View Full Version : POD Espresso

12-22-2006, 11:40 PM
Which I think is one of the greatest terms ever. :)

(I love that I can use smilie faces again, even if I don't need them. And idiom. And epilepsies!)

The Espresso from On Demand Books brews you up a copy right fresh

Posted Dec 21st 2006 10:25AM by Paul Miller (http://www.engadget.com/bloggers/paul-miller)
Filed under: Misc. Gadgets (http://gadgets.engadget.com/)
http://www.blogsmithmedia.com/www.engadget.com/media/2006/12/espresso-books.jpg (http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fsb/fsb_archive/2006/12/01/8395114/index.htm?postversion=2006121409)As an idea, on demand book printing is nothing new, and we even spotted that Bookmachine monstrosity (http://www.engadget.com/2004/07/20/bookmachine-self-contained-printer/) doing the whole ATM-for-books thing back in 2004, but it looks like the concept is about to take a big step with the new "Espresso" machine from On Demand Books. The $50,000 vending machine is about to debut in somewhere between 10 and 25 libraries and bookstores in 2007, including the New York Public Library in February. The machine can produce two books simultaneously in seven minutes, a time which includes all the printing, binding and cutting involved. The machine even slaps a snazzy laminated full-color cover on its creations. Books top out at around 550 pages, and right-to-left texts are possible. Production cost is about five cents per page, which should be quite a bargain for the roughly one million public domain English works currently floating around the Internets, but we're not sure what the exact costs will be levied by bookstores and copyright holders for the other titles -- there are currently 2.5 million books available for printing by the Espresso.

12-23-2006, 12:23 AM
I'm not really sure what I think of this thing yet. If we're being optimistic and positive about it, then this could be a piece of technology which -- if it proves reliable and useful -- has the potential to take POD Publishers and help them into real sales numbers and real markets. I wouldn't mind seeing that. For all the scum POD publishers there, there are a few good ones that could use this technology to become real formidable businesses.

I'm not sure it's actually a paradigm shift at all, but I do think that if it turns out to be useful, it's a very good step in a very useful direction for the book industry.

(It could also be a disaster, if publishers like PA or iUniverse could suddenly sell a hapless reader any of their books, right alongside a Dell Ray book or a Random House book.)

12-23-2006, 12:49 AM
If it meant I could buy an out of print reference book for the cheap while in the library, that would be great. Can't focus on the other implications now...too little to do, too much time.

Wait. Reverse that.

12-23-2006, 03:38 AM
A company called Sprout was set to debut something very similar (http://www.thebookden.com/forbes.html) in Borders stores in 2000. It never happened, I think because the company ran into glitches with the machine. I wonder if this one will have better luck.

- Victoria

12-24-2006, 07:29 AM
Yeah, this could be pretty cool tool for writers to get their work out there in big numbers, though how much it helps will be directly proportional to how popular it gets.

12-24-2006, 07:32 AM
Yeah, this could be pretty cool tool for writers to get their work out there in big numbers, though how much it helps will be directly proportional to how popular it gets.

How popular it gets will depend on the filters between writer and customer. Otherwise, some open-minded customer is going to get two volumes of garbage and never try it again. Justifiably.

In particular, I can see benefits for chapbooks, or serial novels.