Publishing on demand

In a fascinating (although slightly dense) Daily Beast article from January, book industry heavyweight Jason Epstein dived into some contributing factors of the decline of the book business. Neither the faltering economy or unstoppable digital age can solely be blamed for the uncertain future of publishing–urban and suburban migration, publishing backlists,  and business conglomerates  have all affected the status of the publishing world.

If you thought the Kindle was something to marvel at, check out what Epstein’s company On Demand Books has created: the Espresso Book Machine, which prints books from digital files on demand. “In theory, every book ever published in whatever language can now be stored and delivered in digital form as cheaply and quickly as e-mail to be downloaded onto a variety of devices from dedicated readers.”

While devices like the EBM may completely change bookstores as we know them, independent publishers see a whole new world opportunity. Here at the IPRC we’re excited enough about our our new perfect binder, but we are keeping an eye out for ways to expand, and are currently pursuing partnerships with local organizations to potentially invest in technologies like the EBM.

And while Epstein may muse and prophesy about the largest of publishers and booksellers, something he said rings true for the IPRC as well: “Publishing is a vocation in which the work is its own reward.”