Gate Keepers and Publishers: Out with the old and in with the new
Here is an article discussing a store in NYC that has its own book printing machine.
Here is a direct link to the specific book printing machine mentioned in the article.
Here is a video showing the actual production of a book with this machine.
I would like to see a version of this machine in every library in the country. Then, I would like to see every book in existence converted into digital form and made available for personal printing. This may seem like an impossible task but it really is not. A reasonable number of automated book scanners (they exist, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-oOXXpxzETA) could very easily achieve this goal.
Now, using the library of congress as a central hub, we should create a massive digital database of every book in existence and connect each public library up to to this database through the Internet. There are many options for the pricing of books printed in this manner but for an off the top of my head example I feel that something like the following would work.
By cutting out the middle man (the publishing companies) we can potentially improve profit for the producers while providing easier access and a wider selection for the consumer. For example, lets work out the numbers for a middle sized novel.
Yay for efficiency.
Let me know what you think in the comments!
Also, take a look at my thoughts on copyright here: http://lofalexandria.blogspot.com/2011/09/my-thoughts-on-copyright.html