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June 7 – June 14, 2007 Edition
At BookExpo America
NEW YORK, NY/6/1/07 At the BookExpo America convention in New York City this week, legendary publishing executive Jason Epstein and business partner Dane Neller unveiled the first Espresso Book Machine, an ATM vending machine for books which will revolutionize publishing by printing and delivering physical books to consumers within minutes. The machine, created by Epstein and Nellers company On Demand Books, will be demonstrated throughout the weekend at slot five of the Book Store of the Future exhibit at the Crystal Pavilion of the Jacob Javits Center.
Customers can order a title directly at the machine or via the World Wide Web at their own computers. Next, proprietary software will transmit a digital file to the book machine, which will automatically print, bind, and trim the customers selection within minutes as a single, library-quality, paperback book, indistinguishable from the factory-made title. The transaction will be much like buying a book from Amazon.com except that delivery will be within minutes, not days; the choice of titles will be vastly greater, always in print and in many languages; and the retail price can be considerably less because much of the existing supply chain will be omitted.
Unlike existing print on demand technology, Espresso Book Machines are fully integrated, automatic machines that require minimal human intervention. They do not require a factory setting and are small enough to fit in a retail store. While traditional factory based print on demand machines usually cost over $1 million per unit, the Espresso Book Machine is priced to be affordable for retailers.
The direct-to-consumer model of the Espresso Book Machine eliminates shipping and warehousing costs for books (thereby also eliminating returns and pulping of unsold books) and allows simultaneous global availability of millions of new and backlist titles in all categories and languages. These savings permit potentially lower prices to consumers and greater royalties and profits to authors and publishers. Also, titles will never have to go out of print again.
Printed books are one of historys greatest and most enduring inventions, and after centuries, their form needs no improvement, says Epstein. What does need to change is the outdated way that books reach readers.
The first commercial model of the Espresso Book Machine, version 1.5, will be installed in June 2007 at The New York Public Library (at the Science, Industry and Business Library branch), and this summer and fall at the New Orleans Public Library, the University of Alberta (Canada) campus bookstore, the Northshire Book Store in Manchester, Vermont, and at the Open Content Alliance in San Francisco. Beta versions of the Espresso Book Machine are already in operation at the World Bank Infoshop in Washington, DC and the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (The Library of Alexandria, Egypt). National book retailers and hotel chains are among the companies in talks with On Demand Books about ordering machines in quantity.
Jason Epstein, Cofounder of On Demand Books is a former editorial director of Random House. He has received many honors for his long record of innovation including the Curtis Benjamin Award of the American Association of Publishers for inventing new kinds of publishing and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Book Critics Circle for creative publishing.
Dane Neller, Cofounder of On Demand Books, served as President and CEO of Dean & Deluca from 1997-2005.
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