On 7/4/06, Robert Scott Horning <robert_horning(a)netzero.net> wrote:
If you want to "publish" a book you've
written that has Wikimedia
project content, you can organize it and then submit it to this board
for review. If the book is accepted for publication, it is somehow
added to the WMF store.
I'd like to see this process eventually involve much more
collaboration than it currently does. Right now the process seems to
be that someone takes the content offline, builds a pdf, and then
uploads it. Can't we make this a wiki process, where the pdf source
code can be edited online directly, and then the pdf generated on
demand? Sure, before the print run starts a stable version has to be
chosen, but before that it'd be nice to be able to edit things. It's
also a GFDL requirement to provide the source code. Is the source to
[[Image:Big_Cats.pdf]] available somewhere?
I guess I would like to see it done through the
community as well to
help reduce costs. Particularly in the printing business, there are
economies of scale that help to reduce costs significantly. This book
which was for sale at $12 a copy could be brought down to $4 or even
less in large volumes. It only makes sense that this is something that
can and should be done with a centralized coordinated effort for this
A big question needs to be answered here. Is Wikimedia more
interested in the greatest distribution, or in obtaining revenue? If
the books are sold at cost, many more will be sold. Brad, in
mentioning UBTI, seems to be implying that the sale of books will be a
revenue source, though. Personally I don't have much of an opinion
either way, but some others probably do feel strongly about this.
One huge issue on top of everything else is simply
As this is physical items, that means they can be damaged, stolen,
cause damage, and a host of other related problems. Lulu Press does
offer this sort of inventory control, and there are other for-profit
businesses who are willing to do print-on-demand, but that does involve
other compromises. Certainly we shouldn't be tied down to one printer
in any case, and in this situation the Wikimedia Foundation should be
the publisher of the content, not Lulu Press.
I'll let Brad respond to this rather than trying to guess his response
(I do have a good guess though). Note that German Wikipedia is
published by Directmedia, not Wikimedia.