pyxlin vs blurb

MattD commented on Catherine’s blog entry about pyxlin’. Here is what he wrote:

blurb logo…Blurb just released (a month or two ago) a “blog slurper” which is meant to do almost exactly what pyxlin seems to want to do: automatically create a hardbound book of your blog. I wonder what pyxlin will offer to make it different.

Great question Matt. I can see why you think these two applications might be the same, both Blurb and pyxlin print hardbound books and both have the ability to publish a blog or a blook (blog + book). Beyond the blook, pyxlin is different from blurb in pretty much every way.

Similarity – Blooks (i.e., blog import)

A recent study showed that 37 percent of blogs are personal journals. Technorati’s most recent estimate of blogs world-wide is over 70 millions blogs! This means that approximately 25.9 millions blogs are used as personal journals.

For the same reason that pyxlin is going to include a MS Word Import, we are creating a blog import for the purpose of easily sucking in digital personal journals and converting them into readable books for your posterity. This is the only reason we have created an import for bloggers. Pyxlin will turn your personal online diary in to a “personal journal blook”.

Blurb’s primary purpose in creating a blog import is to give the opportunity for bloggers to sell their countless hours of blogging in book form. For example, I would love to buy excerpts of Seth Godin’s blog in the form of a book. I hate reading on a computer all day. My eyes just begin to wig out on me.

blooks vs blooks

Beyond the fact that pyxlin’s personal journals are for personal use while Blurb’s books are made primarily for resell, there are significant differences between pyxlin and blurbs typesetting abilities. Typesetting is the part that makes the text and photos in your book look nice.

To help illustrate the differences I created a book on blurb and then copied what it looked like with pyxlin. As you can see below the differences in margins, leading, kerning, ligatures, small-caps, paragraphs, justification, headers & footers, captions, widows, orphans, and so on are extreme.

Here is a screen shot of Blurb’s system

(click to see a full image and break down of the differences):

blurb - click to enlarge

pyxlin’s professional typesetting system powered by TeX:

pyxlin - click to enlarge

*I used Latin Filler Text to create these example books.

Pyxlin is all online

Because pyxlin is all online, there is nothing to download to your computer. Sharing is easy. So is publishing because you don’t have to wait for a 2 hour upload when you are ready to publish, it is already there. Most surprising is that because it is online, it is actually even faster than blurb’s application when you are working with more than 100 pages of text.

Even though it would be difficult to consider pyxlin’s journals a direct competitor to blurb’s books, I hope that this post helps you understand the differences between the two companies.

Overall blurb is a sweet company—located in San Fransisco— with a great name, great prices, and loads of funding. I am excited to see how they turn out against our friends at LuLu, their main competitor. Blurb is an On-Demand self-publisher that is really built primarily for authors to create and resell their books.

Pyxlin is simply a journaling application that allows you to keep your personal journal online, drag in your favorite photos, and then publish a beautiful hardbound journal.

Pyxlin is owned by FamilyLearn Inc. FamilyLearn is a small family history company founded by Neal Harmon. Neal grew up on the potato farms of Idaho. What little funding we have comes from family and close friends. Half of us are still students at Brigham Young University. We are probably just too stupid to know better but we hope to make pyxlin work without venture capital funding.

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May 30, 2007. discussions, features, journal research, typesetting, Uncategorized.

2 Comments

  1. Cheryl replied:

    If you’d like another place to talk about the differences and your objectives, I’d be happy to have you do a Guest Post. I addressed software in one of my posts on blooking but somehow missed pyxlin.

  2. Dakota replied:

    I create custom memoir volumes and journals with thought provoking questions on each page to help those interested in writing a journal or memoir get started. Take a look and be sure to download your free eMemoir Volume to get started! http://handhewn.co.nr ‘Every person’s life is a contribution to the story of mankind and each person’s story that isn’t recorded is like a missing page from the greatest story ever created.’ Hand Hewn

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