by YES! Weekly staff

Blurb introduces Personal Covers – fans can upload their own cover image
for each DEAD concert book
San Francisco, Calif. – April 9, 2009 – In an unprecedented collaboration between a musical group and its fans, iconic rock band The DEAD – featuring original Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann – and longtime Grateful Dead photographer Jay Blakesberg have teamed with creative publishing and marketing platform Blurb’® to create professional-quality concert books to commemorate The DEAD’s 2009 U.S. tour. The DEAD plan to create a total of 17 books, one to document each tour stop on the schedule.

Furthering the ongoing collaboration between The DEAD and its fans, Blurb is enabling Dead Heads to create personal covers for each book by using their own photograph for a cover image in place of the standard cover offered. As a thank you to its fans, The DEAD are covering the $5 per-book fee for personal covers through June 30th. Books from each DEAD show will be available in the Blurb Bookstore at within 72 hours of the final encore of each show.

“The band wanted to enable the Dead Heads to visually experience the show in a totally new way,” said Jay Blakesberg, photographer for the upcoming DEAD tour. “Extending the concert experience via personalized, professional-quality photography books, available within days following each show, is unlike any band merchandising I’ve ever seen. The speed of Blurb’s publishing platform meant we could create books with unique content for every tour stop. By also allowing fans to add their own magic to the cover, The DEAD are once again breaking the rules with this awesome new technology!”

Blurb developed its Personal Cover option to allow fans of The DEAD to customize the front cover with their own image in place of the standard cover. This can be done in minutes using a web-based cover creation tool on the Blurb website.

“Working with The DEAD presents an exciting opportunity for Blurb to help a band create a new, cool type of merchandise item,” said Robin Goldberg, SVP of Marketing and Business Development, Blurb. “This partnership was attractive to The DEAD and to Blurb because we’ve been able to allow Dead Heads to work with licensed content but still add their own personal touch to each book.”

To create and publish a Blurb book, start by downloading Blurb BookSmart’® software from The Blurb BookSmart software is free, runs on a Mac or PC, and offers a wide variety of book layouts created by professional book designers. Blurb delivers the permanence and impact of commercial-quality books, with the speed and flexibility of the Internet. Using Blurb, customers enjoy complete creative control, no minimum orders, edit on-the-fly capabilities, mass customization, and global distribution.

About Blurb’®
Blurb’® is a company and a community that believes passionately in the power of books: making, reading, sharing, and selling them. Blurb is flexible and smart enough to help anyone make a book – photographers, creative professionals, bloggers, artists, writers, travelers, everyone. Blurb’s bookstore and online marketing tools let people share, market, and sell their books, and keep 100% of the markup. Blurb’s community features empower socially connected groups of consumers and professionals to create Blurb books together.

Blurb won a 2008 Webby Award for Best Services website, has been recognized as an OnMedia 100 winner by AlwaysOn in 2008, was named a Momentum 15 company by Dealmaker Media in 2007, and was the 2007 Pixel Awards Geek Winner. Blurb was founded by Eileen Gittins in 2005 and is funded by Canaan Partners and Anthem Venture Partners. Blurb BookSmart’® software is free for Mac or PC at
About The DEAD
Seeds of the idea of touring again were first planted in February 2008 when Hart, Lesh and Weir played a “Dead Heads for Obama” show at the Warfield in their native San Francisco, and last year Weir, Kreutzmann and Hart performed at a post-inauguration celebration for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Always sonic and technological adventurers, the Grateful Dead formed in San Francisco’s electric Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in the mid-‘60s, combining their love of bluegrass, country, electric rock and jazz to create one of the most iconic repertoires in rock music.  By touring continuously and never relying on radio hits or latest trends, The DEAD and Dead Heads created an unparalleled bond.  Fans were turned on to the group by live bootlegs and word of mouth, with many following the band on the road for whole tours.