HP Labs has launched the beta version of MagCloud, a service that provides small, independent magazine publishers and content creators the ability to custom publish magazines via a print-on-demand (POD) model.
Derek Powazek, a founder of JPG Magazine, announced this week that he has been collaborating with HP Labs on the project, which allows anyone who wants to publish a magazine to do so simply by uploading a high-res PDF file.
“What if we could combine the best parts of the Web (no waste, personalized content, open to all) with the best parts of print (sexy print quality, permanence, no batteries required)?” writes Powazek on his Powazek.com blog. “For the last year, I’ve been working on a project with HP Labs called MagCloud. The idea is simple, really. MagCloud enables anyone to start a magazine—a real printed magazine—with no giant pile.”
The MagCloud service will, according to MagCloud.com, “take care of the rest: printing, mailing, subscription management and more.”
Production cost is currently $0.20 per page and shipping and handling (via USPS first-class mail) is $1.40 per issue. Publishers need only set the price of their issues above their production cost, and MagCloud will then pass along the markup for each copy purchased.
MagCloud is using HP Indigo technology to print each issue as it is ordered.
Currently, use of the MagCloud service requires a free membership, and publishers’ accounts are available on an invite-only basis during the beta run.