Saturday, July 22, 2006

Technology Rewrites the Book

NYT article on print-on-demand

The print-on-demand business is gradually moving toward the center of the marketplace. What began as a way for publishers to reduce their inventory and stop wasting paper is becoming a tool for anyone who needs a bound document. Short-run presses can turn out books economically in small quantities or singly, and new software simplifies the process of designing a book.

I wouldn't say it's hit the center of the marketplace yet, though. While this is almost assuredly the direction that publishing for most niche works is going to go in the 21st cent., it's not there yet. But it's not bleeding edge anymore, or even cutting edge. Based on the fact that profitiabilty is (for the individual creator, not the print-on-demand printers) is still teetering between red and black, I hereby dub print-on-demand technology as "Bruised edge."

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