BUILD A BOOK

Wikipedia now lets you assemble a collection of articles into a book that can be either read off-line or published as a bound volume. It’s like instant textbook.

Go to tinyurl.com/2wikibook to start out, and click “enable book creator.” Then whenever you go to pages you want to accumulate, click “add this page.” Though it says add this page, singular, any number of pages can be compiled and will be treated as a “page.”

When you’re ready, click “show book,” and you can either download it as a PDF, or have it printed out by their PediaPress. The price depends on the size and other factors but seems to start out at around $9 per volume. The options are impressive: You can have the book hard bound or soft, complete with a cover illustration. The contents can be either all black and white, or as text with full color illustrations. Impressive.

The cost might seem to mount up too quickly, but we went to a university bookstore recently and were shocked to see that prices of $100 and up were common for textbooks. We could see the Wiki way as a good way to put together a textbook for a specialized subject. Such a book would be prohibitively expensive if produced by an established publishing house. We put together a sample book of 650 pages and the quoted price was just $30 in soft cover. You can put your own name on the title, as editor of the collection.

On the downside: The writing in Wikipedia articles tends to be remarkably poor, but then again so does the writing in regular textbooks.

2 Responses to “BUILD A BOOK”

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