Monday, June 04, 2007

Print on demand

Soon we'll have every book in the world stored digitally -- probably taking up as little as a few cubic centimeters, if current storage trends continue. The technology for print on demand is also coming along, as are business models.

NYTimes on this year's BookExpo America: ...In a pavilion outside the main exhibit hall Jason Epstein, the former editorial director of Random House and the creator of the Anchor Books paperback imprint, and Dane Neller, founders of, demonstrated their Espresso Book Machine, which can print a small paperback book on site in less than five minutes. “This could replace the entire supply chain that has been in existence since Gutenberg,” Mr. Epstein said.

Chris Morrow, whose parents founded Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt., three decades ago, said he would be installing one of the machines. He said he planned to print local histories and Northshire-brand titles from the public domain, like “Middlemarch” or “Moby-Dick.”

“There are lots of challenges in bricks-and-mortar book selling, and I see this as a way of expanding our business,” Mr. Morrow said.

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