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Google to Print Books

ebm.jpg Google has announced that it is partnering with On Demand Books to make 2 million of the books in Google Books available as paperbacks, reports The New York Times. On Demand Books is the maker of the Espresso Book Machine (EBM), a print on demand machine that can create a 300-page paperback book in under five minutes, which has been around since 2007 with an offering of 1.6 million books.

At first the EBM will be limited to offering books that are in the public domain, that is books that were published before 1923. However, if Google’s settlement with the Author’s Guild and the Association of American Publishers is approved, it could expand the number books available to the EBM by as much as 6 million. The settlement would allow Google to sell orphaned books, books that are still protected by copyright but which are out of print. Opposition exists for this settlement from people and groups who believe it would give Google a monopoly on the selling of orphaned books.

An Espresso Book Machine costs $100,000, but On Demand Books will also be leasing the machines. An EBM-printed book will sell for a recommended price of $8, from which $1 will go to On Demand Books and $1 will go to Google, who will donate the money it makes to charity.

[Image from BY-SA 2.0]

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