Sunday, May 07, 2006

New [Beyond] Publishing

What’s "'"' what's really new, unprecedented: Collaborative, multi-person, self-initiated, self-controlled multi-media publishing…
NOT only receiving; NOT only single publisher, single receiver....

FOLLOWING ARE EXCERPTS FROM: Sites Let Amateurs Be Published Authors Without the Book Deal By Leslie Walker, Thursday, May 4, 2006; 10:55 AM; © 2006 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive

["Blurb", "Lulu", et al. are Web-based on-demand book publishing services.]

“’The book industry is next in line to be 'indied' after music and movies,’ declared Blurb founder Eileen Gittins, referring to material that ordinary people produce independent of large media companies. ‘In the past three years there has been a huge shift from people being downloaders and consumers, to being uploaders and producers.’”

…“Lulu is an on-demand publishing service that prints and ships each book as it is ordered, then offers online tools for authors to sell and market their books over the Web. With no upfront fees, Lulu ( ) takes a commission only when each book is sold.”

…“Blurb and Lulu say they are unleashing people's pent-up desire to publish books that otherwise might have never existed, much the same way that Web logs triggered a new wave of self-expression.”

“More than 91,000 professionally bound books were published through Lulu in January alone, nearly three times the 35,500 paper tomes the site produced last August. Sales are running at about $1 million a month but growing at an extraordinary clip of 10 percent monthly, said founder Bob Young.

“Both Lulu and Blurb take advantage of the economics of modern digital printers, which mimic copiers and laser printers rather than the costlier offset printing presses that require minimum print runs of thousands of copies. While today's book publishing industry is set up mostly to print books in volume, Lulu and Blurb are all about publishing one at a time.
“Each transmits the author's final manuscript over the Internet to a professional printing firm, where it is printed, bound and shipped directly to the purchaser or author. No humans massage manuscripts en route. Nor are warehouses and bookstores involved, as in traditional publishing.

“Pricing and mechanics differ at Lulu and Blurb, though the basic process is similar. At Lulu, authors upload their material as preformatted, printer-ready files and then tweak them online. Blurb offers offline formatting by providing special software that authors download and use to lay out text and images.

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