Publish books for free

July 16, 2003

Publish books for Free at Cafe Press

I always thought of the Cafe Press line of merchandise as a bit on the pricey side. With that in mind, I approached their new service – on-demand single print books.

I think the idea is great; but how can it be profitable? Well, it must be to them! For 4-7$US and .03-.045$US per page, this isn’t less expensive than buying a paperback at Barnes and Noble. However, as a vanity project or gift project it may just work out.

My ideas for this so far: family histories, recipe books, instruction manuals, comics – even short run novels for proof reading.

Then it really hit me. One of my complaints about paper backed books is that I destroy the bindings on one or two readings. Not intentionally, but crammed into a airplane seat or stuck in a doctor’s office means you have to hold on as best you can. That is why I usually buy hard backed books – they stand up to wear much better. I’ve read ‘Earth’ by David Brin about 10 times and the binding is still in great condition.

So why not a ‘paperback’ with a Wire-O binding? I could fold it over and not ruin it; easier to read with one hand; easier to read while eating, since it would lay down flat. (Yes, I read while eating. Hell, I’d read during almost anything if I could – I like to read)

What uses can you all think of for a on-demand book printing service?

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