Sunday, January 17, 2010

Will Xerox help to further green up the Espresso Book Machine?

Last September we reported that On Demand Books, the maker of the Espresso Book Machine, signed an agreement with Google, making its over two million public domain titles available directly to consumers. On Thursday On Demand Books announced on a new strategic partnership - this time with Xerox.

According to the press release, "Xerox and On Demand Books will jointly market and sell, on a worldwide basis, the Xerox 4112™ Copier/Printer together with the Espresso Book Machine – a fully integrated solution that prints, binds and trims books with full color covers on demand in retail locations and libraries. The Espresso Book Machine can produce paperbacks in variable combinations of trim sizes between 4.5" x 5.0" and 8.25" x 10.5" for a production cost less than one cent per page."

What does it mean that
the Espresso Book Machine (EBM) will be sold from now on with the Xerox 4112 Copier/Printer? Well, firstly, it's about offering a faster and better performance - With the Xerox 4112, the Espresso Book Machine produces a 300-page book in less than four minutes and has the capacity to print more than 40,000 paperback books per year.

But there's more as Judith Rosen points out on PW: "
By partnering with Xerox, On Demand will have access to a sales force for the first time and will make joint sales calls with Xerox, which will forward leads."

This partnership is a natural fit for On Demand Books, as the CEO, Dane Neller, explains on the press release “Their solutions, industry leadership, innovative printing technology and worldwide sales and marketing footprint will help us reach our goal – providing book enthusiasts fast and affordable access to millions of digital titles in multiple languages.”

We hope Xerox will contribute not only to the speed of the EBM, but also to further green it up. The EBM has a potential to become a true green alternative as it has a smaller footprint in comparison with the regular printing and distribution system. But there's still the issue of the paper and the challenge is of course to move from virgin paper to recycled paper to further reduce its footprint. We hope Xerox, which has a very good reputation when it comes to integrating sustainability into business, will help EBM to meet this challenge.

Xerox publishing v-p John Conley is quoted on PW saying that "..we have many, many skills that can make them more robust as you set a goal for worldwide capability. We think we can help make this incredibly significant. We like what it can do for the book distribution model.” He's definitely right and we hope Xerox will also use its skills and power to make the EBM not only a model of a better book distribution model, but also a model of a sustainable book production system.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Promoting sustainable reading!