POD possibilities

by Simon St. Laurent

The O'Reilly TOC conference is the first show I've gone to in a long time that's completely explicitly about the work I do every day. I'd planned to float among sessions yesterday afternoon, but instead I found myself glued to my seat at the Print On Demand session.

4 Comments

M. David Peterson
2007-06-19 17:11:00
>> Bringing old books back to life makes me very happy, but at the same time, the part that's most exciting to me is bringing new books to life.


Nicely stated, Simon!

Bob DuCharme
2007-06-20 07:28:26
Hi Simon,


Wouldn't a PDF/POD choice make sense for some titles, e.g. your Short Cuts series? Order a printed copy if you like at one price, or download the PDF for another price.


Bob

Simon Hibbs
2007-06-20 10:25:58
Custom content is another area I'm looking forward to. e.g. a choice of which programming language you want the examples in, or the ability to pick and choose which recipes you want in your personal copy of the Python Cookbook. I'll have Linux System Administration with the Ubuntu install section, lots of database chapters and a side-order on web servers, cut the mail apps.
Dorothy Hoskins
2007-06-21 21:07:38
What a refreshing change of pace POD would be for people who like to read a lot of books, and not just on screen. If you're a bathtub or beach reader, it would offer some comfort to know that you could order a new book on demand if you get absent-minded reaching for the soap or eating your ice-cream cone.


I am also fascinated with the idea of books on paper as art, as cultural artifacts, and as knowledge repositories. What if we could create POD mashups -- the mystery novel that I'm reading at the same time that I am browsing tech articles and enjoying Cucaracha cartoons. If we mashup images and tunes, why not our reading mix? It doesn't all have to be coding and techie content. I bet there are untapped Proustian epiphanies that await someone browsing such a mashup book years later -- ah, that's the Dilbert that came out on the Sunday I was coding the new AJAX widget and I laughed so hard that I spilled the Starbucks into the iPod...


On a more serious note, I would like to mashup Maus (graphic novel) with parts of the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Nazi propaganda posters and the words and score of the Requiem for the Six Million that my father wrote as a Holocaust memorial. It would be the equivalent of a home-grown documentary, which I then could offer to others as my own POD book. I know that we're a long way from solving the copyright issues, but it would be such freedom of expression!