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Thread: Blurb book = disasters ?

  1. #1
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Blurb book = disasters ?

    I can hardly believe how photographers like Jean Paul Caponigro just to name one among many, sells with success his books through Blurb in such a medium with so poor quality. Perhaps his are made special.

    I have just received two books by Blurb which I was wishing to sell on line. I gave up.
    Both black and white photography Portraits and Street Photography - India and both are complete disasters.
    The cover is not B&W, it is bluish. The images inside have different tones, on the right bluish, on the left an acceptable B&W but the next pages are reversed, the left is bluish and the right is correct. Sad.

    That depends of course on the viewer, how demanding he is when looking at the book. I do know people who looks at blurred photos and say they are very nice. It is incredible.

    Blurb has been investing strongly in publicity and promotions lately. I believed them but I can't be doing so in the near future.
    I prefer to get a box and collect my images one by one/separated with correct printing - what is more expensive obviously - than having books which I am not proud of.

    Blurb book = disasters ?

  2. #2
    Momo's Avatar
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    Darren

    Re: Blurb book = disasters ?

    Wow... what a shame. Did you write to Blurb and ask them what happened? I'm going to go out on a limb and assume you poured through all of their FAQ and documents on what color space, file type, and resolution to submit. If your images were spot on at the start, then I don't see where it could have gone wrong. But, I know first hand that it does indeed go wrong. Too bad nobody at Blurb caught it first. I'm just wondering out loud if they used a "rich black" or "cool black" to print your book. If you're not familiar with that term, rich black is a combination of CMYK like...

    C = 50%
    M= 50%
    Y = 50%
    K = 100%

    There are other forms of black as well... like, warm black or cool black. Whatever the case, a conversion from your color space/RGB images to CMYK went completely wrong at the RIP.

    As a side note, I have worked in the packaging industry for the past 23 years as a structural packaging designer. We have a 6 color HP FB-700 as a part of our digital print packaging solution. I routinely hear about and see the problems encountered when we try and get the colors to match the supplied file. You might want to ask Blurb if they are G7 certified or compliant.

  3. #3
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Blurb book = disasters ?

    Thank you Darren for your kind and valuable answer.

    I did not - my fault, yes - dive into those colour spaces.

    Perhaps I would but if I was using photos on line what could I do ?

    Well, perhaps the problem is that I shouldn't have used the photos on line but directly from my computer and with the right colour space.
    This is what perhaps Caponigro does.

    Or perhaps the colour space could be changed by them before printing, I do not know if that is possible.

    At the end the problem is mine who have spent the money and got these awful books.

    One thing is for sure: If I give up books and print here - on the shop - at sight, this is not going to happen to me.

    I have been building a book on Blurb for my grand-sun, his first one of his first year of life.
    I am throwing it away and I am moving into a box with the photos. Far reliable as I control each and everyone of them.

    Thank you again Warren

  4. #4

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    Val Mansfield

    Re: Blurb book = disasters ?

    I’m sorry you have had such a bad experience, but I wonder if your expectations were too high?

    I have made over 20 books with Blurb and will be uploading two more overnight. I have been very satisfied with the results and they have been well received by others, including professional photographers.

    Blurb makes it very clear that they cannot match the quality of an offset printer, which is understandable. I come from a family of printers and well know that to print a single copy of a book by offset would cost a small fortune. Blurb does however offer a download for Photoshop which shows which colors in your photographs are out of gamut.

    I have always loaded photographs directly from my computer and have never used a photograph on line, so I don’t know if that could be a factor. Until now I have never used black and white photographs, but I have some black and white shots in one of the two books I am uploading tonight, so I will be interested to see how they turn out.

    I have never sought to sell my books as they are intended as a record of our travels and so I have not promoted them in any way but, much to my amazement, I have sold a number, but certainly nowhere near enough to make it a commercially viable project.

  5. #5
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Blurb book = disasters ?

    Thank you Val

    Perhaps my expectations were too hight ...

    Anyway, I have decided that - even spending more money or less images - I rather have total control of my images than to have them printed poorly.

    I am re-doing my grand-son book now.

  6. #6
    Poaceae's Avatar
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    Re: Blurb book = disasters ?

    Having used Blurb I will pass on some of what I learned. Blurb probably has the best prices for any self-published book. The bad news is that they use the services of many different printers and there can be inconsistent quality control. Mostly it is good but I've had some poor quality. The good news is that they stand behind the work. Whenever I have complained they have reprinted the job at their cost. I also have had problems with the binding on the soft cover books - they tend to come apart over time. I recently discovered that Blurb will output your book as an ebook which costs $1.99.

  7. #7
    Antonio Correia's Avatar
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    Re: Blurb book = disasters ?

    Yes John I read about the ebooks. Thank you
    The books I received were - apparently - printed in Holland because they came from there.
    Thank you for your lines

    I will be away from them. I want my pictures to be the way I like and I will print them on the lab at the corner

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