Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Savvy Self-Publisher, June-July 2008


Blackwell's, a leading British bookseller, will soon start
printing books on demand in its stores while customers wait:,,2286818,00.html

The Espresso Book Machine can store up to 400,000 titles in
digital form, whether or not the books are on the shelves.
Compare this to a "Superstore" with 100,000 to 200,000 books
in stock.

When a customer requests an EBM title, the device prints a book at
a speed of 40-80 pages per minute while the buyer waits, perhaps
browsing books on the shelves or enjoying a cup of coffee.

This isn't just good business; it has profound implications on
the future of bookselling. Most notably, Blackwell's stores
will be able to offer vast numbers of books that would otherwise
be out-of-print or out-of-stock. This relieves today's unhealthy
pressure to stock only hot new titles -- often at the expense of
books with legitimate literary merit but less commercial appeal.

Until now, POD has relied on a few remote printing facilities
that ship books to stores a day or two after they are ordered.
This is much better than filling warehouses with mountains of
unsold books in the vague hope that someone will buy them --
but it lacks the power of instant gratification afforded by
the EBM's partnership with a major bookseller like Blackwell's.

As early as 1999, when POD was in its infancy, Poynter and
Snow predicted that in-store POD could one day become the
"silver bullet" that combines the best of both worlds: the
huge economic advantage of avoiding unsold inventory, in
combination with instant, in-store availability.

Imagine a world where every worthwhile book ever written
is available in minutes at your local bookstore! This
dream is now an important step closer to real life,
following this possibly historic announcement. FMI:

Additional News for June-July 2008

Big Freebies -- Exclusively for Readers!

Upload your book for printing in paperback or hardback via the
link below and get $45 in FRE-E search engine ads, courtesy of

At the location above you can also join the Small Publishers
Association of North America at 70% below the standard $115
membership fee. That's a full year for just $34.50. SPAN's
"members only" resources are easily worth MANY TIMES the
reduced enrollment fee, exclusively for readers.

ABA Launches New Web Site

A new Web site,, will serve as a gateway for
independent booksellers, writers, publishers and more. It
features The Indie Next List ("Great Reads From Booksellers
You Trust") and the Indie Bestseller List. Just opened, it
will add more content and community-building features in the
coming months.

e-Book News

Simon & Schuster has become the latest publisher to sign on with
LibreDigital to provide digital distribution of its books:

Pacific Crest analyst Steve Weinstein argues that global e-book
sales at Amazon could reach $2.5 billion by the year 2012:

Bulk Sales of Your Book

Premium Book Company sells non-fiction books to non-bookstore
buyers - on a commission-only, non-returnable basis. PBC will
place your book in a catalog that goes to 1800 sales people who
sell to corporations, associations, schools, etc. The set-up fee
is $200 for the first title. PBC buys books from you 1,000 or
more at a time at 60% off the list price to fill orders. The
deadline for inclusion in the catalog is July 11:

Bonus: use the promotional code "SNOW" and get a $25 discount
on the setup fee, while we get a commission!

Please feel free to forward copies of this bulletin to your
fellow authors and publishers. This is a fre@ resource that is
available to anyone in the book world upon request. We don't
accept paid advertising, endorse or guarantee products or
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disclosure. Please visit to subscribe.

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Snow Interviewed by co-author Danny O. Snow was interviewed by Amanda
Beals at on June 20 about takeover news between
Microsoft, Yahoo and Google:

"Automatic Writing" excerpted from The

When a professor invents a machine that writes books, and then
uses that machine to write more than 200,000 different books,
there arises the question, "Why?"

Philip M. Parker, a professor of management science at Insead,
the international business school based in Fontainebleau, France,
patented what he calls a "method and apparatus for automated
authoring and marketing". Turn to page 16 of his patent, and
you will see him answer the "Why?" question.

Parker quotes a 1999 complaint by the Economist that publishing
"has continued essentially unchanged since Gutenberg. Letters
are still written, books bound, newspapers printed and
distributed much as they ever were."

"Therefore," says Parker, "there is a need for a method and
apparatus for authoring, marketing, and/or distributing title
materials automatically by a computer."

The book-writing machine works simply, at least in principle.
First, one feeds it a recipe for writing a particular genre of
book - a tome about crossword puzzles, say, or a market outlook
for products. Then hook the computer up to a big database full
of info about crossword puzzles or market information. The
computer uses the recipe to select data from the database and
write and format it into book form.

Nothing but the title need actually exist until somebody orders
a copy. At that point, a computer assembles the book's content
and prints up a single copy.

Among Parker's bestselling books (as ranked by
one finds surprises.

His fifth-best seller is Webster's Albanian to English
Crossword Puzzles: Level 1.

No 21: The 2007 Import and Export Market for Seaweeds and
Other Algae in France.

The 2007-2012 Outlook for Chinese Prawn Crackers in Japan
is Parker's 66th-best seller.

Full story and related links: