8/28/2006 

Push-button printing ?

Blogging is often called push-button publishing, it looks like within next few short years, we could see 'Push-button printing' become a hot trend. In a recent announcement that the print-on-demand Espresso machine is now being tested at the World Bank, which can print black-and-white text for a 300-page paperback with a four-color cover, and bind it together in 3 minutes.
If the test run goes well, as early as next year people would be able to order books (or blogs) online in just about any language. After pressing few buttons, faster than they can say "Grande Caramel Macchiato," peoplee will be able to be pick up the finished book/blook at a nearby bookstore, coffee shop, Kinko’s or Wal-Mart.

8/27/2006 

Mom and Daughter Self-publish with Blogbinders

A reader from CA has told me that last year, She and her daughter published their first co-authored blook from BlogBinders.com, which is Francisco based company founded in 2003.
Below is their self-publishing experience -
BlogBinders.com internally uses CafePress.com, and you can see it at times. For example, you need to create two accounts, and you will get emails from both services. Also, the package arrives in CafePress.com wrapping. This makes it look as if BlogBinder is riding on the back of someone else’s service.
However, BlogBinders understands different blogging packages – LiveJournal, Blogger.com, TypePad, Movable Type, WordPress and others – and spares you the hassle of figuring out how to convert this into a book. CafePress only accept PDF files at that time. So instead of turning blog into a PDF yourself, you just simply tell BlogBinders which blogging software you use. In our case, I had been using TypePad, and my daughter was using Blogger from Google.
You will now be able to edit the book online and reformat some passages or delete blocks of text. You can then continue to choose font and cover styling. There aren’t many options at the moment, so we went for a rather traditional font. I insisted to go for the highest-quality printing – the price is still fair enough to pay. After you configured the settings, you can render a preview PDF which will be displayed right in the browser. All of these steps worked flawlessly for us.
And then, you send the book to print. After BlogBinders checks your configuration and approves your book, it will be shipped to you.
The table of contents works nicely and is separated into the different years and months for easy access now that actual Google-like search functionality will be lost. Our book has little over 150 pages, and covers a selected few articles from around one year of blogging between me and my daughter.
Not all things which work online work offline, naturally. My daughter was careful to select only bigger articles, and those with a simpler style. Tables, illustrations, any kind of advanced formatting, will be lost when BlogBinders converts your blog. Links will also be lost, of course, but you can keep the link text – it pays off if in the past you avoided “click here” non-semantics. Before we would ever consider selling it, we would need to edit it, too, which would consist of both proof-reading and making sure web-specifics translated well.
Overall, the experience is more labor intensive than we originally thought, but well worth it !

8/09/2006 

Self publish blooks - link for today

1) are you using a blog to promote your book? - a discussion thread;
2) The Penguin Blog - the legendary publishing house marches into blogging;
3) whether you are interested or not in the self-publish blooks business, check out 19 pieces of advice for authors from Seth Godin. I think item #18, 19 is talking to us bloggers.

8/05/2006 

Proposing marriage with a self-published book

Here's a create use of self-publishing: Cameron Kelly of North Carolina (US)proposed to his girlfriend Angie Kreimer via a 113-page self-published book he self-published at Lulu.com -- 50 Reasons Why You Should Marry Me and 51 Reasons Why I Should Marry You. The book includes 101 pages of text and 44 color photographs. "It's a sort of prose-poem, with pictures," Kelly said. According to a Lulu.com press release, some of the reasons he claimed he was marriage-worthy included:
- I clean the bathroom every week.
- I'm going to look like Sean Connery when I'm 65.
- You don't even have to change your initials!
Apparently the book was met with a one-word reply -- "yes".
Please drop me a line if you know someone using a blog to propose a marriage, I am sure there are quite few.

8/02/2006 

Blake Schwendiman's blook story

You may have read stories like this many times in my blog: a successful blog leads to audiences, which leads to a book/blook deal and win more audiences, which then leads to financial success. This is now officially a trend.
Blake Schwendiman have already published 2 programming books before, and he's been moonlighting on a novel. He started blogging to market his book to an agent or publisher. He had a few leads, but it's not going anywhere. This week, after thought it through, he decided to put his book "The Agency Delta" on-line for free download. Since his blog have already won some audiences, this act was noticed by many people in the blogsphere quickly. In only 2 days, the book has been downloaded over 1,000 times already.
By putting his novel online for free and encouraging people to read it, email it, blog about it, distribute it on other blogs, etc. there is a hope that more people will eventually spend money buying other publications from Blake. Since it is so competitive in the traditional publishing world, Blake can't find any actual downside in this.
This is another nice blook story in the making. I hope this will eventually leads to a financial success for Blake Schwendiman.