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Future bookstores: on demand books printed while you wait

By annie shum | April 26, 2009

Lightning Source Launches Espresso Book Machine Pilot— Publishers Weekly, 4/16/2009 2:55:00 PM

Lightning Source has launched an Espresso Book Machine pilot program, done in conjunction with On Demand Books, through which select publishers will be able to offer their customers the opportunity to print their titles on the Espresso machines located in bookstores. The pilot program expands on Lightning’s previously announced partnership with On Demand Books, the company that makes the EBM, a device that works like a copier for books, printing and binding them in a few minutes.

Publishers participating in the pilot, culled from among Lightning’s clients, include Simon & Schuster, John Wiley & Sons, Hachette Book Group, McGraw-Hill, Macmillan, University of California Press and Norton. Through the program some 85,000 titles will be available at EBM locations across the country, starting next month.

According to On Demand Books, there are currently five Espresso machines in the U.S. (with 10 others in locations throughout Canada and the U.K.). This, though, will soon change. Dane Neller, CEO of On Demand, said that “within a relatively short period that number will be increasing dramatically.” On Demand is releasing a new model of the machine, version 2.0, which will print books faster–roughly four minutes for a 300-page book as opposed to eight minutes–and be offered at a lower price point. Neller added that the Espresso machine can now be leased as well. The 2.0 model will be on display at the London Book Fair.

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