The number of outlets selling books and the number of titles they offer is about to grow exponentially through two new On Demand Books partnerships, one with Eastman Kodak and a second with ReaderLink Distribution Services. Kodak is working with On Demand to integrate the Espresso Book Machine, currently available in only a handful of bookstores and libraries, with the KODAK Picture Kiosk at 105,000 locations worldwide. The integrated kiosks, which will begin to go live late this year in the U.S., will have more than 7 million books available through On Demand. The kiosks will also have the capability to handle self-published books.
At the same time, On Demand is partnering with ReaderLink (formerly Levy) to bring book machines to more than 24,000 retail outlets—primarily drugstores, groceries, and mass merchandisers. One pilot with a major chain could launch before Christmas, according to On Demand spokesperson Karina Mikhli. In addition, ReaderLink has committed to help On Demand get more frontlist title for the book machines, both commercial and midlist content.
There are still a number of kinks to be worked out, including integrating software between the book machine and the KODAK Picture Kiosks, as well as using the kiosks’ touch screen to search for available titles. In the short term the kiosks may use laptops for searches. One advantage that the kiosks offer is the ability to print four-color interiors and photo books for the first time. This is a feature that On Demand would like to be able to add for its other book machine clients over time, said Mikhli. On Demand will train a dedicated staffer to operate the book machines at the kiosks and other retail locations.
“Our partnership with On Demand Books delivers exciting new capabilities to consumers and retailers, and is a great example of Kodak’s focus on bringing innovation to the market,” said Laura Quatela, president of Kodak. “Consumers will enjoy getting from our valued retail partners immediate delivery of a whole new offering of high-quality photo books, as well as a broad library of book titles. In addition, our retail partners will have new avenues for increased revenue as they expand their photo book sales in-store and deliver a massive list of book titles to their customers instantly.”
Dane Neller, CEO of On Demand added, “We are thrilled to be able to work with ReaderLink and our publisher partners to bring a broad list of book titles to Kodak’s vast, worldwide retail footprint. . . . We envision an integrated solution that can substantially redefine the publishing industry and bring exciting new solutions to customers.”