|Grant and The Espresso Machine's inner workings...|
|....and the control panel|
Grant treated us to a talk and demonstration of the bookstore’s new Espresso Book Machine. It’s an amazing machine, printing and binding a finished book in approximately five minutes from loading paper to finished book, complete with shiny color cover—virtually identical to a paperback book from Random House or HarperCollins. Grant had to learn the ins and outs of the book machine with only eight hours of instruction, and now is able to both operate and repair it. There is very little room for error, but he now feels comfortable with its intricate and precise workings. His talk was very interesting and informative.
The book machine can print books from the bookstore database, offering millions of in-copyright and public-domain titles. For self published books, the bookstore offers a range of development prices and options, from formatting content to obtaining an ISBN and copyright. Pricing per book (beyond the initial printed proof) depends on the page count and choice of paper—cream is heavier, and more expensive. Book dimensions (which range from minimum 4.5” x 5” to 8.125” x 11”) are dependent on page count also, as more pages make a thicker spine which takes up more of the cover. And they’ll print one book, or hundreds.
|The finished product!|
For a self published book you can supply your own cover art, blurbs and your choice of font by sending all the information in a Word file. Grant will supply formatting guidelines. The cover can be in color but the bookstore’s machine at present cannot print the interior in color, though hopefully that will be an added feature next year. Grant can work locally or even long distance to complete custom projects. My fellow blogger Lupe, on Pen and Ink, has also written about Grant’s presentation and more information is available from the bookstore. Grant can be reached there at email@example.com.
Watching the book machine at work was fascinating, and I’m happy that one is located in the Flintridge area of Los Angeles. And even though I have no plans to self-publish at present, I’ve found myself toying with the idea of other personal printed projects—family genealogy, my European diaries, the text blocks for my sister’s hand bound books. There are lots of fun ideas floating around!
Ideally, now (according to On Demand Books’ Dane Neller) ‘no book need ever go out of print and books in any language can be available anywhere in the world.’