Blurb presents International Photography.Book.Now


The folks at Blurb sent over an email and I wanted to share it with you if you haven’t seen it. Blurb, the creative publishing service, is sponsoring a self-published photography book competition called International Photography.Book.Now along with an international salon and symposium. There’s a nifty grand price of $25,000 and some amazing sponsors like American Photo, PDN, and liveBooks, the company that hosts my professional photo site.

(And words cannot convey how much I love liveBooks and their amazing service as well as my contact Jon. It’s been worth every single penny!)

You should probably know I’m not too big on competitions. I’ve based my belief on Bruce Mau’s 1998 Incomplete Manifesto which I have carried with me for 10 years. And if you haven’t read it, it’s brilliant and has served me well as a graphic designer and also as a photographer. I’m always turning to it for inspiration (I’m really big on #41 in case you haven’t noticed!) Having said that, this Blurb thing looks pretty nifty, has great sponsors, and seems to have the potential to offer a great amount of exposure for photographers as well as events that will bring people together. I definitely can support that.


Even though I’ve worked in print for almost 20 years now, the thought of having such self-control over one’s very own book is truly exhilarating. Have any of you ordered books through Blurb? How’d they turn out? Thoughts?

images courtesy


  1. says

    The Incomplete Manifesto has some really interesting ideas in it. A lot of good advice, there, for anybody, really – not just designers.

    The quality of the books from Blurb is pretty decent. I met with them at their booth at MacWorld where they had quite a few samples and i was really impressed. Their stuff was pretty impressive.

  2. says

    My brother created a book from a vacation he took in Italy and I made sure to take a look at it. I must admit, I was impressed with the quality of it, especially considering the price. I’ve seen the quality of Lulu as well, which is decent, but I personally found the Blurb book to be better. I plan on testing them out myself soon.

  3. says

    i made a book from pictures of my daughter over a 4-month period. i couldn’t love the book more. i got it in hardback and i feel that it’s very well done.

    once i got the book, i decided i’m not doing any more traditional photo albums, i’m going to use blurb (though probably soft covers from now on – much less expensive). i’m not a traditional photo album kind of girl anyway and with blurb i think i can make something really unique for our family’s memories.

    i couldn’t be more pleased with my book. i love blurb.

  4. Lorili says

    Love the Blurb. I have done both a hardback of a family trip to Yosemite using pictures from two sides of the family – worked out beautifully. The soft copy I did of our trip to Tampa – the inside is nice, but the cover started to curl soon after I received it. Do a hardcopy – it’s worth the extra.

  5. says

    I want to do a book via Blurb, I just did not yet… but I’ve been told great thoughts about Blurb!

  6. says

    I’ve actually been planning a Blurb project with my brother, who is an artist. We’re going to do a book as his portfolio, which I think will be a great way for him to showcase his work. So I’ll be interested in reading everyone’s comments on this company! What a timely post.

  7. says

    Love the manifesto—29 & 41 are two of my favs. I had not seen Blurb but now that I have I’m thinking—try it. Very cool site and the quality looks fabulous. Thanks for sharing Matt—R.

  8. says

    We used Blurb last year to publish our wildlife photography book, Fabrica Imago:

    The quality of the finished product was exceptional.

    My only complaint was lack of absolute control in the layout. You have to use their layout tool (free download) and preset layouts. I know this is simply a matter of economics on their part, but frustrating for someone who is an actual designer.

  9. says

    I’ve used Blurb,with mixed success. One book turned out grainy while a second printing proved just fine. In any case, this is a cool competition so thanks for the heads-up! Will you be entering??

  10. says

    I’m just about to graduate with a BFA. I’m going to make a blurb book with all my thesis photos in it. I’m really excited to see how it turns out. Thanks for the headsup on the competition. I’m entering for sure.

  11. says

    I had a bad experience with Blurb. I made a book of photos for an anniversary present, and when I received the book it had my book cover on the jacket — but the inside was someone else’s book! Sadly, it was a 17 year old’s 40 page suicide/poetry manifesto! That’s when I learned that Blurb has terrible customer service in that you can never speak directly to a person, you can email the generic email address and different people respond to you. I wouldn’t use Blurb again.

  12. says

    (Random internet person)

    I’m an artist and the word here at school is that Blurb doesn’t perform that well. It’s more expensive, colors are iffy, and you can’t control your layout. Most people I know have used Lulu, and a professor of mine uses the Mac book maker thing (I’m unfamiliar with it) But he was happy with it.

  13. joan says

    I’ve done books on Blurb, Viovio and through Mac…. So far, the Mac book has better color depth on pictures – with Viovio coming in 2nd (and cheaper than Mac). Depending on the project, I’ll bump between the three different publishers.

  14. says

    Ok,usually I’d rather say nothing than to make a bad comment. BUT, my husband is a photographer and he first treid to self-publish his book with Blurb. It became a nightmare after we received the second proof/copy that had the pages falling out( we had sent back the first for this very issue) it wasnt properly bonded and on top of that the customer service wasnt ver good.

  15. M.McLaughlin says

    I can’t stress enough how much I would discourage people from using Blurb. I spent a year writing a book and used Blurb to publish it. The quality of the books are garbage and 4 MONTHS LATER, THEY STILL HAVENT PAID ME MY PROFITS OVER OVER $400. I have sent 3 emails to their generic customer service center without so much as a single reply. If you a making a family photo book, they may be good enough. But if you want to publish something for a profit, bring you business elsewhere. So far the only one who has made a dime of MY money is BLURB.

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