About this story

At Paperight we’ve been building a grand experiment in book distribution. Can print-on-demand be decentralised—that is, can books be printed right in front of customers, anywhere, without special hardware?

After three years of research, we set out in 2011 to test our ideas, enlisting copy shops to legally print out publisher content for customers.

We had to learn a lot of hard lessons (and not so hard ones, too), and we don’t want others to repeat our mistakes. So here is our story. It’s written by our team members in loads of detail. Some of these posts were written at the time they’re dated; others written much later are backdated and have the benefit of hindsight or, perhaps, are skewed by it. Either way, this is our best effort to be thorough and honest and useful.

Dip in, search, ask questions.

The inside story of our experiment in distributed print-on-demand