It's not elegant and it's not sexy – it looks like a large photocopier – but the Espresso Book Machine is being billed as the biggest change for the literary world since Gutenberg invented the printing press more than 500 years ago and made the mass production of books possible. Launching today at Blackwell's Charing Cross Road branch in London, the machine prints and binds books on demand in five minutes, while customers wait.

Which makes for all sorts of interesting if you can get your own book out from, say a USB memory stick, and into the real world. I may have to have a wander down there and see it in action myself one day.
I see this as a precursor of all things 3D printer-y.

4 thoughts on “POD”

  1. Let's hope not – this could be fantastic for people who have low vision, need large print books and don't much like Catherine Cookson…

  2. Looks to me like it could make a mint in the vanity publishing business. Or is that a stupid thought?

  3. There was a Sci-Fi story of a computer controlled society.In one scene of the book several people are in the waiting room of the publisher.

    It's a machine.

    A technical writer shoves his manuscript down the slot and almost immediatly 1200 copies are printed and shipped to the 1200 people in the world who work in that field.

    A would-be novelist shoves his manuscript down the slot.

    Nothing happens for an ENTIRE MINUTE!

    Then, a simulated leather bound copy with the title in gold leaf comes out the in slot.

    It's for him.

    HE'S the only one in the world who would read it!

    Sorry…. can't remember the title or author.

    ACC? City and the Stars? As if anyone READ anything in the umpteenth century!

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