Electronic books are more flexible than paper books. For readers not comfortable with electronic systems, there will still exist bookstores similar to those existing today, but these bookstores can carry hundreds more titles than they can carry today because they need only one copy of each. Customers can browse through this copy as they do today, then have an electronic copy delivered to them if they decide to buy.
For example, to cater to those customers who dislike electronic distribution or lack display technology, publishers can license their list to retailers and have them produce paper books in the retail outlet on demand. The Kodak Lionheart 1392 costs $199,000 and prints 92 two-sided 300 dots per inch (dpi) pages a minute; the Xerox DocuTech Production Publisher costs $220,000 and prints 135 two-sided 600 dpi pages a minute--it can also collate, saddle stitch, and cover the documents .
If these prices are too high for one publisher or retailer a consortium of publishers could buy (or lease) printers with each retailer. These on-demand retailers will save on most of the costs of contemporary retailers, so publishers may be justified in charging high licensing fees.
This practice may persist, but since electronic books will grow out of the linear text-and-pictures format (it is restrictive and no longer necessary), these customers will be getting only the flat form of the book. Further, licensing also works if the retailer produces books on disc, not paper. So another possible distribution scheme is book dispenser machines like movie dispenser machines or ATMs, where the user inserts a disc, has books downloaded to it, and pays for the downloaded books with a credit card .