I saw a blog post about this today and went looking for more information. What a neat and creative idea. Anything that puts more reading material in front of people is a good thing. First, it was the Kindle, followed by other e-readers. Now, for all of those still longing for a ‘real’ book they can hold in their hands, there is the Espresso Machine. (article: http://whattheythink.com/articles/52102-espresso-machine-nycs-soho-brews-coffee-print-demand-books/)
No, not a coffee machine. You won’t find your coffee being made inside this. Instead, while you wait for your coffee, you will be able to browse through thousands of titles, pick the one you want, select it, and hit print. In just a few short minutes you will have a quality paperback in your hand ready for reading. There is a video in the link showing how the machine works. Now, paperbacks can be bought almost as conveniently as e-books.
It is already in use worldwide (you can find the list here: http://www.ondemandbooks.com/ebm_hardware.php) and experiencing quite a bit of success. It isn’t just for big publishers either. Indie Authors can print their books there too.
Of course, as always, there is some opposition, but it appears those that oppose are softening.
From the first link: She acknowledges, though, that to some publishers, the tipping point may look more like the edge of a cliff to back away from.
Fearing Fear Itself?
Their reluctance, she says, stems from two concerns. One is data security: the fear of what might happen to book files as they move about the EBM network. (On Demand Books says that the network uses industry-standard cryptography to provide secure communications. The EspressNet software is said to track content movement and order processing with “fine-grained visibility” at every stage.)
Publishers also worry, according to McNally, that booksellers will find in-store printing such an economically attractive proposition that they’ll order and stock fewer copies from traditional channels. But the idea that booksellers can get superior profit margins from printing in-copyright books on the EBM is “patently not true,” she says.
Their misgivings may be fading. McNally says that two of the largest publishing houses have “theoretically agreed” to open their backlists to printing on her EBM. When they do, and if other publishers follow suit, “it would raise our sales enormously.”
And so the world of publishing, reading, and books changes and moves forward some more. I wonder how long it will be before we get one in my neck of the woods. Sure would beat Wal-Mart’s poor excuse for a book section. Out here in the middle of no where, we have no book stores. Wal-Mart moved in, the book stores moved away, leaving us with only thin, washed out version, that WM offers.
So what do you think? Would you use a machine like this to get a paperback?