Sunday, June 22, 2008

Millions of books to choose from – yours will take only minutes to print
By Arifa Akbar, Arts Correspondent, The Independent, Saturday, 21 June 2008

Blackwell bookshop announced yesterday that it is to install an "Espresso Book Machine" that will allow customers to print out a novel in just seven minutes.
The self-service machine, which will eventually be installed in 50 stores across the country, offers a choice of around one million titles. The fully-bound books are printed to library quality, including a front cover.
A more sophisticated version of the machine is smaller and prints books in just three minutes. The older version has already been installed in 11 sites worldwide and Blackwell hopes to eventually have the faster machine in its stores.
Britain's book industry has hailed the machine's arrival as potentially revolutionary. It means high street bookshops can offer a range of books that will compete for the first time with online stores such as Amazon.
Blackwell is leasing the book-making machine from its American owner, On Demand Books, according to The Bookseller. Vince Gunn, chief executive of Blackwell, described the technology as "trailblazing". "From a retailer's point of view, this is a fantastic opportunity," he said. "When I first read about the Espresso Book Machine, I was very keen to see it in action. I was really pleased with its performance when I saw it last year."
More at The Independent online.

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