HP today announced it is making more than 500,000 rare and hard-to-find books available for sale through a new collaboration with the University of Michigan.
HP BookPrep – a cloud computing service that enables on-demand printing of books – brings new life to the traditional publishing model, making it possible to bring any book ever published back into print through an economical and sustainable service model.
As part of a growing movement to preserve and digitize historic content, major libraries are partnering with technology leaders to scan previously hard-to-find works using high-resolution photography. HP's process transforms these scans prior to printing by cleaning up some of the wear and tear that often is present in the originals.
HP BookPrep significantly drives down the cost of republishing books by eliminating the manual cleanup work that would otherwise be required. Based on imaging and printing technology from HP Labs, the company's central research arm, HP BookPrep automates the creation of high-quality, print-ready books from these raw book scans by sharpening text and images, improving alignment and coloration, and generating and adding covers.
People can now purchase high-quality print versions of public-domain, out-of-print books from the University of Michigan Library through HP BookPrep channels, including traditional and online retailers such as Amazon.com.
"People around the world still value reading books in print," said Andrew Bolwell, director, New Business Initiatives, HP. "HP BookPrep technology allows publishers to extend the life cycle of their books, removes the cost and waste burdens of maintaining inventory, and uses a full spectrum of technologies to deliver convenient access to consumers."
For publishers and content owners, HP BookPrep offers an opportunity to offer their full catalog of titles online, irrespective of demand. Because HP BookPrep is a web service that processes books as they are ordered, there is little upfront investment or risk as books are printed only after they are purchased, no matter the volume, eliminating the need for high carrying costs.
Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 academic research libraries in North America, the University of Michigan Library is a true repository for the human record. The print collection contains more than 7 million volumes, covering thousands of years of civilization. HP is collaborating with the university to eliminate barriers and increase access to content as part of an ongoing effort to make the concept of "out of print" a thing of the past.
"Our partnership with HP is a testament to the University of Michigan Library's commitment to increase public access to our library's collections and our continued innovative use of digitization," said Paul N. Courant, librarian and dean of libraries, University of Michigan. "We are excited that HP BookPrep can offer print distribution of the public domain works in our collection and help to provide broad access to works that have previously been hard to find outside the walls of our library."
The collaboration also builds upon HP's existing relationship with Applewood Books, a publisher of historical, Americana books. The company, which has been using HP BookPrep for the last year to republish hundreds of titles, also will distribute HP BookPrep's best-selling titles from the University of Michigan Library.
In an increasingly digital world, HP is using Internet-based platforms to provide new business models and services to help customers capitalize on the industry's shift toward cloud computing, a driving force behind HP's "Everything as a Service" vision. With Everything as a Service, HP is striving to reshape the computing industry by creating more dynamic, user-friendly services that enrich everyday lives and improve how business is done.
Publishing is one such industry where HP is driving this shift, using technology to transform how people access information, share content and communicate.
HP also announced that MagCloud, another cloud computing service derived from the work at HP Labs, will now collaborate with Wikia to create new opportunities for non-traditional publishers seeking a printed experience for niche content. MagCloud enables content creators of all types to develop, publish and print their own magazines using an on-demand model similar to HP BookPrep's.
The complete HP BookPrep collection, including access to read books online, order printed copies or obtain additional information, is available at www.bookprep.com.