research design laboratory


Feminist Art Gallery (FAG) in Toronto now holds a collection of the first 6 issues of NMP, from 2009. Not many people know about the print version, mainly, I think, because the concept of print-on-demand (POD) isn't totally mainstream (yet). What POD does, as the name suggests, is that it determines the print-run based on demand - specific demand - as in, you order a copy and they ship one out to you. It's easy and it's quick.

In general, people haven't realised the significance of POD for independents - without POD NMP would have to front the cash for a print-run. That would never happen without serious backing and a solid business plan. With POD, NMP puts the labour forward and offer it up to those who want it. POD cuts out the middle-man, and there is no need for a publisher to approve our content, no risk of rejection or censorship. POD also means we don't have to handle the shipping, the printer deals with that. It's also possible to make money from our publication, through royalties...and the POD service we use is free. What more can I say about POD, oh yea, you get to select your licence: copyright or one of the creative commons options.

While I am hugely amazed by the potential of POD for us, the little gals, I can think of three things to improve POD: offer a subscription model for people who want each new issue as it comes out; offer a DVD/CD inlay for media content; open up shop in Canada (shipping costs are killer). I also wonder about the impact of POD on the environment - how efficient is it, is there less production, less waste?