Bad process, Bad product, Repeatedly -- 50 Bad Books
"I spent a lot of time creating a book on a project I did in the small town in which I grew up. After interest in some of the photos, and 37 years later, I decided to make a book on the photos I made of all the businesses in the town and their proprietors. I also included landmark and historical buildings. I designed an art-book style layout. The front of the wrap cover had a vertical photo that I centered both horizontally and vertically in a mid-gray background. Loved the design. Did a proof. Made some changes -- paper stock, copyright page insert, index move to front, etc. I sent for another proof. The inside pages were good, but the centered photo was way off. The top of the photo butted the top of the cover and it was crooked. I called CS on it. After reviewing photos I sent and my layout, they gave me a credit to do another. They stated that the acceptable error was 1/16th of an inch. This was obviously way off. The next proof was also okay, so I ordered 15 books, thinking I'd be lucky to sell that many. The books arrived. The cover photo was 5/16th of an inch off vertical center, 5 times the acceptable. Sent photos again and they again reviewed the layout, which hadn't changed. Gave me credit for another proof copy. Got the next proof. It was still off. Went through the process again. Finally, another proof. The photo was off a bit, but just within the 1/16th they allow their print partners. So I ordered 50 books to fill the orders I'd managed to get for the book. I got the books on Saturday, July 14. Started packaging to ship on July 17. It was then that I noticed that all the books were, again, about 5/16th out of center on the vertical. Their CS had told me that quick print can't be the same as a commercial. I know that; for more than 40 years, I was a communication professional and designed and produced everything from fine art books to annual reports, employee newsletters and annual reports and tons of marketing collateral. I know the difference. But I expect that the provider (printer) will at least work within the specs of their customer (in this case blurb, with its 1/16" allowable deviation from layout). Yet, obviously, blurb has no way of overseeing their partners' processes. Or they just don't care. Before I inspected my 50 books, I received a couple of new orders and placed another order, this time for five books. I know they will be wrong. Why am I making such a big deal out of this? The inside pages were okay. But the cover is off. More than 1/4 of an inch off center and some are even "crooked" -- skewed so one side is 1/16th higher than the other. CS was good to me. Process was bad, so product was bad. If they can get something consistently wrong, why can't they get it consistently right? I can't recommend blurb! Maybe okay if you have a full bleed cover photo, but if not, be prepared to have the 1/16th allowance ignored."
"My husband made a photo book on Blurb in 2008. The quality was good, but they put an intrusive and offensive logo and ad for their software on his copyright page. He is currently trying to reprint the book and is having major problems with their new software update. All he wants to do is have them remove the offensive logo and ad promo, but they tell him he must update his software and reload the book. Then he gets a message that for some kind of security reasons he cannot edit his book in the new software. Since they were the ones who put in the offensive material, I think they should take it out. The staff is very responsive to emails, but they do not answer the question. They just keep telling him to update and reload. They state that they do not communicate by phone, only email. Not user friendly, and I would say not very photographer sensitive. That's pretty brassy to intrude their logo and promo "blurb" on his credits page! I guess that's why they're called Blurb, because they stick it into your book wherever they want to. Their current policy is to give you a choice of front pages or final page only. I would guess they've had other complaints. Apparently they can't just do this for reprints unless they make you jump through hoops. If they put it in, they should take it out. "
Hardback book with Paperback binding.
"There were many issues, but the most egregious was the fact that I paid for a hardback book, but received a paperback book with a hard cover. The spine was glued. No cloth, no stitching, just like a paperback. The outside of the spine was not the nice rounded look of a quality hardback which one expects when buying hardback. It was flat. Very flat. Minor use of the book will break the spine. I’m certain of it. This company charges far too much to create such a shoddy product. I do not recommend this company. They do not deliver a quality product. "
Poor quality photo book
"I was very unhappy with the quality of my blurb photo book. Many of the photos had a yellow cast over them, and the focus was not sharp. A couple of photos were cropped more than indicated on the initial preview.The photos were of my daughter’s wedding, and were provided by a professional photographer. I am confident the photo quality is not at fault as I have had the same photos printed at another cheaper provider and the outcome was excellent. Blurb were fast at replying to my concerns. They asked me to send the photos in different formats several times (highly time consuming!), but always found excuses for printing a poor quality book."
If I could give Blurb 0 stars, I would.
"I'm not typically one to write reviews, however, Blurb's got me on edge tonight. I ordered two hardcover books for my design thesis. Placed the order about a month ago. I've been checking the status of my book on their site every day, twice a day. All it says is that my order is being "processed". I decided to contact support after waiting and waiting. Turns out, my books are not even in production because of an error with the file? Don't you think someone would contact you if there is anything wrong with a file? We're talking a whole month- no email, no call. Anyways, I am sitting here, ONE WEEK before my thesis is due and trying to scramble together a book so that I can hopefully not fail my last semester of college. Thanks Blurb! Hope you don't cost me my diploma!"
Can't stop a order- **** off!
"Love the quality, shipping is costly but look where its coming from but not being able to cancel and order within and house after the off time ****, even if you can't act you're trying. Then not being able to refund the PDF cost or the shipping because you no longer want the order is just horrible on so many levels. Time to start looking for another company and trust me I'll be spreading the info to all artist in my circle and all commercial artist I'm connected to as well. Long live print, just not with you.Posting the copy on Insta and LinkedIn"
Absence of common sense and without quality control
"I ordered an anniversary photo book.The cover design tool is terrible. The tool allows the spine text of the album to be printed on the front or back cover. Customer service response was quick, but I was not happy because they were not helpful. I don't trust their tools or them. This was a waste of money. This will make BLURB look bad when if I show my anniversary book to our friends. Don't waste your money. Use local printers to have more control."
"I JUST RECEIVED MY BOOK FROM BLURB AND WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED BUT NOT SURPRISED. THE PHOTOS WERE BLACK AND WHITE PRINTED ON PREMIUM LUSTRE PAPER. THE PHOTOS ARE "MUDDY". THIS IS THE THIRD BOOK I'VE SEEN FROM BLURB AND THE ISSUE IS CONSTANT IN BOTH BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOR PHOTOS. IN ALL THESE CASES I'VE SEEN THE ACTUAL PRINTS WHICH ARE DIFFERENT AND MUCH BETTER. BLURB DOESN'T CAPTURE THE FULL TONAL RANGE FROM BLACK TO WHITE AS APPEARS ON A HISTOGRAM THEREFORE ACCOUNTING FOR THE MUDDY LOOK. THE WHITES ARE NOT TRUE WHITE AND THE BLACKS ARE NOT DEEP BLACKS. I HAD TO USE BLURB FOR A COURSE I'M TAKING, BUT NEVER AGAIN!"
Miserable customer support
"I have completed the book and want to send it to them to be published. I have tried for two days to do this and have had emails from them which have been of no help whatsoever. I will try to find another publisher next time. Am still trying to contact for help."
Shockingly poor quality
"I have used several different websites to create photo books for trips I've taken and was very excited to try Blurb. I loved the freedom in the software download Blurb uses to allow you to create your book- no presets necessary. I had such a great time creating a photo book of our family trip to Alaska to give my parents for Christmas, certain that this would be my favorite gift to give this year. When the book arrived I was astonished at how poor the quality of the final product was. The pages have a very strange, thick quality that makes all the photos seem dark and poorly defined. The detail in most pictures bleeds into the paper and is too dark to see. Having ordered prints of most of these pictures from Snapfish and Walgreens, I know it wasn't an editing error on my part. If you are looking to put your photos in a book I would recommend MyPublisher or Shutterfly. I am heartbroken that I spent $120 on a book displaying terrible quality photos. The cover page is wrinkled as well, which makes the book look sloppy and I paid for expedited shipping and it still arrived a day late. Very disappointed. "
"I created a 110 page Art Catalogue Summary for my husband's art collection. All photos and minimum text. It was my first project, I am by no means, a desk top publisher. I am a complete amateur. It took over 150 hours to photograph, catalogue the collection and then layout the design in Blurb. I must say I was a bit skeptical when I ordered the book. Within 10 days the book was at my home in Canada. I was stunned. The book looks like a professional designed it. It is so well made. During shipping the book got stalled somewhere between the US and Canada. I informed Customer Service and they took immediate action and had my book delivered on time. I have ordered 2 more and received them in 8 days.I am so excited for my husband to open his Christmas present and see his entire are collection presented in such an impressive way.Thank you, Blurb! But! It would be really nice if we could order dust jackets seprately;) "
Poor Customer Service
"I used to use Blurb frequently. Then I had a problem and dealt with customer service. I wont be using their company again. They do not put the customer first. Once you've bought their product, the only thing they are concened about is taking your money."
Terrible - Not worth the time
"Their customer service is seriously lacking. I cant believe they don't have some way of reaching them other an email. Good luck if you are having trouble and need to cancel a book. When you are ordering your book there should be a disclaimer that you have to agree to before purchase. I found out the hard way. You have to cancel an order within an hour or you are just out of luck. You mean to tell me that at 6 pm you have someone there processing the order and if I canceled it at 8pm it has already been made. I don't think that is fair. I could see if I ordering it during business hours. I am beyond frustrated with this company. The response time for email is way too long. They have closed my issues without even responding to me or notifying me. I can't say enough how disappointed I am with this company. Please don't waste your time. My book cam damaged, not due to shipping, and had marks and rips. I wish I could take my money elsewhere. They won't issue a refund. Terrible customer service; if your only means of help is via email there should be someone that checks it every hour or at least every few hours. AVOID this company!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
"Printing costs are 2-3 times higher than other professional printing companies. I paid nearly $4,000 in print costs and when I purchased the PDF so that I could use another printer, I was given a poor quality PDF only. They refused to provide me with the original 2 GB PDF. Very poor customer service!"
My wedding day came to life because of Blurb!
"After countless searches for a place to create my wedding album I stumbled upon Blurb. The site is amazing and so easy to make custom! I am in love with the direct image print to the hard cover front and back. The book shipped fast and looks stunning in person!! The book quality is everything and more that i could have asked for. Thank you!"
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