Printing and bookselling could fit together in various ways. For a long time there ahave been bookshops as an extension of a print operation. Cambridge University Press has a shop mostly with stock from their own titles. Most printers have had to get in stock from other sources if they wanted a shop to continue. So far there has not been much of a welcome for the Espresso and the development that Blackwell offer instant print on Charing Cross Road. I think printers could look at this again and use the publicity to investigate other possible combinations of online content and digital printing. Recent blog post by Jo Francis on the Printweek community site refers to reports that the Espresso binding may fall apart. She plans to visit Charing Cross Road within six months and check whether interest continues. I saw the final products at the London Book Fair and briefly at the Blackwell shop and I think the binding problem can be solved if it exists on any scale. Several people seemed well pleased with the result.
Looking at the detail on the reports of binding problems, it was only the first effort that fell apart on the visit by Valentine Low reported in the Times. The second one was ok so the process took 13 minutes. Paul Manning lists several problems in comment on anearlier Printweek report, but he also states that the problems could be resolved in a year or so.
The print industry has better binding equipment and suitable kit for short runs. It is still unclear what the Espresso runs will be like, especially for the originals people are asking for. There may be opportunities for print organisations to work with bookshops. Maybe there is space for more instant print on Charing Cross Road.