Originally Posted by fjtorres
POD quality is adequate today. (If just barely)
The problem is cost; they need to bring speed and unit cost down. The two are linked, of course, since the up-front cost of the devices stops indies from getting them and the (relatively) slow speed of binding makes the unit cost high and limits appeal to the consumer.
Both are solvable given time.
Agreed on the speed and cost issue. That will solve itself as the technology advances and the demand stabilizes into a sustainable business model.
I wasn't arguing that the quality wasn't adequate for reading; I was saying that I believe POD will eventually be the ONLY way to buy most print books, and that they will eventually become a collectible "artifact" rather than something most people will actually read. In that case, the POD quality will need to be much better than adequate.
Put more simply, I think there is a POD middle-ground between the stunning limited editions put out by companies like Charnel House that often cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars and the standard hardcover/dust jacket paradigm that has existed for so long.