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Book Incubators and Espresso Books, Distribution of Tomorrowland

Published on April 6, 2011

This week Frank talks about how vending machines are being used to cut back on retail staff which made him reminisce the old days of book vending and the modern equivalent printing on demand.

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Discussion

By John J. Conley on Apr 07, 2011

Interesting look back at the history of vending machines for books (side note – if you ever come across a preserved Penguin Incubator – drop me a line I’d love to see one!) We’re seeing a lot of interest in the Espresso Book Machine – and I believe it’s because people want options.

I also read the article you mention, and whether its self publishers like Amanda (the 26-year-old profiled in the article,) the bankruptcy of the brick & mortar titan Borders or the introduction of ebooks, the face of publishing is changing fast. What we’re left with really though, are just more options. As proven by her success, there’s an audience for Amanda’s books, but there’s also a large segment of the population (like you and I) who appreciate holding a book in their hands and thumbing through the pages, versus reading digital text on a Nook.

For publishers looking to serve those of us not willing to hand over our hard copy books, on demand technology is helping them compete by printing shorter initial runs of books with reprint options based on demand.

We are in a digital age – but digital can help both traditional publishers as well as self-publishers like Amanda – it’s just a matter of choices and conforming to consumer tastes – with the consumer winning either way.

As a consumer, what book would you print, if you could print what you want on-demand?

John Conley, Vice President of Publishing¬, Xerox

 

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