The Brooklyn Public Library’s newest espresso machine doesn’t serve coffee. Instead, the Espresso Book Machine prints paperbacks on demand.
Linda Johnson, BPL’s president and CEO, told The Wall Street Journal that when she started looking for a book machine last year, the price $125,000 price tag was too high.
But On Demand Books, manufacturers of the Espresso machine, agreed to install it in the library at no cost and have their staff maintain and operate it. The machine’s database contains eight million books, most of them in the public domain.
Dane Neller, On Demand’s CEO, said that authors can print new works as well. “If you can basically sit at your computer and create the digital file, you don’t have to worry about logistics,” he told The Wall Street Journal.
Manhattan’s McNally Jackson Books acquired an Espresso Book Machine last year. Their users are typically authors, photographers, graphic designers and other artists seeking to publish their own work independently.
Self-publishers can take advantage of McNally Jackson’s expertise and pay anywhere from $100 to $300 for help with formatting, cover and interior book design. The BPL also offers a consulting package for $149.
Author Kate Milford is self-publishing a companion novella to her second novel, The Broken Lands, which will be published by Clarion Books in September. Author Cory Doctorow created a series of children’s books that allow readers to pick one of four covers. The titles will eventually be available on demand at every Espresso Book Machine.