Articles tagged "Print-On-Demand"

7,473 Volumes at 700 Pages Each: Meet Print Wikipedia

Wikipedia contributor appendices; check out the full gallery of images on Wikimedia Commons. Photo by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Wikipedia contributor appendices; check out the full gallery of images on Wikimedia Commons. Photo by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

 

After six years of work, a residency in the Canadian Rockies, endless debugging, and more than a little help from my friends, I have made Print Wikipedia: a new artwork in which custom software transforms the entirety of the English-language Wikipedia into 7,473 volumes and uploads them for print-on-demand. I’m excited to have this project in a solo exhibition, From Aaaaa! to ZZZap!, at Denny Gallery in the Lower East Side of New York City, on view now through July 2nd.

The two-week exhibition at Denny Gallery is structured around the upload process of Print Wikipedia to Lulu.com and the display of a selection of volumes from the project. The upload process will take between eleven and fourteen days, starting at ! and ending at ℧. There will be two channels for watching this process: a projection of Lulu.com in a web browser that is automated by the software, and a computer monitor with the command line updates showing the dialogue between the code and the site. If you aren’t able to visit the gallery in person, you can follow the process on Twitter; we will post to the @PrintWikipedia Twitter account after it finishes each volume.

Individual volumes and the entirety of Print Wikipedia, Wikipedia Table of Contents, and Wikipedia Contributor Appendix will be available for sale. All of the volumes will be available on Lulu.com as they are uploaded, so by the end of the upload/exhibition all of the volumes will be available on for individual purchase. Each of the 7,473 volumes is made up of 700 pages, for a total of 5,244,11 pages. The Wikipedia Table of Contents is comprised of 63,372 pages in 91 volumes. The Wikipedia Contributor Appendix contains all 7,488,091 contributors to the English-language Wikipedia (nearly 7.5 Million).

It is important to note that I have not printed out all of the books for this exhibition, nor do I personally have any intention of doing so—unless someone paid the $500,000 to fabricate a full set. There are 106 volumes in the exhibition, which are really helpful for visualizing the scope of the work. It isn’t necessary to print them all out: our imaginations can complete what’s missing.

Wikipedia has been printed. Photo by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Wikipedia has been printed. Photo by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Books are microcosms of the world. To make an intervention into an encyclopedia is to intervene in the ordering systems of the world. If books are a reduced version of the universe, this is the most expanded version we as humans have ever seen. For better or for worse, it reflects ourselves and our societies, with 7,473 volumes about life, the universe, and everything. An entry for an film or music album will pop up every few pages, and the entry for humanism will be located in a volume that begins with “Hulk (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)” and ends with “Humanitarianism in Africa” and the names of battles will fill the 28 volumes with entries that start with “BAT.” It’s big data that’s small enough that we can understand it, but big enough that no human will know all of it. It is small enough that I can process it on a desktop computer, though big enough that each round of calculations, such as unpacking the database into a MySQL database, takes up to two weeks to complete, and the whole build cycle takes over a month. As we become increasingly dependent on information what does this relative accessibility of its vastness mean.

Print Wikipedia is a both a utilitarian visualization of the largest accumulation of human knowledge and a poetic gesture towards the futility of the scale of big data. Built on what is likely the largest appropriation ever made, it is also a work of found poetry that draws attention to the sheer size of the encyclopedia’s content and the impossibility of rendering Wikipedia as a material object in fixed form: once a volume is printed, it is already out of date.

My practice as an artist is focused around online interventions, working inside of existing technical or logical systems and turning them inside out. I make poetic yet functional meditations that provoke an examination of art in a non-art space and a deeper consideration of the Internet as a tool for radically re-defining communication systems. For example, I sold all of my possessions online in the year-long performance and e-commerce website Shop Mandiberg (2001), and made perfect copies of copies on AfterSherrieLevine.com (2001), complete with certificates of authenticity to be signed by the user themselves. I made the first works to use the web browser plug-in as a platform for creating artworks: The Real Costs (2007), a browser plug-in that inserts carbon footprints into airplane travel websites, and Oil Standard (2006), a browser plug-in that converts all prices on any web page in their equivalent value in barrels of oil.

Mandiberg (left) with assistant Jonathan Kiritharan. Photo by Tilman Bayer, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Mandiberg (left) with assistant Jonathan Kiritharan. Photo by Tilman Bayer, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

This was not a solitary endeavor. I was grateful to work with several programmers and designers, including Denis Lunev, Jonathan Kiritharan, Kenny Lozowski, Patrick Davison, and Colin Elliot. I was also supported by a great group of people at Lulu.com who went above and beyond to support this wild and quite unwieldy project.

If you’re in New York, I hope can come see the show. For those of you far away, you can follow the upload process at PrintWikipedia.com and on Twitter.

Wikipedia contributor appendix, volume 1. Photo by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

Wikipedia contributor appendix, volume 1. Photo by Victor Grigas, freely licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

About the Artist

Michael Mandiberg is an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, and educator living in Brooklyn, New York. He received his M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts and his B.A. from Brown University. His work traces the lines of political and symbolic power online, working on the Internet in order to comment on and intercede in the real flows of information. He sold all of his possessions online on Shop Mandiberg, made perfect copies of copies on AfterSherrieLevine.com, and created Firefox plugins that highlight the real environmental costs of a global economy on TheRealCosts.com. He is co-author of Digital Foundations and Collaborative Futures and the editor of The Social Media Reader. A recipient of residencies and commissions from Eyebeam, Rhizome.org, and Turbulence.org, his work has been exhibited at the New Museum, Ars Electronica, ZKM, and Transmediale. A former Senior Fellow at Eyebeam, he is currently Director of the New York Arts Practicum, a co-founder of the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon, Associate Professor at the College of Staten Island/CUNY, and a member of the Doctoral Faculty at the CUNY Graduate Center. His work has previously been exhibited at Denny Gallery in the exhibition Share This! Appropriation After Cynicism. He has also exhibited at Postmasters Gallery, The New Museum for Contemporary Art, the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Jen Beckman Gallery, Parsons’ Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, and the Eyebeam Art + Technology Center. His work has been written about in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Berliner Zeitung, Wired, the Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Hyperallergic, ARTNews, MOMUS, Flash Art and Artforum.

Print-on-Demand, saving the Earth one tree at a time

EarthDay_Social_600x315(1)Original post provided by Morgan Siem

In honor of Earth Day, here are some important, “did-you-know?” facts about why Print-On-Demand (the Lulu-way) is a sustainable alternative to Traditional Offset Printing:

  1. No book is printed before it is bought and paid for. This differs from the traditional method in which thousands of copies are printed before ANY of them are bought and paid for by the consumer. This “print & pray” approach involves unnecessary risk due to the large capital expenditure involved in offset print runs for publishers.
  2. Zero material waste in the manufacturing process, which only uses what is necessary to produce sell-able product. This differs from the traditional method in which additional paper is automatically ordered and used to compensate for the material wasted in “make-ready” in both the printing and binding processes. It’s typically 3-8% paper waste depending on the manufacturer. This adds up to considerable waste for a publisher. The printer passes on the cost of spoilage to the publisher.
  3. Zero risk on the returns of unsold inventory. Compare this to the return rate on traditionally printed books, which can range from 20-35% of the units produced. These overruns are pure waste and sunk costs. Publishers measure these costs in the millions of dollars.
  4. There is no unsold inventory. Using the traditional method, unsold inventory has to be warehoused for a period of time. This is costly.  It burns time, money and energy.
  5. There is no unsold inventory. Using the traditional method, unsold inventory has to be shipped back to the recycling center. In addition, unsold inventory has to be processed at a recycling center. These processes burn time, money and fuel.
  6. Each order is printed and shipped locally, which is good for the local economy and minimizes time in transit and transit costs. Traditionally, orders are printed at large manufacturing facilities for the lowest unit cost.  Traditional Offset runs are done in large manufacturing facilities, shipped in bulk (on many pallets) to warehouses.  These shipments travel long distances by tractor-trailer, or are shipped in containers from overseas.
  7. Maximum author control of content means authors can make edits and publish new editions at any time without negative consequences. Traditionally, the author and publisher are stuck with the inventory of books produced. Content changes can only be made if the author and publisher are willing to swallow the loss on any remaining unsold inventory of the earlier edition.

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Tearing down the wall! Lulu now offers new print packages to fit everyone

POD_Launch_600x315

When Bob Young, Lulu’s founder, tore down the barriers to bringing a book to market, he knew millions of people would benefit. Since Lulu.com made its debut more than ten years ago, people from every corner of the globe have created works for every reader in every genre.

  • Fiction writers have found and delighted new audiences.
  • Memoirists have left important legacies.
  • Educators have removed obstacles to knowledge.
  • Physicians have shared life-saving research and information.
  • Biographers have celebrated fascinating lives.
  • Entrepreneurs have launched and grown new businesses.

That’s just a fraction of the list. Here at Lulu.com, we’ve satisfied just about every possible reason a person can make a book.

And now we’re tearing down another wall: the final barrier to flexibility and control. Today, Lulu.com is offering new, lower priced print book options. You can now choose from Premium, Standard and Value to fit your every book-making need.

Premium books are hard cover with an optional dust jacket. These books can have image wrap or linen wrap covers, offering you the choice of six linen colors as well as foil stamping for the spine (three color options there, too). You can also choose white or cream paper options. Our Premium line also includes books with photo quality color or black & white interiors. These books provide the highest quality possible and options that have never been available in a print on demand offering until now.

Standard books are soft cover, available as perfect bound, coil stitched or saddle stitched. These books have bookstore quality color or black & white interiors. Many of our Standard book options are eligible for distribution, and all of them can have bulk discounts applied.

Value books are soft cover available as perfect bound only. They are available with color or black & white interiors. These books are not currently eligible for distribution or for bulk discounts. As the name suggests, the main advantage of our Value line is lower cost. The Value line books are comparable to what you’ll find if you shop around before deciding to use Lulu.com.

All of these product lines come with lower pricing, so you can increase your earning potential or pass the savings on to your readers. And not to worry: We’ve preserved the high quality you love in all of our books.

To make choosing the right print book option as easy as possible, we’ve created a free Book Builder tool to guide you through the book creation process. Go to the Book Builder, try it out, and let us know what you think! Also, from now until April 24th save 15% on your order when you publish a Standard or Premium print book with Lulu.com (use discount code: SAVE15 at checkout).

WeForest: A Way for Authors to Offset Deforestation by Selling More Books

When it came time for Lulu author Morag Embleton to publish her book Old Knobbley the Oak Tree, she had a dilemma: how could she get her marvelous book to more readers without contributing to deforestation from the printing of her book on paper?

Lucky for her, she found WeForest,an “international organization dedicated to sustainable reforestation” that can help her offset the printing of the book by donating some of her profit to planting more trees.

“I love trees and my book is made from paper. I couldn’t be sure that here in the UK the Lulu printers would be using FSC paper. I know print on demand is much better than print runs of thousands that may or may not sell, but I just couldn’t bear the thought that something that I had created would increase deforestation and biodiversity loss.  I did the math and it was feasible with the ‘buy 2 get 1 tree’ idea (for every two books printed, one tree will be planted) to more than off-set the paper in the books. Plus my book is about an 800 year old tree (Knobbley), and he insisted.”

Morag is now a volunteer at WeForest and has spent years focusing on environmental issues.

“I’ve been concerned about deforestation since the 1980s when I learned about the large tracts of rainforest being felled in the Amazon. All these years on and trees are still disappearing faster than they are being replaced. When I heard that WeForest’s founder Bill Liao had a vision to plant 2 trillion trees, I quickly found their YouTube video about how to repair the world. WeForest’s work puts local people at the center of the tree planting process so the trees will be cared for and in turn provide food and an income. A winning formula!”

Morag explained how multi-platform publishing can help promote a favorite cause, “If you have a cause that you are really passionate about, self-publishing is a great way to show that you care.”

Good News / Bad News from BRAGMedallion.com

The good news: According to publishing industry surveys, 8 out of 10 adults feel they have a book in them. In the past, few were able to realize this dream. However, the emergence of self-publishing companies such as Lulu and print-on-demand technology has made it possible for anyone to publish a book.

The bad news is that with so many new titles it can be hard for readers to find the true gems. Furthermore, as the understanding of what it means to self-publish evolves, we still sometimes see authors go the self-publishing route with the misunderstanding that their book does not need editing and so books go into print with grammatical and spelling errors. That’s where we come in. At B.R.A.G. MedallionTM, we hold indie authors to a higher standard: The decision to honor a self-published book must be unanimous among the group of our readers who review it.

Thus, our advice to budding indie authors is twofold. First, read before you write. The best guideline for writing a good book is to read the work of others―both to learn what is good and to avoid what is bad. Second, after you write your book, have it professionally edited. This constitutes line editing, preferably, or proofreading at a minimum. Nothing turns off a reader more quickly than a poorly written book. To help Lulu authors find high-quality self-published books, they should visit www.bragmedallion.com. It is an online community that welcomes all those who seek to learn how to become better writers, and those looking to gain recognition for their work. There, they will find a list of books by talented indie authors, as well as relevant advice and commentary from the world of self-publishing.

Stephen King Publishes Joyland in Print-Only

One of the most financially successful authors in history, Stephen King, decided to make his new book, Joyland, available in print onlyJoyland, which is a throwback to the pulp novels of mid-century, will have to be read on a page rather than on a screen.

In a press release, King said, “I loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.”

By confirming his decision as an aesthetic one, King has made the decision that reading the book as an actual paperback is key to his vision. Authors often take liberties with presentation of their work, some maximizing experimentation, while others don’t even bother to have chapter breaks.

Lulu Celebrates 10 Years of Author Success

10 years ago our founder and CEO Bob Young had a vision that would change the publishing industry forever. Spawned from his own frustrations traditionally publishing his autobiography Under the Radar, Bob foresaw that “there had to be a better way to publish.” He wanted an open, affordable, and public solution that aspiring authors could use to share their knowledge and ideas with readers more easily than ever before.  Thus in 2002 Lulu.com was born.

Since 2002, we have been working hard to tear down barriers of entry for publishing and help authors sell more books, and we’ve been succeeding. Here are just a few of our most important milestones in the last 10 years:

2002: Lulu.com was founded
2003: Lulu’s first best-selling author publishes and holds the title for three years.