Former Random House editorial director Jason Epstein’s latest venture, On Demand Books, was founded last year with former Dean & DeLuca president and CEO Dane Neller and technology expert Thor Sigvaldason. The company has begun beta testing its Espresso Book Machine, which can print black-and-white text for a 300-page paperback with a four-color cover, and bind it together in three minutes. It has been termed ‘revolutionary’ and has drawn comparisons to Guttenburg’s invention of the printing press in the 15th century.
The Espresso Book Machine was invented by Jeff Marsh. In April, the first Espresso Book Machine was installed at the InfoShop at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., which has loaded 200 of its titles online for the three-month test period. It is believed the machine will soon have a catalogue of over 1 million titles. Eventually, it is hoped the machine will be able to print books that are out of stock or even out of print. Unpublished authors will have the opportunity to print their own work.
On Demand Books is also currently in talks with a bookstore chain outside the U.S. about installing the machine. At an affordable price of $US 100 000 book store owners believe it will pay itself off within 6 months.