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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Printing books in bookstores

Way back on July 5, I posted a news item ("A Book with that Latte") about Blackwell UK installing machines in their stores which allowed customers to download, print, and bind (securely) on demand. ATMs for books, you could say.

Well, they are as imitative as ever, downunder. It has just been announced that NZ/Aus's biggest book chain, Whitcoulls/Angus & Robertson, is installing a -- wait for it -- book printing machine for out-of-print books in their flagship store in Melbourne. (Find it in Bourke Street.)

How will the gadget make money? By eliminating payments to publishers and authors.

What are their plans? Fifty stores are scheduled to stock this gadget, on both sides of the Tasman Sea. (Watch for it in Newmarket, Auckland.)

How long will it take to print a book? Fifteen minutes, complete with four-color jacket and binding with heat-activated glue.

How much will it cost to print a book? Thirty bucks.

How much do the machines cost? One hundred thousand smackers.

Managing director Dave Fenlon reckons the machines will pay for themselves "in a very short period of time."


Anastácio Soberbo said...

Hello, I like this blog.
Sorry not write more, but my English is not good.
A hug from Portugal

Joan Druett said...

Thank you for your kind words, Anastácio.

Vanda Symon said...

What, no royalty to authors? How do they get around that one and copyright law?

Joan Druett said...

I'd like to know that myself, Vanessa. I wonder if we could track down the list of titles, and contact the publishers and authors. My bet is that the publishers are defunct and the authors are dead. I also predict that once that store opens in Auckland, the New Zealand Society of Authors will take a very lively interest.

Joan Druett said...

VANDA -- apologies for misspelling your name! Blame the fact that I've only had one cup of coffee so far today. Mea culpa, Joan