Wednesday, April 20, 2011

print on demand -- in bookstores

As e-books take up a larger market share, independent bookstores are finding ways to stay relevant. One option is to get the Espresso Book Machine, which allows customers to get a printed copy of a book in about five minutes.

In a PW article, New York's First Espresso Book Machine Debuts at McNally Jackson, the reporter noted that the bookseller "said that while he expected the machine to be used mostly for backlist and public domain books from Google, McNally's machine has been used more frequently as a printing press for self-published authors, who have been using it to do small runs of their books, from 20 to 300 copies, for $6 plus $.02 per page. Self-published authors are also able to place their books in Espresso's system at no extra charge, so that they are available for printing on other machines."

Watch a video of the Espresso in action.

Authors who are serious about selling their self-published books will find better prices online, but for those who want a few copies -- or for anyone who wants copies urgently, perhaps for an event -- the Espresso offers an interesting option. And of course it's also a way to keep people going to bookstores, where they can now find a greater variety of titles than what the store can keep on its shelves.

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