the future of the “classics”

Public Domain Reprints is a brand-spanking new non-profit has streamlined the next evolutionary step in book publishing. Basically you surf the net for any public domain title. The site says they have some 2 million books ready to print.

Once you have found your book, you submit it to Public Domain Reprints and they handle the hassle of submitting, typesetting, etc. with some online service like Then you get your book, at cost (plus a $1 fee),in the mail. That’s it.

The cost “classic editions” is about to plummit. The only real value a publisher can now add to a book that’s been around forever is text design and cover design (though some may think a new ‘foreword’ or ‘introduction’ would be of value) . So it’ll be interesting to see what that is worth.

Would someone pay extra to have a better designed book? Or when it comes to the printing of the oldies, is it just the content (at the cheapest price) that they are after?

{via blogoscoped}

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