Monday, October 02, 2006

The Espresso Book Machine: Instant, On-Demand Publishing

My undergrad Minor was in "editing and publishing", based on a desire to become an editor in the style of Malcolm Cowley. Clearly, that didn't quite work out.

But I have this very clear memory of one day in class where the instructor talked about the future of book publishing. He said there would be vending-machines--jukeboxes of a sort--that would have an enormous hard-drive filled with manuscripts. Put in your money and pick the title and the book would be printed and bound for you, right there. It would make an enormous amount of content available. I remember this, and it may have been the first time that I began to think about electronic media in any serious way.

Well, the vending machine has not quite gotten here, but there it is one giant leap closer, thanks to something called the Espresso Book Machine. I certainly don't know the book world well enough to pick whether or not this is the sort of thing that would work, but I certainly like the idea. It definitely opens up the possibilities for all kinds of new content to be created, and when there's new content methods, there certainly could be new advertising and marketing models.
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