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BookBaby vs. Blurb

Which publisher should you trust when you decide to self-publish – BookBaby or Blurb?

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How do you pick a self-publishing company?

Selecting your self-publishing company is a big decision to make, especially as a new author. Publishing your book involves making a lot of important decisions, and it all starts with picking the right publishing company. From layouts and printing to sales and marketing, there are many steps to consider in the self-publishing process. We're often asked which company—BookBaby or Blurb—is best for independent authors. Here, we’ll explore similarities and differences between the two.

Your words, your way.

Blurb is a niche self-publisher with a specialty in full-color photo books. When it comes to text placements and layout options in a printed book, they fall short of the knowledge and expertise that we have at BookBaby. Of course, BookBaby does print full-color photo books for our published authors, but we do so much more than that. From creating the perfect interior formatting to converting your printed book into an eBook, it’s all available through BookBaby’s comprehensive services. BookBaby reviews reflect upon the satisfaction of thousands of self-published authors who have turned their dreams into a reality with BookBaby.

It's all under one roof.

While Blurb does supply authors with a free design tool, they don’t have an in-house design team. You’re an author, not a designer. You shouldn’t have to DIY it, and we make the process much easier by providing authors with access to book cover designers, page layout experts, and more. When looking at BookBaby vs. Blurb, a big win for BookBaby is the comprehensive range of services all in one convenient place.

More control. Higher payouts.

Blurb partners with IngramSpark, which pays 45-70% of the listing price for printed titles in their book distribution network and only 40% for eBooks.

BookBaby offers Bookshop™, a free online storefront for authors to sell both eBooks and printed books (via Print On Demand) direct to readers. With Bookshop™, you earn 85% of your eBook sales, and printed books can earn up to 3X more than competing retailers. Best of all, you have total control of your very own storefront to help you showcase and sell your work. It’s the most author-friendly bookstore around.

Are you SURE you changed that typo?

IngramSpark (Blurb’s partner) uses a fully automated system that directly uploads your files to their printing press. Sounds cool, right? But what if there are errors that need to be addressed before going to print? That can lead to printed books with errors, forcing you to pay double what you expected when you have to re-run them.

All BookBaby book designers are experienced in prepress. They get it right the first time, personally inspecting each and every one of your files to make sure they meet the technical requirements for quality, error-free book printing. Your book will not only look polished and professional, but it will also be absolutely perfect and free from unexpected errors.

BookBaby authors are eligible for brick-and-mortar retail shelf placement

Here’s a cold, hard publishing fact: Bookstore owners won’t take the risk of stocking self-published books if they go unsold. At BookBaby, we look out for the indie author and their unique needs. That’s why BookBaby offers a returns program to booksellers, making it possible for our authors’ books to find their way into hundreds of retail stores worldwide.

Blurb doesn’t offer this program. Neither does Lulu, CreateSpace, or IngramSpark for that matter. Plus, when we distribute your book, we allow for it to be sold in the world’s biggest bookstores through our print-on-demand service.

Helpful and friendly customer support

Being an independent author doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own. Some Blurb reviews reflect upon a poor customer service experience. In contrast, BookBaby’s customer support team is dedicated to answering your questions and helping you with any challenges along the way. Based right here in the USA, our self-publishing specialists are standing by to answer any and all of your questions by phone (1-877-961-6878), emails, and live chats, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday.


Service BookBaby Blurb
Book printing Yes Yes
Printed book formatting Yes No
Printed book cover design Yes No
eBook cover design Yes No
eBook conversion YesIncluding format proofs No
eBook distribution Yes Including Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, and 50+ other stores around the world No
Audiobook conversion Yes No
Personalized eCommerce selling page Yes Yes
Royalties YesUp to 85% for eBooks sold on Bookshop. Up to 50% for printed books sold on bookshop. 75% for audiobooks. Yes100% of profits in the Blurb store. Authors are subject to the fees from Amazon, IngramSpark and the other partners of Blurb.
Print On Demand Yes Including Amazon, B&N, Powell’s, and 50+ more stores domestically and internationally Yes

Now that you've seen how we stack up, it's time to start your self-publishing journey with us.

Contact a publishing specialist