Blurb, the online service that published more than 80,000 books last year, is moving up market.
While most of its titles are still made by consumers using the basic version of Blurb's Booksmart software, the company is seeing more interest from designers, photographers and other professional users, according to CEO and founder Eileen Gittins.
The San Francisco-based startup is rolling out new services this week targeted at the high-end segment, where customers are more finicky about the quality of images in their books.
It's released an upgraded version of Booksmart and is unveiling a new service called Blurb business-to-business, or B3, that will provide professional users with printing services that reproduce colors and images to their exacting specifications, says Gittens.
"This is the freakin' Holy Grail for the print-on-demand world," she says.
We caught up with Gittins in her office on California St., just before she left to show the new products to all the beautiful art-world people at the Palm Springs Photo Festival.
Before that, she'd come into our studios to tell us what the publishing industry learned from the music industry's Napster debacle, how Blurb is turning the industry on its head, and what entrepreneurs should know before taking the plunge.