Thursday, September 17, 2009

Google, Harvard Book Store plug into print-on-demand Espresso Book Machine

In the wake of last week’s announcement by science fiction and fantasy website that it has entered the print-on-demand (POD) publishing field, both information juggernaut Google and bricks-and-mortar Harvard Book Store have made similar moves.

Google announced that it signed an agreement with On Demand Books LLC, the maker of the Espresso Book Machine, to provide print-on-demand paperback copies more than two million public-domain titles in the Google Book Search digital database. A 21st-century printing press, the Espresso Book Machine can print, bind, and trim a full-color-cover, black-and-white-interior, 300-page book in roughly four minutes.

Harvard Book Store, an independent bookstore in Cambridge that dates to 1932, plans to plug into the Espresso Book Machine on September 29th, enabling it to print-on-demand several million books and ship them globally. In order to introduce the book machine to its patrons, the store will launch a Name Our Book Machine Contest, “challenging creative minds to develop a fitting and informal name for this new, robotic member of the Harvard Book Store family.”

Pictured: The Espresso Book Machine, which costs about $100,000.

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