Once upon a time, way back in the dark ages before Web 2.0 when people were still listening to Britney Spears, it took a village to publish a book. As Investors.com explains [Free registration required to view article]:
There were: agents who represented authors in negotiations, editors who agonized over what to publish and how to publish it, publishers who provided the big bucks it took to get a book printed and on the shelf, distributors who acted like gatekeepers and booksellers who guarded their shelf space jealously.
Now technology is rewriting the book on publishing.
Enter our fearless hero, and the tale takes an unexpected twist:
…Blurb.com lets aspiring authors handle all the production details themselves, using its free software. Then it lets authors, or anyone, order copies just one at a time, for about $30 each.
The software comes with templates for different genres such as cookbooks, photo collections, poetry books and plain text. It automatically lays out the page and lets the book’s creator fill in the photographs and text by cutting and pasting.
Publishing hits Portland pubs with Blurb book maker Colin Crook…
… Crook is writing a historical series on Portland saloons. He and a partner are approaching the venues, seeking to partner with them to sell the books in their establishments.
“Using Blurb, we can do everything we could do with the big guys — create, design, print and market the books,” Crook said.
Deep pockets aren’t a given anymore, says Bruce:
Bruce Watermann, Blurb’s vice president of print operations, says a low price is chief among what his company brings to the table.
“We know that we have a great product,” he said, “but if it’s priced out of the range that people are willing to pay, we’ll never sell any.”
But without all those middlemen involved, how does the book turn out in the end?
“…I defy you to tell the difference between a print-on-demand book and one that went through a big printer,” said O’Reilly’s Noren.
Don’t you just love a happy ending? Thanks, Investors.com, and thanks to all you Blurbarians who came up with your own endings this weekend in brand new books. Keep it up, and you might just change publishing for good…