When it comes to evaluating the next big thing, we turn to our secret weapon: the TUAW braintrust. We put the question to you and let you have your go at it. Today's topic is print-on-demand.

Everybody's doing it. Amazon does it. Lulu does it. Even Apple does it -- so long as what you're printing is a photo book.

So why haven't we heard a peep about iBooks Author (iBA) print-on-demand? Wouldn't it be nearly as easy to produce an iBA project as a photo one? So what's the hold up?

We think that iBooks Author offers a perfect opportunity for Apple to extend its already excellent POD services to a new group of customers. They could easily extend their current meant-for-iBooks templates to a variety of more printer-friendly options.

Sure they'd have to change the pricing model, add more pages, allow black & white printing, and implement other changes that reflected the difference between heirloom photo collections and a standard print book. We get that, along with the big set-up overhead that would be involved. But think of how awesome it might be.

So why have we heard not a whispered rumor? Is this a no-go area for Apple?

You tell us. Place your vote in this poll and then join in the comments with all your analysis.

Could Apple offer Print-on-Demand for iBooks Author?
No. They don't want to tick off their traditional iBooks publishing partners.16 (6.6%)
No. It would require them setting up or buying into too big an infrastructure to make it worth their while.37 (15.4%)
No. It's all about the iPad. Apple doesn't want to cannibalize their own product.104 (43.2%)
Maybe, but there would be tight limits on page counts, art, print rights, and so forth.17 (7.1%)
Sure! And you know the results would be super-high quality.54 (22.4%)
Forget about Print-on-Demand, I want to read Objective-C Fan Fiction.8 (3.3%)
Something else. I'll tell you in the comments.5 (2.1%)

This article was originally published on Tuaw.
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