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BlogUnderstanding Publishing, Reedsy News

Posted on Jun 07, 2017

Print and Distribute Your Book with Blurb and Reedsy

At Reedsy HQ this week, we’re taking a big step towards our goal of making it easier for authors to get their books into the hands of readers. With the announcement of our partnership with Blurb, you now have the option to seamlessly print and distribute the books you produce with the Reedsy Book Editor.

As the world’s first platform for creating, printing and publishing independent books, Blurb has been a publishing trailblazer since 2006, helping self-publishing authors produce over 2 million books. With the addition of Reedsy, it’s now simpler and more cost-effective than ever to create bookstore-quality books with Blurb. If your project relies heavily on photos or illustrations, or if your printed book needs to look exactly as you intend, then Blurb is something you really need to check out.

There are four basic steps to getting your Reedsy project printed and distributed by Blurb. It’s a simple, intuitive process, but it can’t hurt to be thorough. So, here we go!

1. Prepare your print-ready PDF

As with all modern printing processes, your first step will always involve preparing a PDF of your book. But not just any PDF: you one that’s formatted expressly for printing. Among other things, a print-ready PDF will ensure that your colors are reproduced exactly as you intend them to be seen. If your illustrated story has a character called “The Purple Princess,” you don’t want her dress to be blue in the final printed edition.

To get your book ready to print, you can either use the Reedsy Book Editor (our free formatting tool) or work with one of our professional book layout designers to prepare your Blurb-ready PDF. For more complicated visual books, we would certainly advise the latter option: just tell your designer you’re printing with Blurb and they will format your book to fit their standards.

2. Upload your book to Blurb

Reedsy has a page on Blurb which allows you to upload your PDF with a single click. Once you’ve uploaded the PDFs for both your book’s content and its cover, it’s time to start looking at some options:

  • Trim size: how big do you want the book to be?
  • Paper: do you want top-shelf, archival-grade art paper, or something less flashy?
  • Cover: choose a hulking hardcover with a glossy dust jacket or a simple paperback.

There you have it! Your book is ready to print.

3. Choose your printing options

The thing we really like about Blurb is the flexibility of their printing options. You can print as few as one book at a time using print on demand, which makes it easy to create test books, galleys, or personalized gift copies to hand to your special somebody. Discounts will be applied as you increase the size of your orders, and should you require over a few hundred copies, you can look to offset printing. That’s the same process publishers use to churn out copies of Caitlyn Jenner’s memoirs: it’s a great option for producing a lot of books at the lowest cost-per-copy, with some obvious risks, of course.

For less financial risk upfront, look to print-on-demand. For a significantly larger profit margin, think offset printing.

4. Choose your distribution options

The physical distribution of books can be pretty complicated when you’re selling on more than one retailer but Blurb can streamline the distribution process. You can choose to set up your books for sale on:

  • The Blurb Bookstore, where you can keep the most profit from each copy sold.
  • Amazon, where the vast majority of readers buy their books.
  • Ingram, a major distributor. If Barnes & Noble want to stock your book, this is where they would go to get it.

And that’s pretty much it. Blurb can handle the global shipping, distribution, and fulfillment and you’ll get paid at the end of each month. Pretty straightforward, right?

If you have any questions about whether Blurb might be right for your project, just reach out to us by email or drop us a message in the comments below.

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