Bookends Offers Ground-Breaking In-Store Self-Publishing System

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In the time you may spend browsing in a bookstore for the right book, you can now publish one of your own. With advances in Print-On-Demand (POD) technology, the equipment is easy, fast, and small enough to operate in a 5,000-square-foot bookstore. Bookends, a Ridgewood, New Jersey, mainstay for two decades, recently launched BooksByBookends, which utilizes the patented InstaBook machine to print and perfect-bind 10 copies of a book, including cover, in the bookstore in less than an hour. Multiple copies of original manuscripts can be printed, as well as single copies of thousands of classics available from BooksByBookends.

Bookends' co-owner Walter Boyer talked to BTW from the store at which BooksByBookends has been up and running for about a week. BooksByBookends resulted from the collaboration of three men: Victor Celorio, inventor and print-shop entrepreneur, now head of Instabook Corporation; Timothy Harper, journalist, author, and editorial/publishing consultant; and Boyer. Credit is also due to Boyer's spouse, Pat Boyer, who purchased the store with Boyer less than two years ago.

Boyer wanted to launch BooksByBookends partly because of the fierce competition among booksellers. Within a five-mile area around Bookends, there is "a Waldens, two Borders, two B&N's -- including their largest store in the tri-state area, and quite a few other independents," Boyer explained. "As a smaller bookstore, you have to keep reinventing yourself.

"We see it as a great way to differentiate ourselves. Chains have their own labels and printing facilities. By offering thousands of classics POD, we are greatly expanding our selection without physically stocking all that inventory. And we can offer the service at a far lower cost and in much smaller print runs than the other self-publishing options." Typically, BooksByBookends charges $15 per book with a minimum of 10 books; $100 for the next 10 copies; and $75 for the next 10. An initial formatting charge of $30 to $50 is also charged. Many services -- custom cover design, editorial, copyright and ISBN registration, marketing, and distribution services are available at additional costs. Boyer plans to dedicate shelf space in the store to sell books published through BooksByBookends.

Boyer sees innumerable applications for the POD facility, including keepsakes for families, journals, collections of letters from loved ones, original poetry, town histories, church cookbooks, book proposals, graduate theses, and first novels. Printing individual copies of classics will usually cost customers under $10, often cheaper, Boyer pointed out, than purchasing the books in more conventional ways. Personalized or customized editions of classics for home libraries or gifts are easily created.

The store is hosting a launch party for BooksByBookends on Thursday, May 6, at 6:00 p.m. InstaBook inventor Victor Celorio will attend.

For more information contact, Boyer at [email protected]; Celorio at [email protected]; or Harper at [email protected].

For more information, visit the BooksByBookends Web site, at