Yesterday, I reminded you to vote on the poll located at the bottom of this blog page! (There is only ONE day left!) I also noted the evolution of books from cave drawings to ebooks and the issue of supply and demand in bookstores. Today, we will discuss a machine that may be able to turn the bookstore industry in a brighter, more effective, direction. It's called The Expresso Book Machine.
The Espresso Book Machine (EBM) is a print on demand (POD) machine that prints, collates, covers, and binds a single book in a few minutes. A single machine can cost from $97,000 plus printer
The EBM is small enough to fit in a retail book store or small library room, and as such it is targeted at retail and library markets. The EBM can potentially allow readers to obtain any book title, even books that are out of print. The machine takes as input a PDF file and prints, binds, and trims the reader’s selection as a paperback book.
The direct-to-consumer model of the EBM eliminates shipping, warehousing, returns and pulping of unsold books, and allows simultaneous global availability of millions of new and backlist titles. These characteristics may in the future lower prices to consumers and libraries, and allow greater royalties and profits to authors and publishers.
Original material can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espresso_Book_Machine
Want to know how it works? Here's a video!
Pretty neat huh? I heard they are a little noisy and they're big and bulky, but imagine the possibilities. Stores could become more like catalogs, a library of the books their Expresso book machine could produce for you. You merely walk in, choose a book you're interested in, read a few pages from the sample, and then go to the machine and have it print it off for you at a lesser cost to you and eventually to the store itself! No more walking into the store only to find that they don't have the book you want because it is out of stock or out of print! No more unsold books being sent back to the warehouse to be pulped and destroyed! No more ridiculous prices in stores just so they can lose money on their enormous stock! It's a win-win for everyone.
What do you think?
Would you use the Expresso Book Machine if your bookstore had one?