Update by user Dec 22, 2019
Blurb did finally remove my book from global distribution as I requested and they also refunded what I had paid for the horrifically printed books. However, despite trying to work with them for three months Blurb never did produce any acceptable books - there continued to be color problems with the covers, and interior pages continued to have margins off by as much as a half inch, and because of this and the other complaints Ive detailed about their service and book quality I leave my rating of Blurb at one star.
Since the poor print quality of the Blurb books could detrimentally affect my reputation as an author, I decided to try one of my books with a different publisher (Lulu). So far I have been very impressed with Lulu - the quality of the proof copy of my book was excellent.
Update by user Oct 04, 2019
As Blurb requested, I returned one of the disgracefully substandard books they had sent me as a replacement for the original poorly done books. This would, according to Blurb, allow them to see what was wrong more than the multiple photos I had sent.
A second reprint was then sent. The covers of this second reprint were the worst yet, with way too much magenta. The interior pages of one of the books were marginally acceptable, but the others had many pages with slanting side margins and other printing/trimming errors.I wrote to Blurb reporting the poor quality of this second reprint and asked, as a last possible solution, if the book could be given to a different Blurb "print partner" that might do a better job. When after nearly two weeks I had not received an answer I wrote again asking that the book be removed from their worldwide distribution.
I have yet to receive an answer to that email either.My experience with Blurb has been extremely negative overall - the customer service employees are often slow to respond, if they respond at all, and Blurb apparently makes little to no effort to correct serious printing/trimming errors. The continuing substandard printing in my books is bad enough I am embarrassed to have them for sale in online bookstores; hence my so far unanswered request to have them removed from worldwide distribution.
Update by user Sep 02, 2019
In the month since my original review I have contained to try and work with Blurb re the poorly printed books. It has been an extremely frustrating experience.
For example, one customer service person commented on the pages being creased in a photo I sent in, but failed to note how much the margins were off and that in addition to the width being off, the margins slanted noticeably. At Blubs' request I returned one of the poorly printed books; the customer service person admitted there was too much magenta in the cover and that "a number" of the pages were not trimmed right ("a number" was over half the pages in the book). I was told my order is being reprinted with additional quality control. However, no one has addressed my primary concern regarding the books, which is that online bookstore customers are paying up to $32 apiece for books that are very poorly printed, and this affects my reputation and that of my coauthor.
No one wants to pay that much for a book that has margins noticeably off, creases in pages, and/or ink spots on the pages.
Blurb keeps telling me that because the printing process is "highly automated" they can't do much about quality control. I know from working with other POD publishers this is not true.
Original review posted by user Aug 03, 2019
I decided to have a book printed with Blurb because of their focus on books with artwork and photos. The first book was great, and unfortunately that led me to submit two more.
The second book had a muddy/gray color on the cover and about 80% of the books had ink-spotted pages. I complained; Blurb blamed my file for the cover and gave me a coupon for a new book - it also had ink-spotted pages. Blurb was unwilling to do anything to correct this. But it was the third book that was the worst of all.
It was actually a slight revision of the first book that Blurb had printed well, but this time the cover had a pink/magenta tinge that gave the rabbit on the cover pink-tinged fur, and the top and bottom margins were so far off that the book looked very substandard and amateurish. My coauthor and I were very upset to realize books that looked like this could be going out to customers who were paying over $30 for the book. I complained; it took about two weeks before anyone actually addressed my complaint. I was at first told that because of the POD process the printing could not be corrected.
I knew this was untrue from working with other POD publishers. It was next suggested I redo my entire book file to compensate for Blurb's incorrect printing/trimming of the margins. I refused as the errors were Blurb's and resubmitting would mean a second book with a different ISBN but the same title. I was told Blurb would need multiple images of the problems; these I sent.
Blurb reprinted the two orders with defective books; one order was about the same, but the other was even worse! Pages had creases, side margins as well as top/bottom margins were off, the book spines had wrinkles, and the rabbit still had pink-tinged fur. The books themselves were also 2-3/16ths shorter than 9 inches high, which also affects margins. I was extremely concerned that books looking like that could be going out to online bookstore customers.
Blurb asked for more pictures and I sent them. About six weeks had now passed since my original complaint, and nothing had been done about the poor quality of the interior pages and at no time had any person in Blurb customer service even responded to my complaint about the pink-tinged cover. Blurb now asked for me to return the books so they could look at them. This I was unwilling to do since it would mean giving up my proof of my complaints, and I furthermore found it strange I was originally told photos were adequate and six weeks into the complaint I am asked to return books.
I'd remove the book from Blurb, but it states in info on their website that even if I remove it the book will continue to be sold by Blurb because of distributor/seller agreements. So after six weeks into the complaint process there is no resolution in sight and my coauthor and I face a very real possibility of the poor print quality of these books negatively affecting our professional reputations.
Product or Service Mentioned: Blurb Printing Service.
Reason of review: Bad quality.
Preferred solution: I want the printing errors to be fixed so the books going out to customers are decent quality..
Blurb Pros: Very easy to install and save project, Relatively easy to submit projects.
Blurb Cons: Product or customer service support, Print quality.