John Conley, vice president publishing, Xerox

Books aren’t going away anytime soon, evident by the Associated Press article on how the Espresso Book Machine makes it possible for self publishers to actually print the book of their dreams while providing independent book stores a new revenue stream.

The Espresso Book Machine, or EBM, for short, debuted in 2006 – and can now be found in book stores around the world. Check out this video that shows how easily a book can be produced – in a matter of minutes.

So, even in this electronic-centric world it is refreshing to know that the compelling nature of books – and people’s desire to be published – still prevails.

That’s pretty clear in this quote from Debbi Wraga at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vt.: “Besides the novelty of (the EBM), to have customers come and strike up a conversation, it’s a way for us to really engage our public and move forward and find a creative way to still sell the books. It’s a wonderful feeling when you take it off the press and hand it to the author. You can smell the glue and the book is still warm. It’s almost like handing a newborn baby to a mom.”

For independent book stores, the EBM represents a breath of fresh air. Chief Technology Officer Thor Sigvaldason with On Demand Books was quoted in the AP article saying: “It can, potentially, give them a huge virtual inventory so they can have as many books as Amazon, all in a little bookstore. It turns independent bookstores into places to get books published. It’s a new thing for the bookstore to do: not just sell books, but actually create books.”

Full non-disclosure: I am a book man through and through. So, it’s a good day when mainstream media covers the topic of books and how the EBM is keeping this important industry alive and relevant.  

That’s a story worth reading.

A lover of the printed word, John uses all forms of book media from e-books on his iPad to Audio books on his iPhone, to mass market paperbacks at the airport to hard cover books for the night stand.