And a world without excess inventory and waste in general.
“For over a decade we have had before us a technique for publishing books called print on demand. Those who witnessed its introduction at a book expo in 1998 declared the process revolutionary. Though it’s taken a decade or so to refine the technology, they were absolutely correct. The delivery system has matured and begun to make serious inroads on the traditional one. Though representing only 2.5% of all book production in 2009, it is expected to grow at 16% per annum according to David Taylor, president of Lightning Source, the nation’s biggest POD firm. The first generation of Espresso POD machines, now being installed in libraries and bookstores, promises to expand the technology’s popularity even further. As anyone who has seen a demonstration of the Espresso can testify, the process itself is a technological miracle and will most certainly be miniaturized. It is easy to imagine a day when POD kiosks – in bookstore or non-bookstore venues – will issue books from an infinite inventory of digitally stored titles.
“But it is not just the technology that is so exciting to contemplate. It’s the business principle underlying the process that promises the invigoration and perhaps even the salvation of printed books.”
Publishing 3.0: A World without Inventory Part 1, by Richard Curtis, [e-reads], April 18, 2010
I’m glad I’m not the only one saying this. Also see the comments on the [e-reads] webpage.