on demand textbook publishing [was Re: [FoRK] Sony's 2nd gen ebook reader site]

mattj at newsblip.com mattj
Sun Jan 8 14:54:24 PST 2006

I'd like to hawk some old bits of mine:

Q: Hardcopy copy protection: Any *cheap* POD service with Variable Data 

This would allow custom content to be printed into each POD copy of a 
book, and enable great added-value services. It would also enable 
authors to partially control copying, by controlling access to the 
added-value services.  AFAIK, iUniverse, Lulu, etc. still don't offer 

-Matt Jensen

Quoting Luis Villa <luis.villa at gmail.com>:

> On 1/6/06, Ken Meltsner <meltsner at alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>> The big issue will be price.  It always is.  Publishers will insist on
>> receiving nearly the same revenue from the electronic version even
>> though they can add "features" like expiration of content (no more
>> competition from used book sales!).  Some of the accounting figures
>> I've seen indicate that creating and dealing with "real" books is not
>> that big a deal -- printing and binding might be a few dollars per
>> copy for a textbook retailing for $50 unless the press run is
>> ridiculously small.
> Just as a data point, when I saw R. Preston McAfee had published his
> intro to econ textbook (352 pages) under a CC license I suggested he
> publish it at lulu.com. It was available the next day for $11.60 plus
> shipping, which he said was less than he'd been paying to get it
> printed at the local copy shop. So the economics of book publishing
> (particularly low print run textbooks) are soon going to be upended
> anyway, I think.
> Luis
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