HP boosts focus on out-of-print books

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HP boosts focus on out-of-print books

Hewlett-Packard is stepping up its out-of-print book publishing business and taking on Google.

The U.S. computer behemoth announced Wednesday that it has teamed up with the University of Michigan to offer print versions of more than 500,000 books that are no longer in print in the school’s library.

The Palo Alto, California-based firm said it will make high-quality print copies from high-resolution scans of books in the university collection.

“People around the world still value reading books in print,” said Andrew Bolwell, HP’s director for new business initiatives.

The books will be available for purchase through online retail giant Amazon and other outlets including HP’s own BookPrep.com, which already offers public domain volumes.

Hewlett-Packard said it is “collaborating with the university to eliminate barriers and increase access to content as part of an ongoing effort to make the concept of ‘out of print’ a thing of the past.”

Paul Courant, dean of libraries at the University of Michigan, said the partnership with HP is part of an effort to “provide broad access to works that have previously been hard to find outside the walls of our library.”

Google, which is making digital copies of millions of books, announced its own partnership last month with a company behind a high-speed book-printing machine.

The Internet giant and On Demand Books, maker of the Espresso Book Machine, said the deal will allow more than 2 million books in the public domain to be turned into instant paperbacks. AFP
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