Sunday, April 27, 2008

A "Revo-lulu-tion" in Print Publishing

ANYONE WITH A SOMEWHAT SERIOUS SLANT towards one's blogging lines would want to publish something in a physical paper format (read: book) at some point in time. At least that is what my general observation has been. On one hand, while the technology of bringing words online in the forms of Blogger, LiveJournal, MySpace and alike have made content creation a one-click job and in doing so might have taken the 'authors' away from the traditional book-publishing process, on the other hand it is really interesting to see how the same technology loops back and makes publishing a book in paper format an equally user-friendly and accessible experience. Add to that the ability to enable Creative Commons options, variable pricing options, and manufacturing (physical printing on paper and binding) and shipping on-demand, provides the new dimension of flexibility in the hands on authors. This is the modern technology looping back to aid the traditional medium of publication rather than clipping it.

The concept first came with Bob Young (co-founder of Red Hat Linux) and Stephen Fraser when they founded lulu.com - winner of 2007 Web 2.0 awards, and arguably, the largest print-on-demand service for books in the world at this point.

[Above: Bob Young, Co-founder of Red Hat. Aug 2007]

The cook-book about publishing your book through lulu is readily available on the site, and is rather straightforward. One can also provide custom-made front and back covers for the to-be-printed book. The content could be a simple word document which would be converted and formatted by lulu automatically as per requirements. (The structure of the uploaded document/book should be in one of the prescribed format.) One can easily buy an ISBN number as well for the work to be published.

"Write your book at [the age of] 40, but dream about it for at least five years..."
I got this thoughtful advice recently from someone I like to trust and respect: "Write your book at [the age of] 40, but dream about it for at least five years..." So, even if it is not time yet for you to start publishing (and making money out of what you write!) I suppose it is still always worth-while to open your 'storefront' on lulu that 'sells' your book(s). You may stop by my store on lulu. It is still empty though, but you may would want to keep a watch on it! ;-)

  • See also:
  • For an interesting interview of Stephen Fraser by Creative Commons, go here.

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