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Not for Free: Revenue Strategies for a New World by Saul Berman

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CONCLUSION

Launching Innovation

In April 2009 an unusual contraption appeared in a corner of a popular bookstore in London. The machine, dubbed the Espresso Book Machine, literally makes books. Part copy machine, part digital printer, part Gutenberg press, the Espresso allows bookstore customers to print and bind any one of millions of titles on demand in minutes.

Looking for an obscure novel you remember from twenty years ago? The Espresso delivers. The machine won’t have the latest best seller—those are already stocked on the shelves. The Espresso’s sweet spot is book publishing’s long tail, where rare, out-of-print, esoteric, or low-demand titles find new life.

The machine’s creator, On Demand Books (ODB), sells its machine for roughly $100,000. ...

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