For many years I’ve been touting the potential for the Espresso Book Machine, and I continue to believe it will be the wave of the future, and perhaps not too far out. So far, however, this machine that will publish a single paperback with a four-color cover for around $35 has not taken off. My prediction is, as more and more brick and mortar bookstores continue the trend of not renewing their leases, this exotic copier and its counterpart collating machine will begin showing up in coffee shops in the way that the latter are now showing up in bookstores.
And I believe there will be an economy of scale that will allow the cost to go down for even individual, single-print books. Who knows, maybe a 3-D printer will someday manufacture a book? The machine downloads the manuscript, formats it, and presents the finished book right along with the desired cover in minutes. I know, this is “Beam me aboard, Scotty!” stuff. But even though the publishing scenario I just described might seem far-fetched, I’m of the opinion this will be coming to fruition sooner rather than later.