This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2006-07-17 at 12:00 p.m.
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Print-on-Demand Available for Running Windows Ebook

by Adam C. Engst

At last! Ever since we started Take Control in 2003, people have been taking our heavily linked and thoroughly digital ebooks and, well, printing them. Although one of our goals was to reduce the amount of paper used on quickly obsolete technical books, there's no question that many people prefer to read on paper for undeniably good reasons. And more to the point, some of our ebooks, such as Joe Kissell's "Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac" and "Take Control of Upgrading to Tiger" and parts of Sharon Zardetto Aker's "Take Control of Fonts in Mac OS X", simply cannot be read onscreen while you follow their instructions unless you have a second Mac handy.

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One of the big reasons we shied away from producing print versions of our ebooks on our own was that the costs of inventory and fulfillment of physical product are more than a tiny business like Take Control can handle. We've produced print versions of a few of our ebooks with Peachpit Press, but the process is sufficiently time-consuming that it's worthwhile only for select titles. The real answer was print-on-demand, where we could upload a PDF file to a service and owners of our ebooks could order a print version whenever they wished, keeping us out of the loop entirely. Although many firms claim to do some form of print-on-demand, most didn't offer the quality or services we needed, so it's taken a long time to get everything set up.

But all the waiting has merely increased the pleasure of accomplishment. We're excited to announce that owners of Joe's "Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac" can now, by clicking the Check for Updates button in the lower left corner of the PDF's first page, access a link from which they can purchase a print-on-demand edition of the book. We're testing with "Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac" initially; if everything goes well, we will start adding print-on-demand versions of our other ebooks. It is worth noting a few facts about this print-on-demand service:


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So if you've been waiting for a print version of "Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac," give our new print service a try and let us know what you think! Remember, to get started ordering a print-on-demand copy, click the Check for Updates button in your copy of Joe's ebook.