Tag Archives | FastPencil

FastPencil: Self-Publishing, Web Style

Fast PencilSelf publishing is an American tradition with a long, distinguished history that’s been immeasurably improved in recent years by two technical breakthroughs: the Web (which reduces the cost of distribution to almost nothing) and print-on-demand services (which permit the printing of professional-looking books in small quantities at reasonable prices). And FastPencil, which launched last month and added some new features this week, is an ambitious and interesting service (though an imperfect one) that takes advantage of both developments.

Web-based self-publishing services aren’t new–other contenders include Lulu and Blurb. But Lulu’s for folks who are comfortable designing a book in a page layout program and uploading the results as a PDF, and Blurb involves a downloadable application that lets you produce glossy photo books. FastPencil turns the whole process of writing, editing, and publishing a book into an online service, emphasizes text-centric books (although they can include photos, too) and aims for simplicity, collaboration, and affordability. It’s meant for everyone from folks who want to create a handful of books for a family event to those who think they have the great American novel in them and would like to sell it online.

Continue Reading →