Friday, February 09, 2007

'Book-on-demand' website

A Flemish company has launched a book-on-demand website. The site allows writers across the world to have their work published and put on the market. It also gives readers the opportunity to find, order and print books that have long gone out of print. Initiated by the company Peleman Industries, the website WWAOW(World Wide Association of Writers) aims to unite authors, readers and publishers from across the world.

The site was officially launched on Wednesday in Antwerp in the presence of the Flemish Environment Minister. According to Wim Stuyck of Peleman Industries, the new concept is a blessing to the environment. 'The new procedure avoids the dumping of unsold books and because of that it saves trees from being cut unnecessarily', he says. In article on the web by VRT, a local television station, the concept is said to be novel and simple.

Wow, what a pretentious project.
- World Wide Association of Writers
- Prevention of dumping unsold books
- Protection of woods
- Novel concept.
I almost would think that those people never use internet. But as their site is on internet and does look okay in design, in content and e-commerce, the initiator most likely needed publicity. Let us look at the arguments.

World Wide Association of Writers. I have heard of PEN and the Writers’ Guild, but having googled for a website, I suspect this association to be a fancy one (if not mentioned in Google with a website, you do not exist). Looking at the site there are Flemish and English titles. And I guess that in a country like Belgium, where three languages are used (French, Flemish and German), more books will appear in all three languages plus English, but world wide.

Prevention of dumping of unsold books. This is a good argument. So far the traditional publishing companies in Belgium and The Netherlands have been unable to reduce the production of Dutch/Flemish titles. In fact when they underwrote the reduction some years ago, the amount of titles rose.

Protection of woods. Where did I hear this nonsense argument before? In the e-book discussion? Paper is produced from pulp and pulp is a half fabricate of trees. So far the argumentation is right. But these trees are coming from planned woods. So every tree cut will be replaced. But most of the present paper production comes from recycled paper. So the protection of woods is a nonsense argument.

Novel concept. This really sounds like coming from a stranger in Internet Jerusalem. I guess it was in 1997 when Joost Zijtveld and Hans Offringa started a fully laid-out publishing company on demand named Gopher. The company organised the whole production chain (from manuscript to book) through internet. The company was picked up by some uninformed speculators, who started international expansion with subsidiaries in Barcelona and Los Angeles, if I am not mistaken; of course this expansion was bound to fail. Now the company is in quiet waters and producing fine books. Of course since last year the international printing-on-demand company Lulu is on the market.

All in all, with this announcement we are informed that there is a book-on-demand publisher In Flanders. So there will be some competition between the WWAOW, Lulu and Gopher in the Low Lands.

Blog Posting Number: 659

Tags: , ,

No comments: