Blurb: Making Books (Even More) Fun

23 October, 2012

I went on an awe-inspiring tour of the art work in the Center for Addiction and Mental Health a couple of weeks ago (full details here). Sadly, I spoke about the experience with 3 different people, and then I couldn't find the motivation to blog about it as well. 

To avoid that same mistake, here's an immediate take on last night's Blurb event at Joe Bidali's (no one's heard about this yet!) The meetup description sounded extremely meh-over-trying-salesy - getting together bloggers, affiliates, web marketers (a spammy group as is) to talk about Blurb's affiliate program is almost as hardcore sales as those resorts which call you out to 'free' events so that you go & stay at them afterwards. But in the interest of blog-fodder & getting to meet some people I hadn't seen in a while, I decided to go anyway - and I'm so glad that I did. 

The event was the most beautifully piece of executed salesmanship I've seen in a while. I first heard of Blurb (which lets you create & publish books) when my husband presented me with this lovely creation on my 25th birthday - it's thrilling to see a whole book full of stuff you wrote, and to have it hardbound and presented that awesomely - well. Definitely one of the best gifts I've received.

Let's face it, I completely judge a book by its cover, and also by how it looks on the inside, quite apart from the content of it. Blurb does a great job acing on those two scores - these books make you want to pick them up, regardless of what the content is. 

They're equally good at making their event feel similarly superlative - the first thing I noticed when I walked into Joe Bidali's was coffee table after coffee table lined with similar beautiful looking books for people to pick up and glance through at their own leisure. Next, the seriously generous spread of food, laid out to facilitate conversation around it. This picture on the right makes no sense at all (note the giant leg occupying most of it!), but it reflects the tone of the evening - it felt the complete opposite of salesy, and yet made you want to buy.

They did a short presentation on a couple of projects they'd worked with (my favorite was the story of 28 food bloggers who compiled a cookbook, the proceeds of which went toward Haiti earthquake relief), and just in case anyone needed more convincing, we all got gift certificates to publish a book for free. I'm definitely going to take them up on that offer, they did a stellar job of getting me re-excited about the product. Kudos to a great marketing team!

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