May 7th, 2014

Photo Book Publisher Blurb Gobbles Up Its Biggest Competitor, HP’s MagCloud

The photo book self-publishing landscape has gotten a little bit smaller. Do-it-yourself book publisher Blurb announced yesterday it had purchased its biggest competitor: HP’s MagCloud web-based publishing platform.

BlurbMagCloud differs slightly form Blurb in that it is more of a soft-cover, magazine-style self-publishing platform than than a photo book publisher.

According to a press release from Blurb, MagCloud will become a part of Blurb under a new licensing agreement.

Current MagCloud customers will see no changes to their service for three months. Current and new photo magazine layouts will remain on MagCloud for photographers seeking to print, sell or distribute them. Once that period ends, Blurb expects to move MagCloud users to the Blurb platform.

“Indie magazines are experiencing a bit of a renaissance, and we’re thrilled to welcome MagCloud customers to the Blurb fold,” said Eileen Gittins, Blurb’s founder and CEO.

We’re wondering what readers feel about this news? I reviewed Blurb a few years ago and found it to be very easy to use and reasonably priced service that produced good if somewhat unspectacular results. I’m less familiar with HP’s MagCloud service and I’m wondering whether those users have any trepidations about this merger.

Please leave your thoughts on this self-publishing development in the comments below.

You can read more details about the MagCloud and Blurb merger here.

September 1st, 2011

Valerio Spada Wins 2011 Photography Book Now Grand Prize

© Valerio Spada

Valerio Spada of Milan, Italy has won the $25,000 grand prize in the fourth annual Photography Book Now competition, sponsored by Blurb, for his book  Gomorrah Girl. The book, which explores life in Naples among the Camorrah (the local name for the Mafia), was chosen by a panel of jurors from among more than 2,300 entries. Spada’s book and 12 other winners in several categories will be exhibited starting September 15 at the Aperture Gallery in New York City.

The Photography Book Now contest, now in its fourth year, honors creativity and innovation in self-published photo books.  Gomorrah Girl was not published using the Blurb publishing platform.

“Mr. Spada’s self-published book is a strong embodiment of the complex criteria the judges used: strong photography, important subject matter, vigorous edit and intelligent sequencing, combined with a thoughtful attention to those elements that are specifically book-centric,” says  Darius Himes, lead judge for the competition.

The category winners are:

Fine Art
Rene Nuijens, Yuri Gagarin: 50 Years of Human Space Flight
Documentary
Rafal Milach, In The Car With R
Travel
Thomas Michael Alleman, Sunshine & Noir
Student
Goseong Choi, Umma

The People’s Choice winners are:
Fine Art
Zoltan Vansco, Unintended Light
Documentary
Peter Irmai, Summer Garden (Sommergarten)
Travel
Idan Hojman, Along the River
Student
Ian Waelder, Circus Life

A full list of winners, including runners up and honorable mention selections, can be found at the Photography Book Now site.

Related stories:
Judith Stenneken Wins Photography Book Now Prize

How to Distribute Your Self-Published Book

Self Publishing Done Right