Blurb…Complete Garbage

Last year for Christmas and Hanukkah gifts we ordered a bunch of little paperback photo books, from Shutterfly. The ordering experience was as expected. They shipped us our order, and everyone seemed to enjoy the gift.

Since I take so many photos of the kids during the year, it only made sense to share it all with the ones we love.

This year I wanted to take it up a notch, and find a publisher who created a book that didn’t feel so cut and paste. It’s not that Shutterfly is a bad quality product, it just felt like a consumer product. I know, I know, I’m a consumer. I get it. However, I just wanted something a bit more.

So, I hit the internets and researched a few of my options. I found what I thought would be a good company, making a decent book, Blurb. I read a few reviews and wasn’t scared off.

Additionally, next year I’ll be embarking on a photography project, photographing Highway 1, from Pt Mugu Rock to Morro Rock. When this project is complete, I hope to have a nice large color book made, displaying all my hard work. This seemed like a great chance to have Blurb audition for my business. They failed, miserably.

I ordered a 40 page, soft covered, 7 x 7 book.

The first problem I saw right away was that the cover photograph I chose was significantly darker than it had been processed. Then, as I began to turn the pages, I could immediately see the binding separating to the underlying threads, right on past the alleged glue. This spreading was happening just as soon as I turned the page. There are three pages that are spread to the binding.

“What’s the problem? Why not send them back?” Well, these are intended to be gifts THIS WEEKEND! For many family members, this will be the only gift we give them. We CAN’T not show up to a family gathering for Christmas, without gifts. So, we’ve decided to go ahead and give these pieces of crap, as our gift, with the hope that Blurb will rise to the occasion and repair this injustice.

The moment I saw the books, I realized that I would be forced to blog this experience. I also tossed the first one down on the kitchen counter and photographed it a few times. Then, just before uploading them to Flickr, I realized that these are still going to be gifts! So I quickly marked the photos as “hidden”, and uploaded them. I’ll add them to this post, after Sunday evening. Come back and see what junk they really are.


So, upon closer inspection, only one of the books is really so poor that it can’t be given as a gift. The others are clearly a better constructed book. Additionally, my whining was picked up by Blurb, and they offered to reprint/reship as many replacements as I need. That’s happening right now.

Since today I’ve given the first few as gifts, and the remaining folks won’t be reading this, I’ll post the photos below. Enjoy!




Author: TREVOR

Leukemia survivor. Son of The Most High. Father. Man.

9 thoughts on “Blurb…Complete Garbage”

  1. Hi Trevor,

    the folks who work around me seem to use fairly extensively. Give the value of the Australian Peso at the moment, they are not great value for us, but the quality of the product I’ve seen is is excellent.

    I’ve seen a LOT of calendars recently through who do an awesome job ….

    Glad that Blurb sorted you out!




  2. Trevor, I had the same issue you did, but last year. My wife and I ordered a bunch of Blurb books and when they arrived the binding was loosed and they had cropped some photos differently than I had placed. They also left a white border on MANY photos. I wound up sending them ALL back and got them re-printed. The re-printed ones were ok, but still had issues. I gave them out as gifts and warned people that Blurb was not the way to go. I am now looking elsewhere for my books. Good luck and have a Merry Christmas!


  3. i’ve always gotten my books from shutterfly. their hardbound books are gorgeous. whenever i’ve had a problem, customer service always does me right. i’ve been tempted by blurb’s jacket covers, but after reading your experience, i’m sticking with shutterfly.


  4. I ordered 10 softback copies of my book for friends & family and I haven’t had any problems – how big was your book? Mine was only 40 pages or so, I’ve been thinking of a bigger project, but if their quality starts to fail for bigger books…


  5. Thanks for sharing, Chris. I’m beginning to think that my problem lies in the softback books. I’m discovering that the majority of hard bound products people purchase from Blurb turned out quite nice.


  6. I received my first Blub books last night. Like you, these are gifts for family this weekend. My experience has been much better than yours. I was really impressed by the quality. The colour could have been a tiny bit punchier, but that is likely a difference in my screen settings and the printers settings.

    I hope Blurb do the right thing, and sort you out.


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