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POD goes serial?

Print on demand has already hit the book publishing world. Now it looks like something similar could hit magazine publishing. A recent NY Times article on this phenomenon discusses
a new HP web service called MagCloud that works like a cross between YouTube and a vanity press.

The user creates the pages he or she wants— graduation photos, a report on club activities, whatever. The look and feel, layout, color, etc., are all up to the content creator. Once the issue is ready, the user sends a PDF of it to the MagCloud repository via the Internet. HP's many business partners handle billing and shipping to magazine “subscribers,” assuming there are any. HP charges the magazine's creator/publishers a fixed 20 cents a page, and they can bill their family, friends, customers whatever they choose. This POD-like implementation allows for low-cost small print runs.

HP has other irons in the fire. They are considering future development to partially automate the design process using algorithms to arrange photos in a pleasing way. And HP has another project that uses similar technology to scan old books, clean up the images, and print formerly "out-of-print" books on digital presses. I don't know about pushing the envelope, but HP is definitely going after a buck wherever it finds it. And if you make printers, I guess you have to be vested in keeping the print world viable.







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