In an effort to keep up to date with industry trends, the Brooklyn Public Library has taken a chance on a $125,000 investment. Last Wednesday, it debuted its on-demand book publishing machine, known as the Espresso Book Machine. One of two such machines found in NYC, it offers undiscovered authors a chance to self-publish their books. The machine also has a library of over seven million books that can be selected and printed in as little as three to four minutes.
New authors can submit their PDF files to the machine’s database and sell their books after paying a self-publishing fee of $149.00. The machine’s web-based software enables public domain books to be printed from various sources, such as Google Books and Random House’s collection. The software also has the ability to tally author royalties so that self-published as well as world-renowned authors receive their compensation.
This “library-in-a-box” is an excellent addition to the Brooklyn Public Library and shows that its CEO, Linda Johnson, has a clear vision of where the industry is moving. In the printing industry, we have seen Xerox machines capable of on-demand book publishing for over 10 years. But that equipment is far too large and complicated for use at a public library. The beauty of the Espresso Book Machine is the marriage of existing technology with a creative touch in robotics that turns the digital file into a completed book. The machine starts with a traditional black-and-white Xerox copy machine, which prints the book text block. At the same time, an Epson four-color inkjet printer prints up the cover. The two pieces are joined with simple robotic clamps, trimmed, and then output.
Check out the video below that explains the process.
Almost makes you want to go to the library, right?
Author: T. John Mehl