Friday, October 19, 2007

Quilting books from blogs

As my regular readers know by now, I cover the printer industry with a marketing view, which means I like to tune in to user (customer) needs and how their needs are satisfied by hard copy solutions. One site that's come to my attention, as it relates to my interest in the "blogs to books" arena, is the Serendipity Patchwork and Quilting blog. Brenda Gael Smith, owner of the blog, found my references to printing books from blogs (e.g. "My Blog2Print Book is in!") and linked to them from a post that included all the "usual subjects" in this area -- Blurb, SharedBook, Lulu, blogprint.com, and of course HP's efforts in blog printing -- most of whom I've covered here at one point or another, and I'll send you their way for the company links. (see "Blog to Book Options".)

While one might argue this is only a tiny slice of the overall pie of blog-printing demand, that's kind of my point! I think it's critical to understand individual market segments and their needs -- in this case, a handsome book printed from the online visuals of creative and beautiful quilt designs that satisfies the quilt fan's "user needs" of permanence and sharing that only a book can offer. (Effective printing of individual blog posts might be critical for the purposes of hands-on quilting, where the post includes instructions and other ideas.) In my mind, this understanding of user needs is equally or more important in assessing market demand than the "how many blogs are there and let's assume x percent want to print them" approach! (Actually they're not mutually exclusive -- both approaches are important.)

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