"Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one."
– A.J. Liebling
A Press for Democracy
So you want to be a print publisher. Luckily, you're living at the right time in history. Freedom of expression has never been more celebrated and available. From personal broadcasts of text, voice and video messages to social networks, blogs, micro-blogs and podcasts, media options and outlets abound.
A Democratic Appeal
Although digital media is easily distributed, it's imprisoned by electronic devices and an endless sea of competition for readership. And, often it's merely scanned, not truly read.
By contrast, published works derive value from their singular appeals: a tactile form, a willing and welcomed commitment of one's time, a personal gift.
Until now, print-publishing was expensive, with customized items made affordable only via mass production and distribution methods.
Traditional publishing and digital print technologies have now merged, offering a vast array of online, on-demand, turnkey publishing and distribution platforms like these, ready to meet your needs:
Lightning Source, a sister company to U.S. book wholesaler Ingram Book Group, is an online print-on-demand (POD) service provider to publishers. They offer online publishing, production and distribution solutions that can reduce on-hand inventories and warehousing costs by satisfying niche book demands and calls for backlist and out-of-print books.
Amazon's answer to on-demand publishing brings its third-party connections and distribution acumen to help you develop and distribute manuscripts and other types of media.
Affiliated with Flickr's popular photography management and sharing site, Blurb offers prepackaged, user-friendly templates for a more consumer-oriented solution to book publishing.
Shutterfly enters the on-demand book and publishing market from its core focus, online photo sharing and management. The seamless port of existing albums into books, calendars and other product templates positions Shutterfly as a solid consumer choice.
HP brings its leadership in on-demand printing to BookPrep. BookPrep allows you to digitize any existing book into a virtual asset that can be ported via the web and printed on-demand as-is, or customized by the consumer.
For those wanting to produce the next New Yorker, Fast Company or Sports Illustrated, MagCloud offers an affordable solution for would-be magazine publishers. MagCloud not only handles printing, but mailing and subscription management as well.
Lulu provides a matrix of vertically and horizontally marketed offerings, from consumer-oriented photo calendars to hardbound business books and digital media. In an obvious response to Amazon, it also offers the means to buy and sell works.
A Freeing Democracy
Whether you want to target a single customer with an extended one-to one message or hope to take your ideas to market in multiples, on-demand printing solutions offer both prototype and production solutions in a single model.
From individuals to tier-one corporations, online on-demand publishing provides another instrument to add to your integrated brand marketing mix, and a chance at real freedom of the press.