Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Random House has just partnered with SharedBook to give users a chance to create personalized versions of some of its books via its website. The first book to go live is the classic children's book The Poky Little Puppy.
For $25.00, people can add a custom dedication to the book and upload a photo to the front of the book. The book is then printed on demand as a laminated hardcover. An uncustomized version sells for $4.99 on Amazon. Consumers have to sign a user agreement stating that the customized book is for their own use and not for resale.
Personally, I think they could have done more to personalize the book. For example, allowing consumers to add their child's name into the text of the book.
This is the first time SharedBook has partnered with a book publisher. It has previously partnered with Yosemite National Park, AllRecipes.com, the Little League, JumpTV Sports, and other websites to allow consumers ways to make books using the content on their websites.
SharedBook CEO Caroline Vanderlip is talking to other publishers about making similar offers. Check out SharedBook's website to find out how you could offer the same kind of personalization on your website.
They offer an API interface so you could do it if you know anything about programming API interfaces. Note: I don't. Here's a link to their how-to info on implementing an API: http://sharedbook.com/press/press/open_api_howto.html.
Below is one example of such an interface: