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Angus & Robertson winds down POD book machine

Monday, 18 January 2010
By Print21

Readers fail to engage with Australia’s first Espresso Book Machine at Angus & Robertson, Melbourne.

The much-hyped machine, which was launched in September 2008, was recently removed from Angus & Robertson’s Bourke Street store in Melbourne. Patrick Gaskin, business development director at RedGroup Retail said that the decision to take the machine out of the store was due to logistics. “Space is at a premium in that store so the EBM was removed to make room for Christmas trade,” he said.

Staff from the Bourke Street store said that the machine had been moved to a warehouse. Currently, there is no option for anyone wanting to purchase or print any of the 100-plus books previously offered by Angus & Robertson.

“We will have a print on demand solution available again via our website within the next six months,” said Gaskin. “This would cater to self-publishing and the printing of out-of-print titles.”

Much of the attraction to the EBM was its novelty value. When Print21 visited the store in 2008, former assistant manager, Lauren Thompson said that: “A lot of people who come in are just interested in seeing how the book is made.”

The quality of the books printed, however, was disappointing. After paying $30 for one title, Print21 received a book with a chipped spine, off-centre titles and text that was almost too faint to read. A problem with the EBM also meant that the book had to be printed twice.

When it was launched, 50 EBMs were expected to be installed throughout Australia and New Zealand.

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