Well, I always knew they would and they’ve finally done it. Amazon has really stepped up to duplicate our friends at Lulu – it’s called Create Space and they’re going head to head. I created an account and it felt like I was on LuLu.com with different colors. DVDs, CDs, books and near identical offerings as LuLu.

Unlike LuLu, they’re even offering the ISBN numbers and submission services for free.

SelfPublishing.com has a good article analyzing the move. The article is focused on Author House buying iUniverse, but that news isn’t nearly as interesting as his discussion on Amazon’s move. Author House is just the link between the old world and the new, and, as far as I can see, their subsidy publishing business model has a limited shelf-life and reach. The do-it-yourself model will overshadow subsidy publishing as tools become better and the authors more technically savvy. I’m interested in seeing how Lulu approaches this new challenge coming from Amazon.

The weakness I see in the Create Space site is the lack of community tools for content creators to help each other. This is one of LuLu’s strengths. I suspect that Amazon considers the showcase a traffic driver to the website and that the rest of the community will be built around their books in their Amazon.com store. Still, there is a need for the community to help in the creation process when it’s expected to be do-it-yourself. That or the company needs to charge for doing the service like Author House does.

Amazon, generally, does well with their products…it’ll be fun to see how this self publishing space plays out.

I think I’ve come across the most innovative idea I’ve seen in a long time…doing something good while eliminating SPAM.

reCAPTCHA is a project of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University and is stopping my comment SPAM while digitizing books that will be available at the Internet Archive. Very, very cool. I wish I would have thought of it. :)

I sent them an email to ask who will own the digital indexes they are creating of these books. I suspect it won’t matter as long as it’s freely available on the Internet Archive.

I’m positive there will be many more “enhance the world” ideas that come out of the Internet age.

UPDATED: The folks gave me back a response within an hour.

  from reCAPTCHA Support <support@recaptcha.net>      
  to Neal Harmon  
  date   Sep 19, 2007 11:02 AM  
  subject   Re: Rights  

Hi,

When we put books through the reCAPTCHA process, we make the results available under the same terms as the original version of the work in question.

– Hide quoted text –

On 9/19/07, Neal Harmon wrote:

So,

I’m curious because the information didn’t seem readily available on your website. Who owns the text and indexes after people decipher them? Will they be owned and openly available at the Internet Archive?


— Neal