Books still produce revenue. As businesses grow wise to the ability of print-on-demand technology to provide a new revenue stream with minimum monetary investment, more and more websites are beginning to publish and sell books to their visitors. Wikipedia is the latest website to use print-on-demand technology to sell books.
Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia in the world. It is a virtual treasure trove of information developed over the past decade. This open source, collaborative encyclopedia was and is being developed through contributions of ordinary people around the globe. Wikipedia’s images and content are licensed so they are free for anyone to access, use, and share.
Wikipedia is now offering readers the ability to create custom books from their huge database of free content. Readers can print a book on any subject, choosing which information in Wikipedia they want to appear in their book.
Wikipedia’s custom books are printed by PediaPress. PediaPress has partnered with Wikipedia and other free educational wikis to offer this book-printing service.
Currently, these custom books are available in paperback format, with hardbacks to be offered later. Pricing depends on the number of pages in a book with current prices starting at $8.90. Alternatively, instead of ordering a print copy, Wikipedia is allowing readers to download their custom books in .pdf format for free.
Creating a custom book on Wikipedia is simple. Just start the “book creator,” pick your articles, then preview and order your book. The video below gives a short demo on how the book creator works.
If you think the print book is dead, think again. Print-on-demand technology may just keep it alive. After all, word on the street has it that Scribd is gearing up to start offering readers the ebooks listed on their site as print books using print-on-demand technology.