This post was written by Melissa_Zieger and originally appeared on the blog for 367 Addison Avenue, HP’s online community for small and medium businesses, on September 22, 2011. You can view the original post here.
Did you know that HP has a content publishing web service that can be used to create everything from your own magazine to business materials like catalogs and portfolios? It’s called HP MagCloud – invented by HP Labs, is a self-service publishing platform that allows businesses to easily create into professional-quality publications that can be printed on demand, shipped globally, or distributed digitally.
Better yet, there’s no upfront cost and MagCloud can turn your content from a PDF to delivered printed publication in just three days!
Using MagCloud’s digital storefront, customers can order the latest issue of their favorite publication and have it printed on demand and delivered directly to their doorstep, or download for reading on their digital device of choice. Plus, all content is printed to order using HP Indigo technology, delivering professional print quality with no waste or overruns, reducing the impact on the environment.
Businesses are using MagCloud to create everything from fashion catalogs and knitting guides to photography and architectural portfolios. I recently sat down with two small business customers using HP MagCloud to find out more about how the service is benefiting their business.
Alex Tinsley started her knitting pattern design business, Dull Roar, nearly six years ago. Prior to discovering MagCloud, Tinsley was only able to provide her customers with a PDF of her patterns via her blog. Today, she uses MagCloud to transform PDF versions of her design work into high-quality professional catalogs that she can distribute in both digital and print formats without a huge impact on her business’ bottom line.
“The quality of the printing is really just beautiful, and it’s pretty much the only place you can get that kind of quality in small quantities,” said Tinsley. “I love that it runs without much input from me – I just upload the issues and collect the income. MagCloud handles all the sales, printing and shipping.”
The ability to offer customers both print and digital formats helps Tinsley meet her customer’s needs without making an upfront investment in the creation and printing. Tinsley says that most of her customers prefer the digital copy for instant gratification, but that she uses the hard copies as giveaways and gifts. She’s also used the publication as a handout at tradeshows, which enables her to drive views to her website and increase downloads of her digital catalog.
Trey Hill, a Dallas-based photographer and storyteller, started using MagCloud in 2010 to create storytelling portfolios of his work. He needed a way to not only show the pictures he had shot but also to showcase his journey.
Hill uses Adobe InDesign to create photo portfolios and uses MagCloud to print his digital creations on-demand as a way to attract new business and share with clients as a thank you for their business. Hill says the ability to have both print and digital versions is important. “The print quality increases the value of my business, but we live in a digital world so it’s still important to provide a digital format, as well,” he said. “As a small business owner, not having to buy 1,000 copies to get a great price point is worthwhile. And my customers are blown away by the quality.”
Since using MagCloud, Hill has started to see a change in what his customers have come to expect – they now see him as a storyteller, not just a photographer.
About Alex Tinsley
An avid knitter since 2004 and knit design enthusiast since 2006, Alex Tinsey’s designs can now be seen in publications like Knitty, Knit Simple, the Knit Picks Independent Designer Program, and (soon) Knit Scene. You can access Tinsley’s MagCloud products here.
About Trey Hill
Trey Hill was one of the founding creatives behind I Am Second and his portfolio includes work for Addison Road, Relevant Magazine and the Dallas Stars. He works all over the world and has had the privilege of photographing some of the planet’s most revered and most overlooked people. You can access Hill’s MagCloud products here.