Join Michael Ninness for an in-depth discussion in this video Self-publishing: Print, part of InDesign CS4: Interactive Documents and Presentations.
Annother trend that I think is actually here to stay it's this notion of self publishing and it's really kind of a variant of The Long Tail theory in action. For those of you who don't know what The Long Tail theory is I highly encourage you to go off on a tangent, go Google The Long Tail. You can see that is what I did here in the search bar here and there will link in your Google results that takes you to the original article written by one of the editors at Wired Magazine, Chris Anderson and this is his original article where he explains this phenomenon of how the internet actually provides a vast market for niche topics and the market is actually hungry for content that goes beyond just the top tittles or the top content, as an example the average Barnes& Noble carries 130000 Book titles in their Brick and Motor Store and when you look at amazon.com book sales more than half of their sales come from outside of the top 130000 titles.
So the markets for books not sold in the average bookstore is larger than the market for those that are. What this mean is that you have this opportunity to create an audience for your niche content that may not make it in a Brick and Motor Store, so to speak, but you can still create an audience and market your content to them. So again take a look at this article if you haven't seen it Chris Anderson actually has a blog called the thelongtail.com. So there is lots of links and useful information on this particular web site as well. He eventually wrote a book that took on expanded view on its original article and converted into a longer book form called the Long Tail of course, he has an update to the book called the Longer Tail as you can take a look at that available at amazon.com of course.
Back to the trend and related to this is createspace.com. It's an example of one of these self publishing websites that have actually sprung up around this theme or this trend. CreateSpace is actually a subsidiary of amazon.com and it lets you self publish either a book content, written content, music content or a video content and the whole website is organized around those three themes here. If I click on the Author's link here, you can see it takes you to a page were it explains the whole process you can create a print it on demand book for the person who wants you buy your book or if you want to sell your book as an e-book through the Amazon Kindle store you can go ahead and do that or do both actually.
You set the price and when someone orders your book it gets printed digitally on demand get shipped to the purchaser. You get a piece of the revenue Amazon of course gets piece of the revenue and everybody wins, another example of a self publishing web site and there is lots of them here I'm just going to highlighting two or three, lulu.com they have gone beyond just quote books or offering self publishing opportunities for e-books, for calendars, for cook books and so forth. Again the idea is that you have got your content, they provide a digital store front where you can actually turn it into a physical product or an electronic product, set the price in there is a revenue share model there.
Another example is blurb. This is a website that I particularly like because the quality of design is so high. They tend to cater to the creative professional which means that a lot of the people creating books on blurb or actually using professional tools, and products like InDesign so to speak, or Illustrator or whatnot Again you set the price, either print it on demanded you can buy them yourself and sell them on your own or you can make them available for purchase online as well, giving example somebody's book, I mean they tend to be Photo Books but a lot of designers and agencies are using them create custom portfolio books to send to potential clients to get work and they have got the nice flash based kind of interactive preview of some of these books, I'm just kind of clicking through one of the samples and eventually I'll click through and see this is another photo book example.
I am kind of clicking real quickly just so you can get an idea of what these look like and again these are just the digital previews of what the printed would look like. And they are printed on high quality paper and they are nicely bound and they are really gorgeous objects actually. These are some examples of some photo books. Some of the other examples are architecture firms use them. This is a really well designed book for a design agency. It's talking about their work their philosophy and some of the samples of their work as well. So, just a real nice engaging way to create self published content.
The other one I would like to mention is MagCloud. This is actually a self publishing service for Niche Magazine content. So if you want to create a digital magazine that actually ends up getting printed when someone purchases it, again you set the price, they are digitally printed on demand, MagCloud takes care of the fulfillment and you guys share the revenue between their service and you being the author or the publisher. Again these are all examples of self publish magazines, I haven't seen any of these before, so I'm not really sure what they are all about, but let's click on Film & Festivals when you click on this thumbnail it will take you to about a page where you can actually see the price where you can actually buy the issue, you can see the preview, you could see the back issues here and when you click on the Preview you get a way to actually again kind of cycle through and see the inside of the magazines you can get an idea what it's all about.
So, just some examples of the self publishing trend. This one is more focused on using online to drive awareness and promotion of a physical print product that arrives in your mailbox if you actually go ahead and order these things, but I think you are going to see this type of publishing explode, and you will see lots of different websites and services available here as a way to propagate this Long Tail theory in reality.
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