by Jefferson Graham)
Blurb has established itself as the premier place online to make self-published books, making 8 million of them since opening for business in 2006, and selling them on its website and at Apple's iBooks store for the iPad.
Tuesday, it's adding Blurb BookWright, a tool to let folks sell their books directly on Amazon as well. Founder and CEO Eileen Gittins says this has been one of her biggest requests.
The free new software tool is available for download today and enables folks to make both print and e-book editions for sale at Amazon.
It attempts to solve a big problem for authors — despite the massive popularity of Amazon's Kindle e-books, finding a consumer software to automatically converts words into Kindle's format is hard to come by online.
However, initially at least, the software is aimed primarily at Blurb's market segment—folks who use lots of pictures—photographers, artists, architects and families.
So books created in BookWright won't get you into the general Amazon Kindle store—which is focused on mysteries, romance novels and other word heavy tomes. The books will get the ISDN number, needed to track sales, and get into Amazon's Kindle Fire area, and iBooks for the iPad.
But Gittins says she's looking at June to adapt wordy Blurb books for print and e-books.
Authors set their prices on Amazon, paying 15% of the total to the online retailer, and Blurb for printing the books. Blurb books start at $12.99 for a 20-page 7x7 book. Hardcovers start at $25.99.
Enrollment in the Blurb to Amazon program is free, for now, and includes getting an ISBN number, the barcode that goes on the back of the book to track sales. Eventually, Blurb will be charging $29.99 per book to participate.
Additionally, Blurb said Tuesday that it will now offer "volume" pricing to authors looking to produce hundreds of books, (minimum order is 750 books) instead of one-offs, making it much more economical for them to produce limited runs.
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