The Espresso Book Machine at McNally Robinson Booksellers (CBC)
Imagine printing a book in the time it takes to brew a cup of coffee - and it's caffeine free, to boot.
McNally Robinson Booksellers has installed the Espresso Book Machine to print paperback books on demand, in about 4 minutes. There are only eleven machines in Canada and this is the first one in Manitoba.
Initially the bookstore thought it would be aimed primarily at self published authors who only wished to print a limited number of books. But the machine can also make physical copies of out-of-print books and public domain titles.
There are also many unconventional ways the print-on-demand machine can be utilized. For example, author Karen Emilson is reprinting a book she wrote long ago.
Karen tells her story to SCENE:
"Where Children Run was released 15 years ago and it was quite a success. It's the story of twin brothers, David and Dennis Pischke, from Moosehorn, MB, who had an unstable stepfather. So it's an abuse survival story.
"It sold really well, but years went on and it eventually went out of print. But David Pischke made me promise that I would never let the book go out of print. Then he died unexpectedly and so I've been feeling guilty that I haven't done something. When I heard about this machine I thought that's an excellent option. So I've decided to go with this. I am getting a small traditional print run and I'm going to turn it into an e-book, as well. It's the perfect thing for what I'm looking at doing.
"I'm excited. I still get requests for the book. So now's a good time to re-do it. It will come out instantly - no wait - people can take it home for Christmas.
"What really benefits me is it takes away a lot of the administrative work because they take care of it for me. So I don't have to be shipping out books and bringing them in here. This helps to streamline that process for me so that I can keep writing, instead of doing accounting bookwork all the time."
The Espresso Book Machine was invented by Thor Sigvaldason. Listen to an interview with him on Information Radio on Dec. 14 at 7:40 a.m.
See how the machine works: