Log In | Become a Member | Contact Us


Market Intelligence for Printing and Publishing

Connect on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Featured:     Print 2017     Production Inkjet Tools & Resources     Industrial Print Analysis     European Coverage     Conversations on Print Podcast

Blurb Operations SVP Bruce Watermann on photobooks and self-publishing

Published on November 16, 2012

Bruce Watermann, Senior Vice President of Operations for Blurb, talks to Cary Sherburne about the company, their photo-book business, as well as their self-publishing business.

Cary Sherburne: Hi, I’m, Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at What They Think and it's my extreme pleasure to be here with Bruce Waterman, who is the Senior Vice President of Print Operations for Blurb. What and exciting company, high tech.

Bruce Watermann: Well thanks. Thanks, we think so.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, located in the Bay area, San Francisco Bay area and maybe you could just tell our viewers a little bit about Blurb in case they, by some weird chance, don't know who you are.

Bruce Watermann: Sure, actually we sort of live in that middle group between self publishing and photo books. So while we do four-color books and that's really our main business we also have a marketplace where people can sell their books. We're a global company. We ship to over 70 countries. We have print locations in three continents and we've only been in business since 2005. So it's actually pretty exciting.

Cary Sherburne: And when you say print locations those aren't owned by you, right?

Bruce Watermann: No, they're not. We have a PSP network that is exclusively, 100 percent Indigo, HP Indigo and we've got a strategic partnership with those guys and so when I look to add new printers we generally start with the HP folks and talk to them about okay who are the people in the different marketplaces that really have—we've got four businesses that they need to be pretty well versed in. The first is printing, which we think is the easiest thing to do. The second is really production and a volume of one. There is a lot of commercial printers that can do 10,000 books and send them in a pallet to one place, but doing 10,000 packages is a little bit different part of the business.

Cary Sherburne: Right, big different.

Bruce Watermann: And then the third is really IT and having a real expertise at how we're going to transfer the files because our books in order to get the price point where we need them to be they have to be untouched until they come out of the Indigo press and then they're ready to be bound. Basically it's got to go straight through and our files go through 99.8 percent of the time to our PSP. So they know our very well known type of file and so it's very easy for them to print them and then the last is just really having that craft relationship and understanding that when you print a book that someone made themselves there is a higher bar to meet if you know what I mean. We've always said that we're a bookstore quality and since we've been—the beginning of our business that's what we wanted to do, but we found that I mean if you buy a book in a bookstore and maybe it's trimmed a little bit off you're not going to bring it back, if you do your own book and it's trimmed a little bit off you will.

Cary Sherburne: Or if there is a big mark across Grandma's nose or something.

Bruce Watermann: Yeah, it's not going to work. That's not a good situation, yeah.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah and so what would be the average run length then of the books that you produce? I'm sure it's different between photo books and regular books.

Bruce Watermann: Sure, it is, so traditionally in the POD marketplace with books it's usually about 1.6 books per order. You know we are actually about double that and the reason why is because of our author marketplace and plus we do a lot of books that are also—we done one-color books as well, trade and pocket books and so that tends to drive up the average a little bit, but still you've got the mean order is one book, right. Most orders are one book and one box going to one place.

Cary Sherburne: Yeah, I guess mean is better than average. I used to have a boss that said, "If you're sitting on a block of ice and your hair is on fire on average you'll feel just fine."

Bruce Watermann: That's right.

Cary Sherburne: Averages don't mean a lot.

Bruce Watermann: That's right and-

Cary Sherburne: Well that's great and we'd like to have you come back again and chat with us a little bit more about more trends in the book industry.

Bruce Watermann: Happy to do it.

Cary Sherburne: Okay.

Email Icon Email         

 

Post a Comment

To post a comment Log In or Become a Member, doing so is simple and free

 

 

Recent Videos

 

Video preview: Quality Tape and Labels Sees Dynamic Growth in Digital Label, Flexible and Shrink Sleeve Printing

Quality Tape and Labels Sees Dynamic Growth in Digital Label, Flexible and Shrink Sleeve Printing

Published: September 20, 2017

Rob Daniels, President of Quality Tape and Labels, joins Senior Editor Cary Sherburne to talk about how a traditional fourth-generation flexo business got into the digital business. With zero digital business 10 years ago, the company now is producing more than 14 million impressions per month on three HP Indigo presses.

 

Video preview: Zwang on Advancements Across Toner and Inkjet Digital Printing

Zwang on Advancements Across Toner and Inkjet Digital Printing

Published: September 19, 2017

David Zwang provides his perspective on digital printing technologies from toner-based machines to production inkjet. The show marked the mainstreaming of expanded color capabilities in toner such as white inks and fluorescent inks. On the production inkjet side there are number of emerging next generation platforms to consider.

 

Video preview: Print 17:

Print 17: "best show in recent years" but "our work is not done"

Published: September 18, 2017

WhatTheyThink sat down with NPES President Thayer Long at the end of Print 17 to talk about what worked with the changes to the Print show and the evolution of graphic communication trade shows in the US.

 

Video preview: Random Automation at Print 17

Random Automation at Print 17

Published: September 15, 2017

On day 3 of Print 17 Frank Romano pitched the most random idea for a show floor tour video. Frank said, "I want to do something that has never been done before." We said sure. Next time, we'll ask more questions.

 

Video preview: Frank Visits KBA

Frank Visits KBA

Published: September 15, 2017

Eric Frank of KBA brought us up to date on KBA. The company celebrates its 200th anniversary this year. Frederick Koenig invented the first steam-driven cylinder press for the London Times and his company continues to innovate after two centuries.

 

Video preview: Frank takes a look at Canon's Océ i300 at Print 17

Frank takes a look at Canon's Océ i300 at Print 17

Published: September 14, 2017

Sander Hendrix of Canon talks to Frank about the newest member of the Canon Océ digital printing family. Canon has a new sheetfed inkjet press that is finding acceptance in the commercial printing market.

 

View More Videos

 

Become a Member

Join the thousands of printing executives who are already part of the WhatTheyThink Community.

Copyright © 2017 WhatTheyThink. All Rights Reserved