A fan who lives in Paris was visiting New York last week.

She went to the Union Square Barnes & Noble to see if she could buy my book. Because I’m an indie author and can’t afford thousands of dollars to secure shelf space, bookstores don’t keep my books in stock, though they can order them for customers who ask. The fan was about to leave disappointed (she would already have left the country when the book would be delivered) when the clerk said, “Oh! Wait. We can print one for you.”

This is a real thing: in-store print-on-demand.

It’s only available at three Barnes & Noble locations in the United States (all on the East Coast), though I’ve heard an independent book shop in the Los Angeles area has one as well. I need to investigate.

There are few aspects of daily life that really make me stop and notice that we’re living in someone’s idea of the future. This was one of them.