Antipodean Summer Reading => Lulu.com

I am reading two books at the moment: The Long Tail and 50 Great E-businesses and the minds behind them.
The Long Tail is by Chris Anderson and was written in 2004. Call me a late adopter. I thought I understood the long tail, but reading the book introduces the idea of the democratization of production, aggregators and findability. I picked it up in a discount bin in a bookstore in Toowoomba, Queensland while looking for something to veg out on before a wedding. Perhaps I should tell Chris he was not a “hit”. There, anyway.
50 Great E-businesses and the minds behind them is a book by a Melbourne couple published in mid 2007. I work for one of the companies mentioned in their book so it caught my interest. But there are so many others that I had: a) not heard of; or b) heard of but nor seriously checked out.
One of the former is Lulu.com. Both books mentioned Lulu.com, which piqued my interest. And they won a Web 2.0 award. Founded by RedHat co-founder Bob Young, it democratizes publishing. Last year I was looking at publishing a book on ehcache. I had 150 pages that I had put a fair bit of work into. I thought it would be a simple matter of finding a technical publisher and then sitting back and getting royalties. NOT. Bob discovered the same thing and decided to do something about it.
I have had my ehcache book self-published up on Lulu.com for a few weeks now. The only real issue I came across was Lulu’s requirement to embed fonts. The best answer I have come up with is to use Save As PDFX-3 from Preview, which embeds fonts while retaining clear previews. Lulu is great: I get to publish my book and people get to buy it. And the middleman is reasonable.
See http://www.lulu.com/content/1538666 to see the result.
And maybe I am three years late to the ideas introduced in the Long Tail, but I think there is, to use a much abused term, a paradigm shift underway. In Australia it is going to take low cost high speed broadband for the digital media long tail to really work.
BTW, one job I have to do is to upgrade Movable Type to fix the spam problem I have with this blog. Perhaps a job for the Xmas break. If anyone wants to comment, please just email me and I will post it.