Books On Demand

As I may have mentioned, I’m a fan of Andrew Sullivan, a prominent political blogger at The Atlantic. Though he usually sticks to politically charged topics, he posts daily “View from your Window” photos that are sent to him by his readers.


(view from Astek’s window)

Well apparently, this series is so popular that Andrew is going to offer a coffee book version of the “best” past pics. He is avoiding publishing houses (which he abhors) and is going straight for the print-on-demand. Though, we don’t know yet which service he is using, I will be curious to see.

My future mother-in-law is a children’s author, and I have, in the past, encouraged her to publish her stories that aren’t getting picked up through a publisher, in a similar DIY way. I’d love to see her work directly with an illistrator/animator to make animated online versions of her favorite stories and then, at the end of the online “reading,” have a link where parents can easily order a copy of a bound book (made through a print-on-demand service) for bedtime reading and long-term treasuring.

Similarly, a good friend of mine is an amazing commercial photographer and I recently passed on the idea of personalized, photography-based baby books that I saw on one of my favorite craft blogs. She’s going to try it out as a shower present for her on-the-way nephew and print it up using the services you can find through Flickr or Shutterfly.


This sort of micro-publishing gets me very excited, as do many DIY ideas. Personally, this sort of return to individual “making“ and ”crafting“ and ”creating“ strikes a potent chord. The fact that technology is making it easier for us to return to the ”simpler“ days for fun is a bit ironic, but also pretty fitting. The DIY movement may be a push-back against industrialization and technology, but it doesn’t mean we can’t utilize the tools we are pushing against to make the push. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I hope we continue to see a resurgence of entertainment that results in more than ”couch butt,“ Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and online gaming credits, because making is fun and makes more fun!

1 Comment

  • Nice point. To me the real allure of social media is reaching the 50 people who really care and can identify with your craft more than 50,000 people who won’t care the next day. Of course selling more books is good, and still takes good old fashioned marketing elbow grease, but I do think for the past 100 years we’ve become more focused on quantity than quality, especially at an individual level. In a short number of years I expect that micro-crafts and self-publishing will eclipse traditional methods.

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