Beginning in the first quarter of 2011, Xerox will move into print-on-demand publishing in a bigger way through an expanded relationship with On Demand Books, creator of the Espresso Book Machine. While the Xerox 4112 will continue to serve as printer for the EBM, the Fortune 500 company will now market, sell, lease, and service the rechristened machine, co-branded as the Espresso Book Machine, a Xerox Solution. The “solution” includes both hardware and On Demand’s EspressNet software that connects to the machine and enables it to print a library-quality paperback book at point of sale in a few minutes.

With its 4,000-person sales force, Xerox could significantly extend On Demand’s reach and its vision of making any book ever written available as a printed book for consumers. “Certainly they are going to take us to the next level,” said On Demand CEO Dane Neller, who is looking to Xerox to help On Demand overcome the chicken-and-egg problem faced by many startups. Currently there are close to 50 EBMs in bookstores and libraries worldwide. McNally Jackson in New York City and Flintbridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse in La Cañada Flintbridge, Calif., are among the bookstores slated to add machines later this year.

“For independent bookstores, the EBM is an extraordinary technology,” said Jeff Mayersohn, owner of Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Mass. “And now the added value Xerox brings will help us secure new business while satisfying book enthusiasts instantly.”

In other news, On Demand is in the midst of readying a new edition, version 2.2. The fundamental footprint will remain the same as that of its predecessor. But rather than being raised up, the printer will sit on the floor next to the machine.