Check this out… the Espresso Book Machine will print and bind a 300 page book in minutes and for just pennies per page.
The World Bank’s Infoshop has a story about its use in Washington DC.
US News talks about the bigger picture of publishing and how such on-demand printing services might effect both publishers and consumers.
Newsweek covers it in their story?† “Publishing: But Can It Make Julienne Fries?” – which is where I first read about the Book Machine.
And finally, there is some discussion of it over at Bookninja’s blog that you might want to check out and/or contribute.
I will admit, I’m a bit too taken by the idea to see any negative consequences of such a machine – and while I certainly want to have access to more books (especially academic books) as digital files, the ability to print out a book that is out of print seems like a win-win situation. Also, would publishers be able to support lesser known authors and lesser known titles if they didn’t have to spend so much money running copies that never get sold? I remember working for Waldenbooks and having to rip covers off of books and then throw away the books because the publishers just wanted us to return evidence that they didn’t sell. I mean, how screwed up is that? It made me feel faintly nauseous whenever I had to do that. This kind of solution would also save on wasted paper and I really don’t think it would destroy small, specialized, or novelty presses. There will always be a market for special printings.
What do you think?
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