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Down the Rabbit Hole with the Espresso Book Machine

Published in IPNE newsletter, June 2010 A group of fifteen IPNE members visited Harvard Book Store on June 4th, to witness the digital revolution turn yesterday’s “gentleman’s business” of publishing into everyman’s global printing press. The Espresso Book Machine (EBM), squired into reality by Jason Epstein, inventor of the trade paperback book in 1952, has the footprint of a large Xerox machine, featuring

Volcanic Consequences

Our trip to London Book Fair was scotched because of the Icelandic volcano, cancelling our rights and other business meetings we had scheduled. However, it appears that the once-perceived-to-be-flagging BEA later this month will enjoy a boost in business, as many globally-based companies who couldn’t make the London fair still perceive f2f as the best way to do business,

In Context: Factory Trawlers vs. Wooden Dories

Today we sent to the printer our latest book, Dr. John Morris’s Alone at Sea: Gloucester in the Age of the Dorymen (1623-1939) (Commonwealth Editions, Beverly, Mass.). Stunningly beautiful, thoroughly researched, and comprehensive (448 pages with 76 period photographs and maps), the book chronicles America’s premier fishing port during the age of sail — starting with Morris’s

interRAI Pioneers New Medical Publishing Model

The interRAI organization, a nonprofit founded in 1994, serves geriatric and disabled populations around the world with their health care instruments for evaluation and assessment of health care. OBS puts our publishing expertise to work in helping populate and manage their internet portal for the new suite of 15 medical publications — manuals and forms for each

Pedagogical Interface (PI)

It seems to me that a Pedagogical Interface (PI) will prove to be a primary outcome of online publishing. Since the 1990s, publishers have gotten very good at using the internet as an infinite library of digits, a gigantic distribution pipe with a cash register at every possible outlet, an immediate means to access everyone

Indies and the Human Interface

I attended my first New England Independent Booksellers (NEIBA) conference in Hartford the other weekend, where many participants bemoaned the drop in the number of attendees. Some said the show used to be twice as big, say ten years ago, when there were many more independent bookstores. Apparently it was much more vital then, before

Google Settlement Causes International Ruckus

“Americans shoot first, ask questions later,” said the moderator of one panel discussion on the Google settlement held at this week’s Frankfurt Book Fair, reflecting widespread sentiment among non-US-based publishers and agents. “You Americans are all asleep,” noted one agent to me. “Why are you allowing this takeover of the publishing industry by a .com