Monday, June 11, 2007


The era of the digitization of books is upon us. Google has announced that all of the members of the Big-Ten, plus a former member ..... The University of Chicago, have signed on to the Google digitization project. Other major universities are already part of the project. Whether we as individuals like to read books on line (I don't) they will be available whether we like it or not. However, much in their favor, most of these will be in a searchable format, which will be terrific.

But just when you think you know it all about digitization, along comes a company which will employ the technology in another way. The company is On Demand Books LLC. They are planning on becoming the first company to globally deploy a low cost, totally automatic book machine which can produce 15-20 library quality paperback books per hour, in any language, in quantities as low as 1. Their process can produce 1 copy of 10 different books in the same amount of time that it can produce 10 copies of 1 book. They already have two test machines in place, one at the World Bank InfoShop in Washington DC and the other at the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. They call their machine "The Expresso Book Machine"

The latter part of my business career I was much involved in study of the Japanese approach to productivity. Zero inventories was always a goal. Book stores have a tremendous investment in an assortment of books to satisfy all the diversified needs of their customers. Just imagine walking into a store and asking for a copy of Hardy's "Jude The Obscure" and the clerk saying, "If you've got five minutes, I'll print you one!"

A visit to this new company's website is well worth your time. Be sure to take the time to watch the video of the machine in action producing a book with a four-color cover. The site includes links to other sites which discuss the future of books.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home