MagCloud – H.P.’s Big Idea

H.P. has come up with a web-based means of production and distribution for magazine publishing called MagCloud.

Charging 20 cents a page, paid only when a customer orders a copy, H.P. dreams of turning MagCloud into vanity publishing’s equivalent of YouTube. The company, a leading maker of computers and printers, envisions people using their PCs to develop quick magazines commemorating their daughter’s volleyball season or chronicling the intricacies of the Arizona cactus business. (nytimes)

Sounds great right? This service will help small, niche publications get started- as it drives the cost of printing a magazine down and serves as a digital newsstand for new readers to browse and purchase publications. Hopefully it will also spark some much needed new business for participating printers as well.

MagCloud also makes it affordable for book publishers to re-print a single copy or a handful of copies of out of print books- on demand.

If MagCloud sounds exciting, check out www.blurb.com a similar print on demand service for books but- without the distribution or fulfillment processes built right in. I have high hopes for this project and it will be exciting to watch as digital printing technologies meet online content and communities. Do you think anyone will jump from blog to magazine using a technology like MagCloud? I’ve always enjoyed reading letters to the editor more than blog comments.

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