I am quite literally at this moment having a tea in front of what looks like what would result if Bane from Batman were actually a villainous xerox machine, and he's just bulked up to three times his muscle mass in blocky gray plastic and monitor screens on swivel arms.
There's a dude sitting on the floor opposite, fiddling with a screwdriver and occasionally hopping up to check one of the monitors. Boxes of recycled blank printing paper line the wall under the magazine racks. So clearly this is a brand new thing.
And it is, as I'm sure you're aware, super-exciting. This is it, the future is here! Print-On-Demand publishing is sitting right in front of me. It has a little sign hanging above it what says [For custom publishing, make an appointment with our editor.]
I can see the fantastic future, and it's right here now. As these clunky beasts get faster, cheaper, and easier to run, they get installed in bookstores the world over. Books in the public domain are now only as expensive as the paper they're printed on and the ink they use.
Too, newsboyhat painted a corporate picture for this: a publishing world in which the companies sell the electronic file of a book like it's a song on iTunes. The bookstore sells a copy, pays the publisher, and prints the book all at once.
Less waste, more choice. Indie empowerment.
Feels good, you guys. Feels right.
Now if the tech guy can just get it up and running.