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It must be the holidays with all of the photobook and customized book news on the wire the last week. Today we’ve learned that NY-based SharedBook has announced a new partnership with LucasBooks that will bring Star Wars fans the ability to customize and personalize a book. Star Wars: Millennium Falcon is SharedBook’s first personalized front list title. The book will be ready for shipping tomorrow.
The book includes your own personalized photo and dedication. I like these types of distribution deals because it opens SharedBook to a new market and could help drive sales of their standard product line.
NY-based child journal service Kidmondo has announced a partnership with another NY-based company, SharedBook. When I reviewed Kidmondo back in May, I suggested that this partnership should be made because both companies could benefit in overall distribution. And it’s great to see NY helping NY.
The printed book is a "Kidbook" and really is a great way to take the online journal offline to create the more traditional children’s journal and keepsake. It’s also a good idea to have as a backup and to share with family who aren’t online.
Kidmondo has also announced several upgrades to their service. The free plan now supports 100mb photo storage which ties into the printed book offering. They have reduced pricing on the premium plans and now offer bulk-uploads for photos, Vimeo video integration and improved milestones support.
Kidmondo co-founder Daniel Hallac tells me pricing for the KidBook begins at $28.00 for a perfectly bound soft cover book and $38.00 for a laminated hard cover. These prices include a full-color 20-page book with free U.S. shipping and a readable flipbook online version of the book that can be distributed via email.
NY-based SharedBook is announcing a new partnership with AllRecipes (a site I use weekly). The partnership allows AllRecipes users the ability to print bound, published books from their favorite recipes using SharedBook’s printing technology.
The printing checkout process is easy and completely customizable. Books start at $25 for 20 pages and go up from there. In our phone demo this morning, the selected book priced at $41. Bit pricey for my blood but maybe not for cookbook lovers.
During our call this morning I suggested to the SharedBook team that they look at creating a variety of pre-defined cookbooks for holidays and special events including Hanukkah, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc. Not everyone wants to spend the time to try to find the right recipes.
Cookbooks are big business and if marketed well on the AllRecipes site, they could do very well. The key is getting users over the "oh but I could just print this when I need it" idea. I am guessing gifting these books will be more successful than for the individual purchaser.
Check out our previous SharedBook coverage.
The SharedBook Open API Challenge begins today, a contest to award the best extensions from third party applications to SharedBook in three different categories: social networking, photo sharing and desktop applications or collaborative online communities. Entries will be accepted from today through Sept. 30. The winners will be announced Oct. 15.
CenterNetworks spoke with SharedBook executives last month about their product. The judging panel includes Dion Almaer, Co-founder of Ajaxian.com. Winners can select cash, an iPhone or another mobile device.
“We were inspired to offer the SharedBook Open API Challenge when our developers were able to show us a working example of the Blog2Print blog printing widget in just a few days,” said Caroline Vanderlip, Chief Executive Officer, SharedBook Inc. “We look forward to seeing what others can create using SharedBook’s open API and those of other companies that are currently available.”
Yesterday I had the chance to speak with SharedBook CEO, Caroline Vanderlip and Ann Manby, VP Communications. We spoke about the services SharedBook provides and their new blog2print service which offers bloggers a revenue stream for users who may wish to print their content. Here are my notes:
The SharedBook team is made up of 43 employees, 22 are located in Israel (mostly the development staff)
Their revenue model is based on technology licensing and book publishing
We reviewed their service on legacy.com (an obituary site) which has printed over 20k legacy books
They offer a social networking option whereby a group can participate in commenting on a book – the example we looked at was the Bible. Each user can select a section to comment on and then the other members of the group can reply to their comments and/or add their own thoughts
Their closest competitor is Qoop
We went through a demo of their new Blog2Print offering which currently only works on Google's Blogger service. In minutes you can add a widget to your blog which allows anyone to print a book (paperback or hard cover) of any posts you desire from the blog. Caroline said they are looking to roll it out to other blog software throughout the summer. If anyone prints a book from your blog, you earn a 20% rev share ($5 on a hard cover).
Both Caroline and Ann are excited about the Blog2Print offering and I may look into using it once it is available for Drupal. I think many popular bloggers will find a service like this beneficial as it would be nice to offer a "top posts" book for their readers.