PediaPress is an example of what part of the future of print on demand publishing will look like. The following is from a press release by Ingram the parent company of Lightning Source, a print on demand company:
PediaPress teams with Ingram’s Lightning Source on Wikipedia custom book application
La VERGNE, TN – Ingram’s Lightning Source Inc. today announced an expansion of its work with PediaPress, an organization that provides users with tools to create customized books from wiki content. Lightning Source will support the PediaPress Create a Book custom book feature on the English language Wikipedia site with book manufacturing and distribution.
“With our innovative Create a Book platform, we required a technologically advanced company that understood the web-to-print model, and could satisfy our requirements,” said Heiko Hees, Managing Director of PediaPress. “We needed a professional and reliable organization with high quality one-off book manufacturing and a globally distributed print network, and we found that with Ingram’s Lightning Source.”
The Create a Book feature from Wikipedia enables a user to build a custom book from the articles chosen from their search on Wikipedia and other wiki sites that are supported by PediaPress’ book creator feature. Upon the completion of content collection, the user creates a book title, adds an editor name and selects a cover photo from a group of images and photos associated with the content selected. A 30-page preview is provided to the user for review. The user purchases the book online from the PediaPress web site, and book files are then uploaded to Lightning Source for manufacturing. Printed books are then shipped to their final destination from the closest of Lightning’s networked print facilities.
The technological sophistication to do this is pretty cool. The idea that you can assemble a book of material on the web and have it printed and shipped to you requires a lot of stuff working together. Just wait until this comes to public domain books via the Gutenberg website, (http://gutenberg.org,) or similar. Then what if publishers start allowing customers to make (and pay) for books with content from authors of their choosing?
Currently the PediaPress website (http://pediapress.com/) has a video demonstrating how one would go about creating a book. It’s worth watching if you want to see how easy it is, or if you are considering trying it out.