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POD Print on Demand

I’ve often wondered what the opportunity for Print on Demand publishing in the library sector might be. It is certainly maturing as a sector and as an opportunity.
If you’re interesting in leanring more about PoD, read this ReadWriteWeb posting.
Here’s a list of some of the major PoD players:
CreateSpace
Lulu
PrintonDemand
AuthorHouse
iUniversere
Wordclay
Borders Personal Publishing
CafePress
Blurb
I wonder how many libraries have taken advantage of these services? I could imagine:
a. Publishing student poetry in a collaborative framework and seeling it to parents and grandparents.
b. Publishing recipe collections from your community as a fundraiser that matches the production costs
c. Publishing and collecting local literature efforts from your community.
d. Offering the abilty to publish family genealogies.
e. Offering to publish any non-commercial stuff that remains important but has a very small market – like local histories, local historical society writing, etc.
Just remember that printing is not publishing. If I remember some of my history of the book stuff, there is a big difference from building a Gutenberg Press and printing and what the Italians did almost a century later when publishing was invented. You’ll mostly need to do your own marketing, promotion, pricing, editing, graphics, distribution, etc. this isn’t the system for a popular Harry Potter tome but it can be very successful for niche properties or giving voice to the unheard.
Stephen

Posted on: February 25, 2008, 12:14 pm Category: Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Another attractive publishing possibility is http://www.publishamerica.com/
    It’s free to authors, of course. Their design team does a great job on book covers, editing, and just turning out a beautiful product.

  2. I would caution that those links involve very different business models: Before someone (person or library) uses one, they should read the site FAQs and stuff VERY carefully. I’m using Lulu and, to some extent, CreateSpace, both of which do “distribute” in that they do order fulfillment as part of their process. (I’ve written about this a fair amount in Cites & Insights.)
    I think more libraries should and will get involved with local publishing, and that operations like Lulu and CreateSpace will be part of that. But you’d want to compare several of them, and probably check secondary sources such as (ahem) Wikipedia before proceeding.