As an unabashed vending machine fanatic and someone who’s been involved with the publishing industry for the better part of my adult life, I’ve long been intrigued by the Espresso Book Machine, owned by On Demand Books. There are currently more than seven million titles available in On Demand Books’ digital network, and on January 30, HarperCollins Christian Publishing joined the Espresso Book Machine program, making its titles available through EBM’s “digital-to-print at retail” sales channel. (HarperCollins’ six-month-old expanded Christian publishing division is comprised of two formerly independent publishers, Thomas Nelson and Zondervan.)
“Christian and inspirational content is an ideal fit for the EBM,” said Dane Neller, CEO of On Demand Books, in a release. “Stores can now make titles available to customers that may not be on display on the shelves.”
On January 17, it was announced that Penguin Group had also joined the Espresso Book Machine network.
The EBM, for those of you not familiar with it, is the only digital-to-print at-retail solution on the market today. With the push of a button, a title can be printed with a full-color cover, bound, and trimmed to any standard size. In a matter of minutes, it emerges from the EBM as a bookstore-quality paperback book, which the customer can pay for and walk out the store with, right then and there. Genius!