14 April 2005

POD in the Amazon

The news that Amazon.com has bought BookSurge, a print-on-demand publisher, has caused a lot of chatter about what Amazon is up to. Are they trying to take over the world? Are they trying to make all publisher obsolete? Are UFOs involved?

I'm not going to get into the debate, because I'm not particularly informed in one way or another, but I do want to remind everyone about Sean Wallace's article about POD for Locus Online from last year, because Sean has utilized POD to bring us all sorts of marvelous things from Prime Books, where he is Grand Poobah, and Wildside, where he is an editor. (Wildside has been a real leader in using POD to bring out-of-print books, and even magazines, back into print.)

To see how POD affected a real live actual book, see the second part of Jeff VanderMeer's chronicle of the making of the great City of Saints and Madmen, a book that stretched the limits of POD technology and ended up being a triumph of design.

For a view related to the current news about Amazon, see what Dan Wickett has to say over at Conversational Reading.