The Espresso Book Machine
I never developed a hankering for Espresso Coffees, preferring my java John Wayne style—strong and black, with no cream or sugar. On the hand, I developed a strong hankering for the Espresso Book Machine from the first time I encountered one in 2007. The Espresso Book Machine has become the cutting edge technology for the Print on Demand (POD) publishing industry and may add new life to the printed book industry, making it competitive once more with e-Book publishers.
- How it all begun.
- What does the Espresso Book Machine mean for the reading public?
- What does the Espresso Book Machine mean for the writer?
- There will be one coming to your library, bookstore, or copy shop soon.
How it all begun.
Jason Epstein, the winner of the 2007 Philolexian Award for Distinguished Literary Achievement, gave a series of lectures in 1999 about his experiences in publishing. Epstein mentioned in his speech that a future was possible in which customers would be able to print an out-of-stock title on the spot, if a book-printing machine could be made that would fit in a store. Jeff Marsh, a St Louis engineer and inventor, had already constructed a prototype book printer that could both photocopy and book-bind. A friend of Jeff Marsh was present at one of Epstein's lectures, and informed Epstein of Marsh's invention. The editor together with Dane Neller, former President and CEO of Dean and Deluca, licensed Marsh's invention and founded On Demand Books. The first non-beta machine was installed in the New York City Public Library's Science, Industry and Business Library on June 21, 2007. That was when I first encountered the Espresso Book Machine and its principals. Today, the Espresso Book Machine can be found in over 50 libraries, bookstores, and other retail outlets throughout the world.
What does the Espresso Book Machine mean for the reading public?
For the reader it is a Print-on-Demand (POD) system that will allow you to order and print out a copy of even the rarest, out of print titles and have a copy in your hand in a matter of minutes, and at bargain basement prices. In the past we have had to scour the rare bookshops for copies of rare ans out-of-print titles and have had to pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars for a copy if we were lucky enough to find one. With the Espresso Book Machine, you can have the same book for what you would expect to pay for a modern trade paperback book. Currently there is a $5 base fee plus $0.045 per page to print any book with a full-color cover and black and white pages. There volume discounts available if you want to print out a large number of copies of the same book.
What does the Espresso Book Machine mean for the writer?
For the writer, it means that we can take our book, saved as a pdf file on a thumb-drive to any Espresso Book Machine location and print out as many copies of our book that we would like to at the same low price of $5.00 plus $0.045 per page. Now that is an offer that no self publishing author can refuse.
There will be one coming to your library, bookstore, or copy shop soon.
At $125,000 to $150,000 a pop these book vending machines are not in every business owner's budget, but the cost of the machines will go down as more machine go into operation. Right now, here in the United Stats, EBMs are available at the World Bank Infoshop in Washington, DC. Additional EBMs are available at the New Orleans Public Library, the Boxcar and Caboose Bookstore in St. Johnsbury, Vermont, the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont and the Open Content Alliance in San Francisco. Other locations include the University of Missouri, the Harvard Book Store, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Washington Bookstore in Seattle, Third Place Books in Seattle, the University of Michigan Shapiro Undergraduate Library, the University of Arizona Bookstore, the Brigham Young University Bookstore and the Grace Mellman Community Library (part of the Riverside County Library System, Riverside County, California). Mizzou Media at the University of Missouri operates an Espresso Book Machine version 2.0. There is a concession model of the Espresso Book Machine 2.2 located within the Darien Library in Darien, Connecticut.