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Espresso Book Machine

The ‘Cuckoo’ calls for e-books
July 18, 2013 | 8:12 pm

Laura Hazard Owen (you know, if my middle name was as cool as “Hazard,” I’d probably use it all the time too) has an article over on paidContent discussing the splash that The Cuckoo’s Calling has made unexpectedly among bookstores and and e-book stores alike. Joanna mentioned this article earlier, but missed the most exciting part: This is freaking out bricks-and-mortar booksellers who fear that by the time that they finally get print copies in, everyone will already have read it on Kindle. The New York Times quotes one store owner: “People who can’t get it...

HarperCollins Christian Publishing Joins the Espresso Book Machine Network
February 3, 2013 | 5:12 pm

Espresso Book Machine On Demand Books As an unabashed vending machine fanatic and someone who's been involved with the publishing industry for the better part of my adult life, I've long been intrigued by the Espresso Book Machine, owned by On Demand Books. There are currently more than seven million titles available in On Demand Books’ digital network, and on January 30, HarperCollins Christian Publishing joined the Espresso Book Machine program, making its titles available through EBM’s "digital-to-print at retail" sales channel. (HarperCollins' six-month-old expanded Christian publishing division is comprised of two formerly independent publishers, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.) “Christian and inspirational content is an ideal fit for the EBM," said Dane Neller, CEO...

New 3D-photographic scanner will capture 250 book pages per minute
November 19, 2012 | 9:45 pm

dnp1CNet has a report on a new book scanner (Japanese) from Dai Nippon Printing that takes and corrects three-dimensional images of book pages, allowing for them to be scanned at the amazing rate of 250 pages a minute, meaning that the average book could be captured in little more than two to three minutes tops. This is the result of the scanning development technology we covered in March of last year, created by University of Tokyo professors in the hope that it could be used for easy scanning and sharing of manga titles. (The manga studios were not amused.)...

An Espresso Book Machine Comes to Connecticut
September 18, 2012 | 11:33 pm

On Demand Books, the New York-based company behind the Espresso Book Machine (described by the company as "an ATM for books") has just announced the EBM's 31st location in the United States: R.J. Julia Booksellers, a decades-old independent shop located in the shoreline town of Madison, Connecticut. If you happen to find yourself in the area next weekend, you might consider paying a visit to R.J. Julia on September 29, when the shop will be hosting an event to celebrate the arrival of the book machine. (Madison is located about 100 miles/161 kilometers northeast of New York City). "Our goal as a bookstore has always been to...

Espresso Book Machine comes to South Africa
July 29, 2012 | 11:06 pm

South African IT news site IT Web reports that the University of Johannesburg has just acquired an Espresso Book Machine of its very own. Most of the article summarizes what we already well know about the print-on-demand machine and its uses for printing and binding store-quality paperbacks in mere minutes, but it does quote On Demand Books as projecting over 150 machines installed world-wide by the end of 2012. It also links to a Guardian article from 2009 in which the head of marketing for UK bookstore chain Blackwell suggested that the Espresso “has the potential to be the...

Borderlands bookstore owner recalculates; Espresso not so expensive after all
June 15, 2012 | 8:17 pm

About a month ago, I covered a blog post by Alan Beatts, proprietor of the Borderlands bookstore in San Francisco, in which he did some back-of-envelope calculations to determine that it could take over a decade for profits to pay down the cost of an Espresso. I just now received an email from Mr. Beatts calling my attention to a new blog post with some updated figures—his prior calculations had been based on out-of-date information. Based on the new figures, Beatts now calculates that, at an average rate of 1 book an hour, the machine would pay itself off...

OR Books publisher suggests ‘disintermediating Amazon’ by selling D2C
May 25, 2012 | 11:54 pm

orbooksHere’s another article from an exec of a Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) publisher about “disintermediating Amazon,” this one on Publishers Weekly. John Oakes of OR Books puts Amazon’s success in an interesting perspective when he points out that, when you get right down to it, the main advantage Amazon really has is “a comfortingly familiar Web site” that didn’t even exist at all just a few years ago. What is it selling? Its ability to sell. What if publishers were to sell e-books and print books direct, straight to consumers—and consumers were to get used to the idea...

The Espresso is too expensive for independent bookstores, says owner of San Francisco’s Borderlands Books
May 22, 2012 | 12:48 am

GEDC0263A few days ago I mentioned the Harvard Book Store, which features an Espresso Book Machine which it uses to help it stay relevant in its market, and pondered why it is that more stores aren’t following its example. As it turns out, Alan Beatts has a definitive answer to that on the blog of his San Francisco bookstore Borderlands Books. Beatts ran the numbers for the cost of the machine, materials, and operations, versus how long it would take to pay down those costs at various rates. He determined that if he averaged one book an hour over...

Espresso Book Machine not without its drawbacks, University of Utah librarian reports
May 14, 2012 | 12:15 pm

Speaking of the Espresso, a digital publisher’s paen to self-publishing through it led me to a blog post from last year in which librarian Rick Anderson of the University of Utah’s Marriott Library discussed the Espresso’s pros and cons in a bit greater depth than I’ve seen other posts go into. The problems Anderson found mainly have to do with a few technical glitches in the device itself, particularly due to the desert climate of his library being drier than the Espresso was originally designed for. Also, the device has a 45-minute-to-1-hour warmup time due to the glue...

Harvard Book Store offers proof independent bookstores can survive digital age
May 14, 2012 | 10:15 am

HVD-BKSTR1Can bookstores survive in an e-book world? Leigh Beadon of Techdirt thinks they can, if they play to their strengths. Beadon points out that when people talk nostalgically about bookstores, they are usually referring to their local independent stores, not the soulless big box chains. Where the big box chains have been outcompeted by Amazon on the only advantages they had to offer—convenience, selection, and price—the independent stores offer a sense of community, which isn’t as easy to outcompete on-line. While there has been concern that customers would use such a store as a “showroom” where they look at...

The other Amazon-publisher disagreement: print on demand
April 29, 2012 | 2:02 pm

Everyone is paying attention to the e-book pricing fight against Amazon right now, but Bloomberg Businessweek reports there’s another disagreement going on between Amazon and the publishers behind the scenes that nobody has really noticed: the question of print on demand. Amazon already offers its own print on demand services, used for mainly for small independent or self-publishing, and the technology has gotten a lot better over the fifteen years since it was introduced—print-on-demand titles are by now largely indistinguishable from large-print-run paperbacks. The rub is that Amazon would like to expand its print-on-demand operations so that it can print copies of...

Young-adult author Kate Milford crowdfunds linking novella between her two novels
April 20, 2012 | 2:54 am

The-BoneshakerA post on BoingBoing links to a Kickstarter project put together by young-adult novelist Kate Milford, author of a novel The Boneshaker (not to be confused with the steampunk novel Boneshaker by Cherie Priest) to crowdfund a novella tying this novel together with its upcoming sequel, The Broken Lands. Milford has set a goal of $6,500, and with 50 days to go she’s more than 1/3 of the way there. Her plan for the novella is to make it available in three editions: an Espresso Book Machine paperback, a Google Play e-book, and a special-edition pay-what-you-want e-book illustrated by...

Print-on-demand offers bright future for paper books even in the e-book era
December 12, 2011 | 11:14 pm

GEDC0270 Does electronic publishing technology mean the end of the paper book? Not at all, argues Clive Thompson on Wired.com. Just as the “paperless office” actually used more paper than ever, the advent of self-publishing technologies like the Espresso Book Machine means that people will have the ability to create custom one-off books for every situation. It’s a bit of an obvious insight to us, of course, but the piece does have some interesting anecdotes about the ways the Espresso can be used. For example: Print-on-demand books can also become plastic—altered on the...

My Espresso Book Machine encounter
November 19, 2011 | 3:49 pm

GEDC0263I got to the Missouri State University Bookstore in Columbia, Missouri in the early afternoon, and went downstairs to where they kept their Espresso machine. As I had a book made, I spoke with Heather Tearney, the manager of the Mizzou Media section where the machine was kept, and Nic Maglio, one of the operators. The book I picked out was The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar, by Maurice Leblanc. (Here’s the Project Gutenberg version.) I’d hoped to get another Arsène Lupin book that I had myself contributed to Project Gutenberg, but they didn’t have it available from the catalog—though...

Looking for book- and e-book-related matters in St. Louis
November 17, 2011 | 2:03 am

st-louis2I am going to be in St. Louis this weekend, visiting relatives, and will have a bit of time to myself to do touristy things—and it occurred to me that surely, St. Louis being the major metro area it is, there might be something there to do with e-books that I could look at for TeleRead. I am already planning to go by way of Columbia, Missouri, in order to check out the Espresso Book Machine at the University of Missouri Bookstore; what else might I find worthy of interest? I’m primarily interested in book- or e-book-related attractions, but...

Jason Epstein sees print on demand, small publishers as key to future of publishing
October 15, 2011 | 4:19 pm

It’s a cliché that the elderly are out of touch with the future, and prefer to cling to the way things were in the past rather than moving forward into the future. But there are plenty of exceptions to every rule, and 83-year-old Jason Epstein, the man behind the Espresso “ATM for books” is one of them. The Frankfurt Book Fair blog is carrying an article based on an interview with him about what he sees as the future of the publishing industry. Epstein first learned about “disintermediation”—the practice of removing middle-men from transactions—back in the 1980s, but it’s...

Librarian offers detailed review of Espresso Book Machine after two years of use
August 2, 2011 | 10:32 am

We've featured several stories about the web-connected print-on-demand Espresso Book Machine (EBM), which can access millions of digital books and create print versions in minutes. Most of those stories, however, are light on actual user reviews, so I was happy to stumble across this detailed summary of "the good, the bad, and the sexy" qualities of the EBM from librarian Rick Anderson at The Scholarly Kitchen. His library at the University of Utah has had an EBM for two years now, and he's put together an insightful list of what works and what still needs work. You should read the full...

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