Can Xerox give the Espresso Book Machine some market clout?

The Espresso Book Machine, a device sold by OnDemandBooks, garnered some serious distribution heft courtesy of a global sales pact with Xerox. Will on demand book printing be coming to a locale near you?

The Espresso Book Machine, a device sold by OnDemandBooks, garnered some serious distribution heft courtesy of a global sales pact with Xerox. Will on demand book printing be coming to a locale near you?

OnDemandBooks sells the Espresso, which produces millions of copyrighted, public domain, out-of-print and rare texts within minutes. In a nutshell, the Espresso (right) is an ATM for books. OnDemandBooks has landed some key partnerships with the likes of Google in recent months too, but the Espresso Book Machine has been mostly sold to university libraries and a handful of bookstores. OnDemandBooks lists 30 locations---some of them coming in 2010---on its Web site.

Xerox could change that equation. The partnership with Xerox may bring the Espresso to a much larger market. Xerox and OnDemandBooks said they will market and sell the Xerox 4112 copier/printer (bottom right) with the Espresso on a global basis. The bundle will print, bind and trim books with full color covers on demand in retail stores and libraries. Think paperbacks on demand for less than a cent per page.

The combination of Xerox and the Espresso will print a 300 page book in four minutes. Over a year, the capacity is there to print 40,000 paperbacks.

OnDemandBooks' machine is interesting. It runs on a software system dubbed EspressNet that connects to a network of 3.3 million titles. EspressNet tracks the number of printing jobs and pays publishers.

And now with Xerox we'll find out if there's a bigger market out there for an ATM for books.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com