Back in 2008, HP Labs launched MagCloud, a print-on-demand service designed to let anyone publish a magazine without much in the way of cost, resources, or risk. Today it’s launching some new features which let publishers use MagCloud for more ambitious creations–and distribute their works in both paper and iPad form.
MagCloud is aimed at amateurs and small-press types, as well as big brands–such as LIFE magazine–which want to produce special issues or bring old ones back into print. (LIFE offers a replica of its 1969 Woodstock issue.) It does for magazines what Lulu.com does for books: make it feasible to print and sell attractive color publications in quantities as small as one copy. Publishers upload their magazines in PDF form; whenever someone orders an issue, HP has one of a number of independent fulfillment centers print it using a high-speed HP Indigo printer, then ship it to the customer.