Did you know that you can assemble your own wiki pages from Wikipedia and print them out in book form? You can, for a while now, thanks to a partnership between Wikimedia Foundation and a German startup called PediaPress. Last week, the wiki-to-print feature was activated for six more languages besides German but as of yesterday the functionality is also being tested on the regular English Wikipedia (restricted to logged-on users only for now).
You can check it out here, but you might want to visit the help pages first.
The books can be created with a table of contents or category lists and can be downloaded as free PDF files but also ordered as a printed book from PediaPress. PediaPress books are bound in dimensions 8″ x 5.5″ with a color cover and black & white interior, and the prices are reasonable. The cost of a book depends on the number of pages contained in addition to a base fee (starting at $8.90 for 100 pages) and worldwide shipping that’s charged extra.
As indicated by the Foundation, the roll-out for English Wikipedia users will be gradual out of fear for scalability issues, so it’s currently still in test mode. We’re trying to find out when the organization will open it up for non-registered users and will update this post if we learn more.
You can find a sample book on the fascinating subject of ‘Amphibious Aircrafts’ here (PDF).
And if you’re wondering if PediaPress got a sweet deal out of the partnership, the answer is yes. The Wikimedia Foundation receives (only) 10% of the gross total for each book sold. Another part of the agreement is the development of open source software with the goal to ease the reuse of wiki content in other media or applications.
(Image from Wikipedia, hat tip goes to Ross Masters)