Blurb Release Booksmart 2.0 Software Update


In our previous article on Blurb’s services for self-publishers, we reviewed Blurb and also interviewed Eileen Gittins, CEO of Blurb here.

Back in April, when we did the Adventures with Blurb series of articles, Axicom, Blurb’s PR representatives in Europe contacted me and made clear that they had noted our review of their services and that there were improvements in the pipeline due by early summer. Well, those improvements have arrived with the launch of Booksmart 2.0.

Here is the full press release sent to us today:

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Blurb® Introduces Blurb BookSmart® 2.0, New 12×12 Large Square Book Size
Upgraded software provides more control over book design process, elevates bookmaking experience for creative professionals

London, UK – 2nd June, 2009 – Blurb®, the creative publishing and marketing platform that enables anyone to design, publish, share and sell bookstore-quality books, today announced the release of Blurb BookSmart® 2.0, and introduced its new 12×12 Large Square book offering, available immediately. The 12×12 Large Square book is available in Hardcover and Hardcover ImageWrap, and can be ordered with Premium Paper. BookSmart 2.0 is available for download now at www.blurb.com.

BookSmart 2.0 includes many new features that give creative professionals full control in the customisation of their book layouts, down to the pixel. The introduction of flexible containers allows bookmakers to control the size, location, layers and content type of all elements on the page. Precision tool bars, gridlines for quick visual guidance, and the ability to save designed pages as custom layouts for reuse all elevate the bookmaking experience and offer extended flexibility for advanced users and consumers alike.

“Extending the photographic process into bookmaking is a natural progression,” says Dan Milnor, professional photographer. “I’m a photographer, not a designer, but from time to time I need more flexibility in my book design. Having the ability to move things around using flexible containers without having to buy, install and learn a heavy-duty, expensive design program is perfect for my bookmaking needs.”

“The flexibility of the new 12×12 book size is ideal for photographers who shoot square format, as well as those who have a mix of portrait and landscape images,” said Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO of Blurb. “We are particularly pleased that the new BookSmart 2.0 also enables folks to expand, move, and add text and image containers on any layout – a degree of flexibility that our customers have been asking for. Both of these innovations have been under development for several months, and when coupled with many performance and stability improvements in BookSmart, represent a big leap forward for Blurb.”

BookSmart 2.0 has improved workflow with the new option to save custom book templates for use on other book projects, greatly improving the workflow for professionals who want to reuse custom templates on similar projects. BookSmart 2.0 also features improved image and text handling, including the ability to find and replace text, and faster loading and caching of images. Additional features include 24-bit color support, and support for Vista.

Blurb will be showcasing samples of the new 12×12 Large Square books at the HOW Design Conference in Austin, TX in June. Blurb BookSmart 2.0 is available for download immediately at www.blurb.com.

About Blurb
Blurb® is a creative publishing and marketing platform that unleashes the creative genius inside everyone. Blurb’s platform makes it easy to design, publish, market and sell professional-quality books, using Blurb’s free, award-winning Blurb BookSmart® software. Use Blurb’s bookstore and online marketing tools to market and sell your books, and keep 100% of your profit. Use Blurb’s social and community features to create and share Blurb books with your friends and colleagues with ease.

Blurb was founded by Eileen Gittins in 2005, and includes a team of design, Internet and media veterans who share a passion for helping people bring their stories to life. Blurb is based in San Francisco with offices in London, and is funded by Canaan Partners and Anthem Venture Partners. For more info, visit http://www.blurb.com.

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Over the coming weeks, we will be revisiting Blurb and taking a closer look at the improvements.

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