In a very Uranian manner, the wonder of technology has hit the realm of publishers and writers alike with the arrival of On Demand Books’ Espresso Book Machine! Now, while you wait for your favorite café drink to be made, the book you’ve wanted to read can be printed for you in paperback format with lightening speed at the cost of approximately a penny per page.
Just imagine, for those of us who still like to hold the real deal in our hands but have acquiesced to the age of ‘readers’, no more trying to squint your way through pages on your Kindle, IPad or Nook while you sip. And there’s more good news. For authors desiring to go the self publishing route, On Demand Books offers this option as well. Print-ready PDF files (with cover) are uploaded to ODB. Almost immediately the book is available for sale through the Espresso Book Machine’s global network. Full ownership and control over the digital files is retained by the author along with the rights to modify or delete titles from the system at any time. As for payment, sales are tracked by ODB’s EspressNet software, which secures the author’s titles and provides all payments to the author as self-publisher. Distribution is non-exclusive.
Additionally, even traditional houses such as Harper Collins, Hachette Group, MacMillan and Random house, just to name a few, have taken advantage as a way to increase their sales in partnership with the brick and mortar bookstores. All in all it seems a win/win situation for everyone. When I first read about this, I wondered where I’d been as evidently the system has been around for a few years. Upon further exploration I discovered that current locations for public access are not plentiful…yet. Many are within university libraries and some bookstores. Nevertheless I suspect the demand will grow through readers like myself. Check out ODB’s website to find locations here and abroad.
As an author who has resisted self-publishing, I have to admit the advantages seem substantial when you consider them, especially for authors who haven’t been able to get in the door of the traditional publishing houses or for even those of us who have. Of course as always with self-publishing and even through a traditional publisher in these times, the onus of marketing falls on the author. One can only hope that the wizards at ODB will come up with a marketing gizmo that cuts through the social network marketing jungle!
If all of this seems too good to be true, check out the YouTube Video to watch how this works as you wait for that latte…I’ll bet you shake your head!