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« Mystery Quote for the Day | Main | Elsewhere »

September 26, 2007

Trad Meets New Kid

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Newsweek points out that the hip, fun, and innovative traditional publisher Chronicle Books has forged an interesting deal with the newish POD (print-on-demand) outfit Blurb.

MBlowhard tip: Expect to see lots more of this kind of thing -- trad publishers using POD publishers as farm teams -- as we move into the next phase of book publishing. We do live in awfully interesting times, don't we? Incidentally, I don't think it's a coincidence that both Chronicle and Blurb are west-coast outfits. It's a sad but solid fact that east coast publishers are stuck in deeper ruts than are west coast publishers, who tend to be far more open-minded and forward-looking.

By the way, those interested in publishing their own books owe it to themselves to take a look at Blurb, which is a heck of a service. Blurb turns out beautiful books, gives away its well-designed and rock-solid book-making software for free, and has quickly developed a classy reputation among self-publishers. The one downside in Blurb's model that I can see: It's difficult or impossible to sell a Blurb-produced book on Amazon. But if your main goal in creating your book is to give it away or to sell it to friends and family, Blurb is hard to beat.

Semi-related: I've blogged a lot about the self-publishing outfit Lulu, most recently here. And it's worth noticing that Amazon has entered the field with its own outfit, CreateSpace.

Small musing: Blurb, Lulu, and CreateSpace may be to traditional book publishing what blogging software is to traditional journalism -- an acid corroding the very foundations ...



posted by Michael at September 26, 2007


Dear Michael:

I tried to comment on your August post on miscellanies to which you link here but without success. So I will try here:

"Is it possible that all great minds think alike? i have been thinking and writing about the same thing: how much i miss the miscellany in English. (the good ones are all foreign). do you have any English language miscellanies to recommend?"

Sir G

Posted by: Gawain on September 26, 2007 8:00 PM

"Chronicle points out that there's no guarantee that an author will come back to them, and says the agreement is primarily designed to help writers."

BS. Chronicle has found a way to monetize their slushpile, that's all. As for Blurb, their prices as quoted in this article are much too high. Someone with a 200-page nonfiction book would end up with something like a $60 paperback book, which is totally unsaleable.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on September 26, 2007 9:08 PM

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