I'm currently in Chicago at Graph Expo 2010 where later today I'll be giving a luncheon keynote talk about my experiences with the Espresso Book Machine.
An executive from Xerox contacted me a little while ago after seeing my talk from BookNet Canada Tech Forum that I did with Hugh McGuire (and which you can watch online) and asked if I could come down to give the same talk at Graph Expo. (Perfect timing, of course, for the news that Xerox and On Demand Books have teamed up to expand the reach of the Espresso Book Machines.
I'm quite eager to see more of this technology make it to more bookstores everywhere. While it seems simple, the ability to produce a book within minutes right on the spot at the point of sale is a revolutionary technology that can allow a small bricks and mortar bookstore an opportunity to discover an entirely new revenue stream while preparing itself for the perfect bridge between digital and print: books distributed digitally and produced locally on demand at the point of purchase -- this is a significant improvement in the book industry supply chain where publishers and bookstores lose millions of dollars each year warehousing, shipping, then pulping books.
Last March, when I was honoured to appear on stage beside Hugh McGuire as we talked about Trailblazing: Leading the Way to a New Kind of Supply Chain, I got to use a little bit of "potty" humour by throwing up a slide of a toilet. And though I've modified my deck of slides for the talk I'll be giving at noon today, I knew I just had to keep the toilet shot in there.
There are simply some jokes that I just can't resist using.
But in all honesty, I'm rather excited to be at this Expo to get a chance to check out some of the great new technology that merge printing and digital like never before (I've heard that this is the first year at Graph Expo in which there are no offset print displays set up -- that everything being showcased is digital) as well as to share some of the wonderful experiences I have had as a bookseller using an Espresso Book Machine.
This is an exciting time in our industry, a marvellous merger and collaboration between authoring / publishing / printing / distributing / bookselling, and these are definitely exciting times to be a bookseller.