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HP and Photojournalist Rick Smolan Offer Customizable Obama Time Capsule Book

May 2009
PALO ALTO, CA—May 21, 2009—HP and Rick Smolan, co-creator of the best-selling "Day in the Life" and "America 24/7" books, today announced "The OBAMA Time Capsule," a first-of-its-kind customizable coffee table book showcasing President Barack Obama's journey to the White House, including his first 100 days in office.

The book will be available exclusively online at Amazon.com.

HP print-on-demand technology makes it possible for readers to customize the content of their books and print them on demand, eliminating costs and paper waste typically associated with traditional book publishing.

"From grassroots Facebook campaigns to YouTube videos, the Obama campaign took the presidential race to a new level in terms of personalization," said Smolan, co-founder, Against All Odds Productions. "By combining our team's compelling storytelling techniques with HP's state-of-the-art print-on-demand publishing platform, we're enabling millions of people to seamlessly merge this moment in history with their own personal experiences."

To create a book, readers purchase the product on Amazon.com. Then, using the HP print-on-demand platform via the Internet, readers simply answer a few questions, upload personal photos and text, and hit "publish." The result is a photo-rich book, merging each buyer's name, photos and comments with photographs by America's leading photographers and original commentary from noted writers. Customization features include:

• A personalized dedication page

• Name on the cover and title page as co-author

• Personal photo displayed on book's back cover

• A personalized mobile phone text message from President Obama

• A personalized inauguration invitation

• Personal photo appears next to key "who's who" Obama supporters

• Children's artwork added to a page of Obama-related artwork from children around the country.

To make this book possible, HP developed a web-based platform that "publishes" the book by uploading the reader's customized pages to a designated print service provider, which then prints the book using HP Indigo digital presses. Using the web-based platform, publishers eliminate the need for large press runs and remove pre-publication costs. Additionally, by only printing what is necessary, excess inventory and waste are eliminated.

"In the digital world, the mashup of professional and personal content is happening all the time. We're bringing the same capabilities into print by allowing people to customize content before it's published," said Michael Mendenhall, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, HP. "Together with forward-thinking publishers like Rick Smolan, HP is democratizing print publishing and innovating new business models that capitalize on this fundamental shift in the industry."
 

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