Eileen Gittens is interviewed on Mashable. She's representing Blurb, a self-publishing business that focusses on trying to make cross-media books (design once, buy/download/distribute across platforms):
Let me take you into where we’ve been over the last few years when it comes to enabling people to make a book. Now historically, a book meant a printed book, but we’ve known for a long time that that wasn’t always going to be the case. So as the iPad came out, we really learned all about it. [...] So right now, our beta [iPad app] — which will be out later this year publicly — will let you create your book once using any of Blurb’s tools. We offer three options for book making: 1) a browser-based book-making tool; 2) a downloadable client that works on a Mac or a PC called BookSmart; and 3) if you’re a designer and you want to use Adobe InDesign, we’ve got a template generator that will enable you to use InDesign and then just upload a PDF directly to us. So you can use any of those tools to make a book.
Now here’s the kicker: You will then be able to output that book from the same file to any medium. You can purchase an iPad version, you can purchase a hardcover or softcover, and in our bookstore (because we’re not only about “you can make it” — we’re also about “you can market it, and you can sell it”), you can then make it available to your fans, your family, your friends and your customers in whatever form they want to purchase it, whether that’s in iPad form or a printed book.
A big differentiatior in the Print on Demand industry is that there is no requirement to take large risks on long print runs. But the flipside is that allowing tiny print runs still needs to be profitable for the printing/publication service. Eileen explains:
There was one question for the company before we actually got funded, and I think I will call out that as pivotal. And that was: Could we make money as a business on a book of one? Meaning if somebody made a book, and they only ever ordered one copy, could we have a viable business? And the reason why that was so important was that’s the opposite of traditional book publishing.
Read the article here: http://mashable.com/2011/08/11/blurb-eileen-gittins-interview/
Pricing is always going to be higher for PoD books, but they have reasonable low-print run discounts: http://www.blurb.com/create/book/pricing
Check out Blurb here: http://www.blurb.com/