Monday, February 16, 2009

On Demand Book Printing

I wanted a hard copy of the classic Thinking Forth by Leo Brodie. I also wanted it in a hurry. The good news is that it's availabe under Creative Commons ( But, at 300+ pages, I didn't want to use my home printer for the project.

So, I gave Kinkos a shot - and they totally came through.

I uploaded the pdf, selected double sided printing and a basic binding, chose a location for pickup and provided a credit card. A few hours later, I had my own personal copy of the book ready.

I only got slightly fancy by using Adobe Acrobat to print the PDF to a new PDF with 2 pages per sheet in effect. The result was a 180'ish page file to print instead of a 300'ish page file, cutting the cost of printing significantly.

I'm really impressed with Kinkos - in a world where everyone owns a copier/scanner/fax/computer they are still providing relevant and important services.

What they really need is a widget they can allow authors to put on their websites. The widget could then walk folks through printing specific copies of a document or book. The author could pre-configure the document to use, paper type, etc. That way, I could have had my printed copy even easier, and the author could get a little cash for sending folks to Kinkos.

Even without a fancy widget, the print on demand stuff is cool. Now, if Kinkos had a way of providing me with free time to read the book...

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:56 AM


    Thanks for sharing such lovely post. I feel book printing requires techniques in order to develop books that meet the standards of the present generation.