The Espresso Book Machine will print, bind, and trim a 300-page book in less than four minutes. Production cost is a penny a page and minimal human intervention is required for operation. The trim size of a book is infinitely variable between 8.5” x 11” and 4.5” x 4.5” and the EBM Version 2.0 can bind up to 830 pages.
One more time: The Espresso Book Machine will print, bind, and trim a 300-page book in less than four minutes for a penny a page. Holy *@#&. John Klima over at Tor has a nice write up of his experience with the EBM. The results aren’t flawless, but they’re certainly impressive.
His article also points us to a great interview with Clay Shirky, author of Here Comes Everybody, wherein he predicts the future of media. His thought on the future of books (a) scares the crap out of me (b) seems completely on point (c) makes me think of Neil Stephensen’s The Diamond Age:
The book world is more secure. I think the big revolution is going to be print on demand. Imagine only having one browsing copy of every book in a bookstore. You could say “Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers looks good”, and out pops a brand new copy. Why does a bookstore or a publisher have to be in the shipping and warehousing business?