After spending 5 years scanning books, Google (GOOG) is about to produce some tangible results. It is getting into the business of printing books.
In conjunction with On Demand Books, Google will make 2 million out of copyright books available to public for around $8 a piece.
On Demand makes the Espresso Book Machine, a $100,000 machine which prints and binds a 300 page book in less than 5 minutes.
Google will keep a dollar from each book sold. On Demand gets a buck. The retailer gets three bucks and the rest covers materials and labour. Google will donate its money from book sales to charities and non-profits.
Google’s big book scanning project is under fire from its digital rivals, like Amazon, who fear Google would be able to undermine its e-book efforts. This partnership is being used to show that Google’s project can benefit the public.