Order Books Before 6th of December to Make Sure They Get to You in Time!

You know how it is, Holiday Season is one of those times where everything tends to be hectic and things have got to go fast. Well, no exception for ordering great customized books for your loved ones in time to put them under the Christmas tree.

Considering books have got to be printed and then sent to wherever you are in the world, if you want to have your books ready for Christmas and want to be able to tuck them in your loved ones' Christmas Sock, you need to get busy.

Our Customer survey showed that most people take around 10 to 30 minutes to make a great book. However, well, all this knowledge takes a little more time to be printed and shipped. So this week, the first 15 minutes you have available should be dedicated to make your customized Wikipedia books. Any order made before December 6th will get to you in time, any order after that date, we cannot guarantee that it will make it in time to the Christmas Tree. The good news is, our German customers have a little more time, as for them the deadline for any book shipped within Germany is the 15th of December.

Get going, start the book creator and make your book. If you're short of ideas, look up the posts we filed under our ideas tag, this should give you plenty of material to work with. In these times of end-of-the-year Season though, you might want to add a Yearbook to your collection (retracing all great events of the past year) or who knows, a book about Christmas and everything related to it!

And of course, don't forget all the beautiful-books goodness we've been introducing in the past few weeks, hard covers and color content for even more fantastic books.


PediaPress Books for the Zedler Medaille

The Zedler Medaille, a prize awarded for excellent articles by Wikimedia Deutschland, was awarded last Friday in Frankfurt.

The winners were Jürgen Erbs, for the article "Besselsche Elemente" (Besselian Elements) in the category Natural Sciences and Tobias Lutzi for the article "Dagobert Duck" (Scrooge McDuck) in the category Humanities. It was the 4th Edition of the Zedler Medaille, a Prize developped in 2007 by Wikimedia Deutschland, the Mainzer Akademie der Wissenschaft and the Publishing House Spektrum der Wissenschaft in 2007 to reward authors writing Wikipedia articles in Natural Sciences and Humanities. This year also introduced a new prize for excellent pictures, which unfortunately did not find the resonance it should have. Only a third price was awarded, for an image illustrating Focus Stacking.

For this special occasion, PediaPress offered customized books to the winners in the article category, books in which we collected all articles having won the Zedler Medaille in the last four years. It is kind of exhilarating, and rather fun, to be able to give books with their names on it to people who've just won a prize, which actually feature their articles. That's how customizable PediaPress books are. The Zedler Medaille Book (we also made a "general" edition) is available to purchase for anyone interested (in German, of course).

You have a special event you'd like to make even more special by giving books away? Contact us, we can help!

Image source: © Raimond Spekking - "Übergabe an Gewinner" - Wikimedia Commons - CC-BY-SA-3.0


Jingle Books, Jingle Books, Jingle All The Way!

There's something about time that I quite don't get, Christmas seems to be there earlier each year. And now it's upon us again. Well, Holiday Season, since not everyone will celebrate Christmas the same way, or even at all. Anyway, that time is around the corner and while I'm sure you're already thinking "It's too early to think about it yet", I am also sure that there is a little voice at the back of your head which goes "Oh noes, I am going to have to think about presents again!". I don't know about you, but I always have a hard time finding good presents in time for the people I love. And especially for the people I love. They seem to have it all, and frankly, yet another pair of gloves or again the best-seller novel of the year, which they might not even like, is not an option.

So... how about a present that nobody else has thought about? A present that's different? A present that's tailored to the person you love? I am thinking, of course, one of our customized Wikipedia books!

Let's see, what kind of book would please say, my grand-father? He was born in 1919, loves planes, records the weather better than any weather station out there and used to make wine. No book out there will have all of this in one, except the book I can make for him. So here it goes. Let's start with the article 1919. I'll add some aviation stuff (how about the articles: Aviation, General aviation, Glider (he used to glide), Aerial warfare (he was a pilot in the war), I'll throw in a few French aviators and aviation history of his time, such as Jean Mermoz , Antoine de Saint-Éxupéry, Générale Aéropostale, Pierre Georges Latécoère. I'll then move on to some Meteorology topics and add the article about the Rain Gauge (he has one in the garden that he checks every morning). And I'll finish up with the wine theme: Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, Regional Bordeaux AOCs, and Bordeaux Wine Regions. That should do it. I'll title it "From planes to wine, History and my Grand-Father", or something along those lines.

But there's also: my best friend, who'll get a thorough volume about Rock Music with a pinch of George Clooney). My cousin, who just moved to Montréal, Canada, will love a book about the city, the Province and the country. There's also my favorite colleague. She's a news buff, so for her it'll be the Year 2010 according to Wikipedia. Something that mixes the Football World Cup in South Africa with the Polish plane crash and adds a touch of Claude Chabrol and Eric Rohmer (she was a fan of their work).

In short, for every person, I can make the book that best represents them. A fine personal gift, all the more since I can now choose color content and hardcovers for a great look. What about you? Which book are you going to make for your loved ones? It's easy, it starts here. Don't forget to share the cool books you have made on our Facebook page!


Wikipedia Books Now in Color and Hardcovers

You've been asking, we've been listening. The most demanded features for our Wikipedia books were color inside and hardcover outside. It's now a reality. As of a few days ago, you can now order books in hardcover and with color content. We're very excited about these new features, because it allows you to make books that are not only customized, but also even more beautiful and resistant. They simply look good in your bookshelf.

Wikipedia articles are illustrated with material from Wikimedia Commons, which features more than 5 million freely licensed images and graphics. Some of those pictures are simply breathtaking, and offering color for our books is only paying justice to the amazing work of hundreds of volunteers who upload their free material on Wikimedia projects. It was long due, but it's now here.

As for hardcovers, they allow your customized Wikipedia books to be even more stunning. We've chosen for those hardcovers a cream-colored paper, which lends your books an extremely classy look, as well as opted for a bound silk bookmark, which comes in handy for easy reference.

Of course we still offer our paperback books. If you wish to add color or get a hardcover for your book, all you have to do is choose the corresponding option on the editing screen where you prepare your book (see screenshot). You can still have hardcover in Black and White as well as color in paperback. All combinations are possible.

The hardcovers and color books are perfect for a special gift to someone you care about. Whether you go for the Birthday Book, or the Travel Book, or simply any customized book from Wikipedia content, color and hardcover will make a difference, and a fantastic Christmas present!


Wikimedia Hungary Closes Book Contest in the Hungarian Wikipedia

Wikimedia Hungary launched a book contest (funky Google translation here) a few weeks ago in the Hungarian Wikipedia. The idea was to have the Wikipedia community work on making the best possible books with Wikipedia articles. A jury of five people chose five books as winners:

  • The Hittites
  • The Culture of Miskolc
  • The Champions of Formula–1
  • The Techniques and Machines of Metalworking
  • Chapters on the clothing and textile industry
As one can see, a wide range of subjects, which also shows the wide array of topics available on Wikipedia for making customized books. The prize for the winners were to have their books printed through PediaPress.

I have asked Bence Damokos, member of the board of Wikimedia Hungary and initiator of the contest, a few questions about his experience with books and this contest. Here are his answers.

PediaPress: What gave Wikimedia Hungary the idea to launch a Book contest on the Hungarian Wikipedia?

Bence Damokos:
We found the possibility to print books out of Wikipedia articles an interesting concept ever since it was enabled on the English Wikipedia a couple of years ago. We felt that reusing content offline – either as specialized course-ware or thematic collections – would be a good indication that a given topic area is of suitable quality and credibility. Also, we realized in our presentations and outreach work that showing Wikipedia content as a book would be a very good demonstration tool to answer a range of common questions ("Is it any good?", "What are the topics that are really well written?", "How do you recognize a good article?" etc.).
This is why we decided that we need to print some books that can be used in various demonstrations. To design and edit the books that would serve these purposes we turned to the community with this book contest.

PediaPress: What do you find books bring to the Wikipedia experience?

Bence Damokos:
I think that print can give a new dimension to how Wikipedia content is accessed and consumed. A printed book gives a frame to the incorporated topic allowing for a more focused study or browsing of a certain topic. I find that it is much easier to read and concentrate on an article when it is printed out; simply viewing it online will often just result in skimming the content and a number of other distractions.
An other very important aspect is that books are more tangible and convey a sense of value and credibility. Wikipedia stores such a vast amount of information that it is impossible to grasp without a metaphor; the fact that you can print a whole book on almost any single topic you can think of is amazing – and the book tool transforms this metaphor into a reality. This tangibility of the printed books also provides individual editors the possibility to create a real-world object out of their work, and it is a wonderful experience to see one's online effort materialize in a paper book.

PediaPress: How do you plan to use the books in the future?

Bence Damokos:
Our primary aim is to use the books in our outreach activities: when giving presentations on Wikipedia, having wiki-meetups or going to meetings to discuss partnership proposals. We think that these books will be a very practical demonstration tool when talking about the quality, content and editorial policies of Wikipedia. The five books put together will show better than words that Wikipedia really tries to bring together the sum of human knowledge from all areas of life.

A very interesting experience indeed, which we hope can be replicated in other Wikimedia Projects, in all possible languages. Community books are a great way to advance the distribution of free knowledge. If you wish to set up such a contest within your local Wikimedia project, just contact us and we'll work together to make it happen!

Photo credits: The five Wikipedia books printed for the Wikimedia Hungary Book Contest. © Bence Damokos, license: CC-BY-SA.