Earlier this year at the Guardian, Clay Shirky of Here Comes Everybody, made the prediction that book publishers would soon turn to on demand manufacturing solutions as a response to the media landscape becoming increasingly digital.

Recently we came across On Demand Books based out of New York. Like a physical analog to Amazon’s kindle, On Demand Books’ “Espresso machine” pulls from a digital catalogue and prints, and binds and vends books on the fly. On Demand Books’ catalog is currently somewhere around 500 thousand titles or so and looking to expand past 1 million titles by the time summer passes. Just to give you an idea of scale, the machine measures 2.7’ deep by 3.8’ wide by 4.5’ high while Powell’s City of Books in Portland Oregon with a similar catalog of titles (1 million) takes up 68,000 square feet of space (an American football field takes up 57,000 square feet of space).

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