal / What pen to use?
Tips and Tricks

SDAP,

I wanted to refer you to this post also where a user recommends a pen with archival quality ink. I’ve tested a Sharpie and it writes well and doesn’t bleed through or cause indentations, but I can’t speak to how well it will stand the test of time. 

 gman 

Posted by
gman
Oct 15, 2007 4:55pm PDT
Permalink
gman
 
which pen to write on pages?
Tips and Tricks

Hi all,

I’ve done a bit of non-scientific testing and agree with the comments above. The extra fine Sharpie worked well. The ink didn’t smudge and looks good. Definitely recommend against ball point pens as bobzeller said – the indentations are sometimes visible on the opposite side of the page. 

Gareth

Posted by
gman
Aug 31, 2007 3:08pm PDT
Permalink
gman