Hewlett Packard, a long-time industry leader in printing, introduced two new business models at this year’s BookExpo. The first was very similar to OnDemand Books’ Espresso Business Machine, in which individual titles of books can be printed, bound, and covered on-site in any location that it services with the HP product. While this model may not be ideal for every retail bookseller, both formats are gaining popularity with smaller, independent bookstores that cannot afford to carry or store a large stock, as well as academic and campus bookstores that need to meet the proportionally small consumer demand for very specific titles.
The second methodology behind HP’s new design is the ability to preserve older, out-of-print texts by creating exact copies of the original and then treating those digital copies as any other print-on-demand title. The software that makes it possible to preserve an out-of-print book in this way allows for the choice between original text or updated and error-correction print to reflect current language conventions, as well resizing and reformatting of the texts to eliminate the page numbers that would not be compatible with increased or decreased font size on e-reader devices.
Additionally, once the text is preserved, it can now be stored and remain available as an electronic text, ready for distribution to any of the platforms that are compatible with the industry standard EPUB. The preserved titles can also be read for free on the HP website.