Google has signed an agreement with On Demand Books, maker of the print-on-demand Espresso Book Machine, giving it access to over two million public domain e-books.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
This unprecedented number of reading options is in addition to the current 1.6 million titles already available directly to consumers via the Espresso Book Machine®. The Espresso Book Machine® is a small, patented high-speed automated book- making machine. In a few minutes it can print, bind and trim a single-copy library- quality paperback book complete with a full-color paperback cover. "ODB, in effect an ATM for books, will radically decentralize direct-to-consumer distribution," says Jason Epstein, Chairman and co-founder of ODB."With the Google inventory the EBM will make it possible for readers everywhere to have access to millions of digital titles in multiple languages, including rare and out of print public domain titles."
"This is a revolutionary product," says Dane Neller, CEO and co founder of ODB."Instead of the traditional Gutenberg model of centrally producing, shipping and selling we sell first, then produce. In a matter of minutes you can get a paperback book identical to one you can get in a store at point of sale. In addition to readers, On Demand Books will bring substantial benefits to authors, retailers and publishers. It has the potential to change the publishing industry."
The Espresso Book Machine® is powered by EspressNet, a proprietary and copyrighted software system that connects EBM to a vast network of permissioned content. Using industry-standard encryption methods EspressNet assures the security of publishers' titles, tracks all jobs, and provides for payments to publishers. Content owners retain full ownership and control of their digital files. . . .
Espresso Book Machines® already are up and running in bookstores, libraries and trade and campus bookstores such as the University of Michigan Shapiro Library Building in Ann Arbor, MI, the Blackwell Bookshop in London, UK, the Bibliotheca Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, VT, the University of Alberta Bookstore in Edmonton, Canada and Angus & Robertson Bookstore in Melbourne, Australia. The Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, MA and the University of Melbourne Library in Melbourne, Australia soon will carry their own EBM.