Book Vending Machine Gives New Meaning to Self-Publishing

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For those that still prefer to buy their books in print-form, retailer Books-A-Million has debuted a new way for consumers to get their paperback fix: a book vending machine. 

Dubbed the Espresso Book Machine (though it doesn’t serve up any caffeinated drinks), it can print out any of nearly seven million titles between 5”x5” and 8”x10” and ranging from 50 to 600 pages. One unique feature, though, is the self-publishing options. Consumers and aspiring writers can upload their digital reams of short stories, novels, family histories and images to the machine that can be arranged and printed on the spot.[more]

The first two machines will be installed in Birmingham, Al. (the company’s homebase) and in Portland, Me., according to the Birmingham Business Journal. It remains to be seen how many of BAM’s more than 250 stores in 33 states will receive Espresso Book Machines, but those that print their materials through the machine “can share their works through the international EBM sales channel,” All Alabama reports

“Through this process, Books-A-Million customers can simply search online or in the store for that elusive title, and then leave the store with their perfect-bound paperback in less time than it takes to make and enjoy a caramel macchiato,” said Mary Gallagher, senior vice president of merchandising at BAM, in a press release.

Of course, that depends on who is making the caramel macchiato.

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