PediaPress – Wikis in Print

Customized printed books from user selected wiki content is an online service that lets you create customized books from wiki content. Simply add any articles you like into a Collection, and then click to order them as a paperback book. Covers, a table of contents, a detailed index and a list of figures are generated automatically, and the books are printed and shipped within 2–3 business days.

The web-to-print service works on all MediaWikis that have installed the free Collection Extension.

PediaPress GmbH, the company

Apart from providing the online service, PediaPress GmbH is a software development company. We create open source software that advances the reuse of wiki content in alternative applications and media.

PediaPress actively supports the MediaWiki community. Therefore we have formed a long-term partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation which hosts the encyclopedia Wikipedia and various other free educational wikis.

PediaPress was founded in July 2007 as a spin-off from brainbot technologies AG and is located in Mainz, Germany.

Why books?

The strength of Wikipedia and other wikis is their availability for everybody, everyday and free of charge – on the Internet. But although internet access has become near-ubiquitous in the developed world, many still prefer reading books to reading on screen – especially for longer texts.

Another two-thirds of the world's population has no access to the internet at all.

A large and growing community of volunteers creates an extensive and diverse body of freely available, up-to-date content. PediaPress let you to easily transform this content into offline formats like PDF, Open Document and printed books that can be distributed and shared in places without Internet access.

Various projects use wikis to collaboratively develop free educational content, work on highly specialized subjects, or in unpopular languages. Until now, the publishing industry has largely ignored those efforts, mainly due to lack of market volume. PediaPress reduces this form of economic censorship and thus supports the freedom of speech.

PediaPress and its practical uses

Specialized reference books

As article size in a wiki is not limited by production or economic constraints, many articles in Wikipedia cover their subjects in much more detail than traditional encyclopedias. By combining related Wikipedia articles, you can create a specialized reference work on almost any topic in many languages.

Better, more affordable textbooks

A growing online movement aims to create better textbooks. Quite often the content for these textbooks is created collaboratively by using wikis (e.g. Wikibooks). Textbooks derived from this content promise to be affordable, up to date and accurate. PediaPress allows customizing the contents of the printed textbook to fit the precise demands of teachers and their students.

Specialized content

Specialized wikis cover a vast range of topics. Open source software projects rely on wikis for documentation and support. Others plan for a better world, while some like Wookieepedia or Muppet Wiki simply track anything related to their favorite entertainment topic.

All wikis are created and maintained by a devoted community. But most of the time, their audience is too small to be served by todays publishing industry. PediaPress allows these enthusiasts to cherry-pick content and publish it in a book.

Unpopular languages

While native English speakers are able to get books on almost any topic, finding books about diabetes in Udmurt, Kabardian or Ancash Quechua can be an impossible task. There are almost 7,000 languages in the world, most of them threatened from extinction. Economic principles (number of speakers and their purchasing power) rule against a broad range of translated books offered by the publishing industry. With PediaPress, one engaged writer contributing content to a wiki may be enough to add another book in any language.