print-on-demand books can transform the media landscape and give voice to authors addressing the literary long tail, sites such as lulu.com will be their platform. On the site, authors can publish and
sell their e-books or hard copies. The idea is that everyone can find an audience, even if it's only a handful of people. De rigueur community features let people tag, share and, of course, review.
How niche can you go? How about a book of semen recipes?
At first glance, the listing for Natural Harvest: A Collection of Semen-Based Recipes
by Fotie Photenhaur has all
the fancy cookbook trappings. The mealy-mouthed blurb says, "Semen is not only nutritious, but it also has a wonderful texture and amazing cooking properties. Like fine wine and cheeses, the taste of
semen is complex and dynamic." The cover is a full-bleed photo of a flan-like dessert, glamorously lit with golden tones, although, on closer inspection, the flan looks a bit icky.
tongue-in-cheek (we hope) listing sparked a piece of social media performance art, as reviewers enthusiastically advanced the conceit. One commenter criticized Photenhaur for selling semen on the
backs of the poor, but the feedback is mostly positive. "My boyfriend and I cook together all the time now," says one happy reader. Puns abound: Proud Vegan reasons that she could cook with semen
because "like a ripe apple dropping from a tree, it comes at its natural time." Best to keep the book virtual to avoid the pages sticking together.