In the past couple weeks I've come across a couple different services which will print a tabloid sized from your PDF. Neither option is cheap, but they do represent some fascinating possibilities.
Note that these are not full sized newspapers; they're about the size and shape of the trashy gossip rags you might see in the supermarket checkout.
The Passive Voice blog pointed me at the first service, which is called Newspaper Club. This is a UK based startup which has been custom printing newspapers for the past 3 years. They can handle a print run for a single copy all the way up to hundreds or thousands of copies. But if you want a print run with more than 300 copies you'll need to go with the traditional (offset) press, not the digital (nkjet) press.
They even have an online layout tool where you can upload content and design your newspaper from scratch. Prices start at $50 for a single copy and increase slightly for each addition copy. Newspaper Club prints twice a week and ships around the world, free (in the US and UK, at least).
They have a gallery showing the work of some of their customers, in case you were wondering what your options were.
The other service belongs to HP. Now, you might know of HP as the killer of bad tech products *cough* TouchPad *cough*, but they are first and foremost a printing company. In addition to making printers (including consumer, commercial, and industrial models), HP alos offers a number of different printing services including at least a few different POD services. (I've found 3 so far and there may be more.)
The one I want to show you today is MagCloud. This is more general purpose printing solution than Newspaper Club and can print anything from post cards to books, posters, and newspapers.
MagCloud in fact offers a broad enough suite of POD options that it is difficult to describe them all, or even summarize. But I will note that it also offers a combined print and digital option which would enable authors to either sell or give away the ebook. Mag Cloud even has an iPad app which you can use to read the content that publishers are distributing for free.
Pretty cool, huh? While thee 2 companies offer a rather unusual option (from the viewpoint of a book reader, at least), I've barely scratched the surface of the POD market. There's a dozen or more service providers in this industry, and I'm still finding new things every week.