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October 31, 2011

I would like to draw your attention to Mississippi Fred MacDowell’s thorough review of (which recently lowered its prices) in conjunction with  (Note:  A sefer [plural: seforim] is a Jewish religious book, usually in Hebrew.)

MFM republished פני תבל and received his hard copy (including shipping time) in a week.  The price of the 292 page book was $8.99 for a paperback and $16.99 for a hard cover.

MFM had previously reviewed the Espresso Book Machine [EBM] service in conjunction with Google Books.

His summary:

[Both the hardcover and paperback] books printed very nicely. The only difference was that the hardcover printed on a very white paper which was a little less nice than the softcover, which printed on a more cream colored paper that was pleasing to my eyes. Paper stock was fine in both cases. Both bindings were excellent – in fact superior to the EBM product (which is certainly very adequate)….

So what’s the bottom line? There’s nothing to complain about. It’s possible that EBM’s prices are a bit better. If that’s the case, then if you see a volume of the Aruch Hashalem that you want to print, by all means go through Google. But for tens of thousand of seforim which are on but not Google Books – there is every reason to feel confident about using reprints (via ). It would be too much flattery to give it more than the 8 out of 10, which is what I rated EBM, but I’m almost tempted to give it a 9 simply because of how impressive it is that a small business with much creativity and technical prowess can produce a result as good as a much-hyped invention partnered with a corporate entity

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