Historically, authors had to go traditional printing houses to get their works published. Print runs had to be in the thousands to meet economies of scale, and boxes of books ended up stacked in warehouses. An author who wanted to self-publish had to be prepared to spend thousands of dollars at least for hundreds of copies of his or her book, and then had to inventory them in the basement or garage.
New technology called Print-On-Demand changed that in the late 1990s. High-powered new presses were able to print one book at a time, and to print a handful of books for virtually the same per-book cost as a large run. A number of companies such as iUniverse, Xlibris, Lightning Sources and 1stBooks thrived by offering to make new authors’ books available for printing, usually for a relatively modest cost of several hundred dollars. Instead of warehousing authors’ books, however, the POD companies printed a copy when they received an order.
The patented InstaBook machine used by BooksByBookends is the next generation of POD, and the future of publishing. It is smaller, easier to use and even more economical than the first generation of print machines used by the large POD companies. The InstaBook is the creation of Mexican-American inventor and print-shop entrepreneur Victor Celorio, who applied for his first Print-On-Demand patent in 1995. Today his InstaBook machine uses the most advanced technology to allow printing and binding an entire book in a single step, anytime, anywhere – and usually, if an operator is available, in less than an hour.
BooksByBookends is the first Print-On-Demand service offered in any bookstore anywhere in the United States, thanks to three men working together: Victor Celorio, who now lives in Gainesville, Florida, where he heads the InstaBook Corporation; Timothy Harper, a journalist, author, and editorial/publishing consultant based at www.timharper.com; and Walter Boyer, the co-owner, with his wife Pat, of Bookends, the landmark independent bookstore in Ridgewood, New Jersey. The operations staff is headed by James Potter, the BooksByBookends manager and the director of production and design, with support from Dave Logan, the manager of the Bookends bookstore.
The InstaBook machine can precisely produce many different types and sizes of books. A wide variety of paper stock, from the standard and least expensive bond paper to glamorous or designer stock, can be successfully handled with equal precision and quality. Different cover stock offers a wide range of “look” and “feel” for book covers, both front and back.