Blurb ebooks: Welcome to Hell

by Busy Bee-Otch
Here is why The Jabberwocky is only available in hard cover and not as an ebook: All trades have tricks that keep the novice in the dark, like an easy mark. Blurb is particularly deceptive because they dazzle you into selecting gorgeous ‘Art Book, Large Landscape’ formats from their sumptuous layouts, before you imagine that those formats can’t be downloaded as an ebook. Blurb has gorgeous examples of exquisite portfolio books, in their store, so you want to jump in; it looks so safe: Until you are submerged in quicksand: not one of those books loads into an ereader the way that it looked in the Blurbstore.

I spent a year being Blurb’s fool and never got a book out of it: They don’t tell you that your book can not have ‘stationary graphics,’ they just keep telling you, “Oh, it works best on Apple’s iPad:” it works not at all. Not even one page looked close to the way I designed it. All ereaders throw your book against the wall; play ’52 card pickup’ with it; and then put it into a vague semblance of the layouts that you crafted. Blurb says, “well maybe you should hire a professional, from our list.” Maybe Blurb should tell people that ‘what you see is nothing like what you will get.’ Their templates are quicksand. That is what the ‘professionals’ know. Then Blurb says, “Oh, just scan it, it will be fine, it only costs 25 bucks;” in fact, it costs $1,000 bucks, and does not solve the problem: your book still appears like morphed wet clay and in no way resembles what you submitted for epub. Then Blurb says, “Oh, we never told you to spend any money, we are honest.” They are so honest that they have 645 of my buck, and I have a dead end that cost me a year of my life, and thirty thousand dollars, plus opportunity costs, for NO return. Because Blurb charges full price for press proofs; in other words, you don’t get to see your book until you buy it: a fact made available only after your book is finished and you submit it for publication. Then you get an “access denied” page: and a prompt to “purchase within fifteen days,” or your book will be permanently removed. If your book project was made on speculation, you are out of luck, because only the blurb account holder (you) can authorise publication, and only by buying the first copy. Yes you have the software, and the product on your computer, but you can’t copy it to, say for example, your website, where you might sell it by the page: blurb thought of that. But now that I think of it, just go ahead and redo it as an Adobe PDF, or Picassa posters, which you can sell on FineArtAmerica. That way people can pick out the pages that they love, and buy them any way that they want to; as prints, or framed reproductions. See

I am not laughing. I have no ebook to sell; The Jabberwocky looked so bad, as an iPad ebook, that I had to delete it, instantly, before any Blurb victims; stupidly shopping in their store, downloaded it: Plus I have to pay another 215 bucks (press proof fee) to put The Jabberwocky up again, in order to sell it as a hardbound book: a market that it is not designed for, in which it will not sell well. Unfortunately for Blurb, my magazine column has over one million readers, so there are, at least, one million potential Blurb customers who will not be doing business with Blurb. (Coffee Table Art Books my bee-hind, more like Portfolio Fiasco books.) Artists need not bother to use Blurb: The book that Blurb blithely invites will look like a hodgepodge: once you pay for it!
–Bag Lady
Blurb responds: “Oh? Whatever do you mean! You must be stupid: everything is just fine; got any more money that you want to burn on us?”


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