— By John Conley, vice president of Publishing, Xerox Corporation

If Johannes Gutenberg were alive today what would he print on the Espresso Book Machine a publishing and distribution solution for books that prints, binds and trims a 300-page bookstore-quality paperback in less than five minutes?

He could, in fact, print almost anything he wanted – since the Espresso Book Machine features the EspressNet™ software system, developed by On Demand Books, connecting the device to a vast repository of content, including more than four million, copyrighted, public-domain and self-published books. That may be a bit overwhelming for Gutenberg, but not for book enthusiasts in today’s world.

That’s what makes the Espresso Book Machine, A Xerox Solution, such a great revenue-building opportunity for all kinds businesses, including bookstores, cafes, university libraries, and even cruise ships.

This is a self-contained, easy to operate device that doesn’t take up much space. And, since on-demand book publishing has seen an explosion over the past 24 months, local bookstores and other retail settings are seeing the benefit of adding this complete production solution to their offerings.

And for the vast community of budding self-publishers, the Espresso Book Machine provides a new avenue for producing and distributing books. According to Bowker, in 2009 more than 760,000 “non-traditional” books were produced – a 281 percent leap from 2008.

This very cool book business solution, supported by Xerox’s digital printing equipment, is available today in the U.S. and in Canada next month.

And yes, I know, the e-book phenomenon has taken off – but there are millions of people out there who still like to hold a good book in their hands – whether it’s hard-to-find novels, rare or out-of-print text, or their very own words captured in a finished, paperback book.

Gutenberg would be proud.