"All the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place"

PediaPress is deployed on all languages of Wikibooks for some days now. Some early orders were shipped and valuable feedback returned.

Wikibooks aficionado Andrew Whitworth shared his first impressions on his blog: My First Book: PediaPress is here.

PediaPress and print-on-demand are here. This is it, this is the sign. When that first book shows up in your mailbox, you know that things have changed. Wikibooks is coming of age today, right now, in a way that most of us 'bookians barely dared to dream about a month ago. The work our authors and editors and volunteers are doing does matter, and will help students and teachers around the world in a very concrete way. All the pieces of the puzzle are falling into place, and the last thing we need is you: your contributions, your books, and your ideas. The books that you write will be printed, bound, and sent to people who can't afford books from traditional publishers. We're going to change the world with this, and we can start right now.

The tech community is usually not a very emotional crowd, and we are certainly no different. But reading Andrew's heart-warming post really touched us and made the many hours worthwile that we put into PediaPress. Thank you, Andrew. We are ready to change the world.


"What? A custom book for less than $10???"

Feedback from the Frankfurt Book Fair 2008

As announced earlier, PediaPress exhibited at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2008. It was our first presentation at an international fair and we are very pleased with the results.

To decorate our gargantuan booth (see picture), we exhibited 26 books on various topics (from Artificial Intelligence to Zoroastrianism) generated from Wikipedia content.

There was significantly more interest in PediaPress than we expected, and so we gave quite a few live demos where we explained our concept and technology. We were especially happy to personally meet a lot of Wikipedians. In general, most people liked the idea of the PediaPress service and gave us favorable feedback. :-)

Presenting the service also lead to lots of input regarding usability improvements. And some of our visitors gratuitously volunteered and provided us with helpful tips. A big thank you to all of you!

Obviously, 500 years of letterpress printing have taught people that creating a book involves time and at least some talent or passion for writing. We almost always had to explain twice that PediaPress allows you to compile a book just like mixing a tape (or more contemporary: create a playlist on iTunes).

The days at the fair were also somewhat stressful, but this was well compensated by the overwhelmingly positive feedback we took back home every evening. Overall, the Frankfurt Book Fair was a great and very motivating experience for us. We'll be back in 2009!