Blurb to jump into Europe

Eoin Purcell

Where only Lulu.com has gone before
Blurb.com is to expend some effort in building market share in Europe according to The Book Standard:

Starting next month, the company will launch specific website improvements geared toward European users, including the option to view Blurb books in metric dimensions and see prices and buy books with local currencies. The improvements will allow international Blurb users to create, publish and ship books for less.

Important or not?
Blurb has always worried me from the perspective of a publisher. The software it provides they increasingly powerful while remaining easy to use. Whereas lulu.com provides excellent printing for your average paperback, I see blurb attacking niches.

If you read the links Thursday to this report on Trade Publishing and the importance of niches, then you will begin to understand that worry.

After all as the power to design and print books shifts from the hands of publishers and becomes decentralised why should we be able to retain the market share we currently have? Given that books published by blurb.com and lulu.com can be sold online (even at places like amazon.com & .co.uk) and distribution is being outsourced to postal and delivery services, there is no limit to what these outfits can achive if they get into the minds of niche writers.

Takeover targets I wonder?
To a degree I wonder how likely Blurb or Lulu are to survive outside of one of the larger publishers. After all their technology would be beneficial. It would enable the big houses to attach themselves to the long tail. It would also enable them to offer their own POD service and not be totally reliant on Amazon’s or other players POD arms.

Alternatively they could always replicate the infrastructure themselves. But that would cost time, money and commitment not to mention an understanding fo the market. Much better to offer employment to the founders by buy out as Google and other tech focussed companies have been for some time.

Waiting for the first for sale sign
Eoin

Best lines I have read so far today . . .

Eoin Purcell

And I thought there was no chance of surprises in this industry:

Physicist, author and professor Stephen Hawking is writing a children’s book, to be published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in the fall. Hawking’s bestselling A Brief History of Time has sold more than 12.5 million copies, according to S&S.

Co-written with his daughter, Lucy Hawking, and illustrated by Gerry Parsons, George’s Secret Key to the Universe follows George as he befriends his scientist neighbor, his daughter Annie and Cosmos, their super-computer, and then “finds himself on a wildly fun adventure, while learning about physics, time and the universe.”

From The Book Standard.

Eoin

Oh and if it is still up why not take RTE’s Bloomsday Poll
(Look to the right hand column)