Posts tagged: Book

Candy Bars and Books on Demand

Jim Hamilton
 Mar 12, 2010

Recently I wrote about the Xerox/On Demand Books announcement (Xerox and On Demand Books Collaborate on Espresso Book Machine) and it has gotten me thinking about the purpose of a book-on-demand machine, or what is also sometimes called a book kiosk. What types of books are best suited for a book kiosk? If the kiosk is in a book store, it generally wouldn’t need to be used for anything that could be found in the store, unless the store had run out of a mass-produced book and the book kiosk could create a suitable facsimile in a timely and economic fashion. The fit would be much better if the desired title were obscure (like an out-of-print book), targeted (like a university course pack), niche-oriented (too quirky to be stocked on shelves), customized (perhaps drawn from a reservoir of copyrighted content), personalized (maybe using a combination of personal and professional content), or self-published. The more likely that it couldn’t be found in the store, the better. But why does the book kiosk even have to be in a bookstore? What about airports, convention centers, hotels, resorts, theaters, retail stores, or cruise ships?

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Getting Compact

Jim Hamilton
 Feb 26, 2010

I was reminded recently of a good example of innovative design. I had seen GBC’s eBinder at ON DEMAND 2009 in the Xerox booth where it was shown in-line with a Xerox Nuvera, but the full impact of the design took a while to sink in. As is often the case, a picture can tell the story better than a wordy description. The eBinder uses a single flat plastic consumable (see below) to form an elliptical lay-flat, wrap-around  binding that can support document page counts ranging from 2 to 100 sheets.

eBinder Ellipse consumable (top) and GBC ProClick consumable (bottom)

eBinder Ellipse consumable (top) and GBC ProClick consumable (bottom)

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The Book Is the Web Site, and Vice Versa

Jim Hamilton
 Oct 22, 2009

As the print-on-demand book concept gains increasing acceptance, it strikes me that its popularity should solidify another interesting possibility: a book as a web site. What I mean by this is that a book should be available on the web in its entirety, not necessarily for free, perhaps sponsored by advertising or password protected for access only by a subscriber, but the source file for the book should be a web site. When new information is added or errors corrected, they should be immediately reflected in the book. The web site would be easily browsable and searchable while the book would represent the physical record, to be consumed at leisure without the need for an energy-consuming computer, mobile device, or e-reader. It would be readable in fifty, a hundred, or five hundred years. The web site would display its content dynamically to suit the real estate of the computer or mobile device screen while the book would benefit from typical book features such as headers, footers, page numbers, a table of contents, and an index. The printed book (or e-book) would be generated automatically only when an order was taken. The book’s content would reflect the latest version as reflected on the web site. The two would be one, and yet different.

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Amazon Loses Round 1 of Print-On Demand Book Lawsuit

Jim Hamilton
 Sep 2, 2009

On August 29th the U.S. District Court in Maine ruled on a motion to dismiss a class action suit brought by BookLocker.com against Amazon.com. BookLocker’s suit claims that Amazon violated federal anti-trust law by tying its own on-line book services with the printing services provided by BookSurge, its wholly owned subsidiary. Amazon had moved to dismiss BookLocker’s suit, but it will move forward except for one motion in its filing. This motion relates to an order “requiring full restitution of all funds acquired from Amazon’s unfair business practices, including disgorgement of revenues and/or profits.” Other parts of the motion that were allowed to move forward include “injunctive relief…enjoining Amazon from continuing or engaging in the unfair and anti-competitive activities”; “damages, penalties, and other monetary relief provided by the Clayton Act…including treble damages”; and the ability of the plaintiff to recover the costs of the lawsuit. Read more »

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