For some time Electric Book Works has been working on their Paperight service, and they’ve recently started a blog to offer some insight into the process and what Paperight is about. The first post explains what Paperight is. From the post:
First, what problem are we trying to solve? In most developing countries, book stores are rare, especially in rural areas. And computing and Internet access are still not accessible enough for most people, so ebooks aren’t going to solve this problem soon. But, there are tens of thousands of photocopiers in businesses and institutions in these places. We can solve this problem by letting them print books out, and pay the publishers a rights fee to do so. Publishers have been selling print-distribution rights to businesses abroad for ages – Paperight just makes that process really easy and quick.
So, Paperight turns any copy shop into a book shop. Anyone with a computer and a printer can register as a Paperight copy shop and purchase licences to print and sell books. Publishers can add books and reach markets that conventional book distribution can’t. The publisher picks the countries they want to distribute to, and can set rights fees that decrease over time as a copy shop buys further licences.