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Proceedings Paper

MagCloud: magazine self-publishing for the long tail
Author(s): Kok-Wei Koh; Ehud Chatow
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Paper Abstract

In June of 2008, Hewlett-Packard Labs launched MagCloud, a print-on-demand web service for magazine selfpublishing. MagCloud enables anyone to publish their own magazine by simply uploading a PDF file to the site. There are no setup fees, minimum print runs, storage requirements or waste due to unsold magazines. Magazines are only printed when an order is placed, and are shipped directly to the end customer. In the course of building this web service, a number of technological challenges were encountered. In this paper, we will discuss these challenges and the methods used to overcome them. Perhaps the most important decision in enabling the successful launch of MagCloud was the choice to offer a single product. This simplified the PDF validation phase and streamlined the print fulfillment process such that orders can be printed, folded and trimmed in batches, rather than one-by-one. In a sense, MagCloud adopted the Ford Model T approach to manufacturing, where having just a single model with little or no options allows for efficiencies in the production line, enabling a lower product price and opening the market to a much larger customer base. This platform has resulted in a number of new niche publications - the long tail of publishing.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 2010
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7540, Imaging and Printing in a Web 2.0 World; and Multimedia Content Access: Algorithms and Systems IV, 75400E (10 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.840572
Show Author Affiliations
Kok-Wei Koh, Hewlett-Packard Labs. (United States)
Ehud Chatow, Hewlett-Packard Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7540:
Imaging and Printing in a Web 2.0 World; and Multimedia Content Access: Algorithms and Systems IV
Theo Gevers; Raimondo Schettini; Cees Snoek; Qian Lin; Zhigang Fan, Editor(s)

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