Yesterday I took part in if:book‘s Amplified Author event at the Crouch End Unlibrary, giving a series of short workshops about bookleteer and print on demand alongside Anna Lewis of Completely Novel. Anna and I introduced 4 groups of people (many local writers) to the opportunities and limitations of print on demand systems (including our own) : what they could expect and how they could use it in their own projects and for their own publications.
Describing the evolution of the Diffusion eBook & StoryCubes formats, as well as the development of bookleteer over the last dozen years gave me an opportunity to reflect on what’s different again about our approach to publishing and sharing of knowledge. It also reinforced for me how bookleteer and our own PPOD service are yet again quite different to other POD platforms (such as Completely Novel, Lulu or Blurb) – offering something more than just a cheap means of producing and micro-selling books. Our public authoring and shareables concepts, which underpin both the eBooks and the StoryCubes, presents exciting opportunities for mixing the digital with the physical in ways that no other POD service can offer. During the workshops I showed the flow of creation from simple blank sheets of paper than can be folded and cut into eBooks, through to their use as notebooks that can be written or drawn in by hand and then scanned in as PDFs to make them printable by anyone, anywhere, on to the next stage of being able to -reflow the scanned pages back through bookleteer to have PPOD versions printed (my examples were the wonderful set we created for the British Museum’s Melanesia Project with Porer & Pinbin from Papua New Guinea).
The response from the participants was very positive : we’re looking forward to welcoming many more bookleteers to the growing community and excited to see what they create.