Google and On Demand Books have reportedly struck up a deal that will allow readers to print their own copies of rare, out of print titles.
On Demand Books is the company responsible for Esspresso Book Machines, kiosks that allow you to print "library quality" books in approximately five minutes. If there is any truth to the deal, readers will soon be able to walk into any store that has an Esspresso Book Machine and print any of the millions of books available through Google online. For just $8 the machine will churn out a single book at a rate of 145 pages per minute.
Google has already scanned and digitized millions of out of print books, and a deal like this could bring these books back into print for those who just can't stand reading ebooks on a screen. CNet reports that On Demand Books brought one of their machines to Google's Mountain View HQ earlier this week to show Googlers how it all works.
If you're wondering how the aforementioned $8 is divided, word has it Google keeps $1, On Demand keeps $1, $3 goes towards manufacturing and labor and the last $3 goes to the store where you printed the book. Given that the machines can cost between $75,000 and $97,000 depending on configuration, it's easy to see why there aren't more in the world. Most of them currently reside in universities or libraries.
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Image credit: CNet News