Thursday, April 2, 2009

The last mile for Printernet Textbooks

from Beyond-Print
The Espresso Book Machine: major announcements coming soon:
""Jason Epstein" talked about the success of the machine installed at the University of Alberta, where an average of 100 books per day are printed. Most of them are locally generated items, such as course packs and self-published books. The average selling price is $20. The system does not have access to any current books from major publishers. This installation was the topic of an earlier post (

Epstein described the current model of the Espresso (of which only three or four have been made) as “hand-assembled.” Produced in this way, it would cost about $60,000. In full production, the cost will be less than half of that. Pricing will vary, depending on the brand and speed of the printing engine inside the machine. It is designed to accommodate printers from various manufacturers.

Once the Espresso is in production, On Demand Books expects to place large numbers of them in bookstores. Even a sub-$30,000 price tag would be a major obstacle for many bookstores, but stores are not expected to purchase them outright. Instead, they will be leased, with a click-charge pricing model based on the number and length of the books produced.

Epstein said that On Demand Books is currently meeting with the National Association of College Stores (NACS) to work out a deal for NACS members to get Espresso units, equipped with Xerox printing engines. NACS has 3,200 member colleges and universities.

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