Books and coffee seem to be a good fit. You can see people in coffee shops across the world sipping lattes and reading a good book. Years ago Barnes & Noble decided to put Starbucks in their stores and now most bookstores offer a coffee service.
So I guess it’s only natural that the world’s first book vending machine would be called the Espresso Book Machine. These machines will print and bind a perfect bound book faster than you can drink a Grande Cappuccino.
The Espresso Book Machine (EBM) is a print-on-demand machine that prints both a book’s inside pages and its cover and then binds them together. These machines are small enough to fit in retail book stores, libraries and, well, a coffee shop (poetic justice? Now the bookstore can fit inside the coffee shop.)
What’s driving the demand for these machines is they allow libraries and bookstores to carry an infinite number of titles, including all the out-of-print titles. In addition, “the direct-to-consumer model of the EBM eliminates shipping, warehousing, returns and pulping of unsold books, and allows simultaneous global availability of millions of new and backlist titles. These characteristics may in the future lower prices to consumers and libraries, and allow greater royalties and profits to authors and publishers.”
I find it interesting that in the midst of the ebook revolution a machine built to produce one-off hard copy books is finding a niche in the market. I find it equally interesting that authors across the states are coming into local Alphagraphics stores to print hundreds and thousands of copies of their books.
Print is not dead, but rather, it’s growing. eBooks make up about 25% of the market currently. No one is predicting that ebooks will represent 100% of the market, but rather what most experts believe is that ebooks will help drive growth in the overall publishing market. We are definitely seeing this trend at Alphagraphics (for more eBooks data click in this document)
In the December 2011 edition of Wired, Clive Thompson noted in his article titled, New Hope For Books, that “when you make something easier to do, people do more of it.” Thompson noted that when email communication was introduced to the marketplace people began predicting the “paperless office.” What happened was the opposite. Thompson said that companies who adopted email saw their paper consumption increase 40%.
“Print-on-demand publishing is about to do the same for books,” said Thompson.
eBooks make up about 25% of the market currently. No one is predicting that ebooks will represent 100% of the market, but rather what most experts believe is that ebooks will help drive growth in the overall publishing market.
The numbers seem to support this prediction. In 2010, over 750 million printed books were sold through bookstores. Devices like the EBM and new media like ebooks are driving demand by making books more accessible to everyone. These distribution channels make it easier for authors to reach readers and with social media it’s easier for people to share the book they are reading. Remember what Clive Thompson said:
“When you make something easier to do, people do more of it.”