The Espresso Book Machine was the invention of the On Demand Books company. Originally it was aimed at the library and bookstore market and the machine works independently of a publisher and is compact enough to fit in most reasonably sized retail bookstores. The machine works by utilising a book’s electronic PDF file from a database. The first ever Espresso Book Machine was installed and demonstrated on June 21 2007 at the New York Public Library and a handful of bookstores in the US now have the machine. Newsstand claims to have already printed some 500+ titles in perfect bound paperback since it made use of the first machine last October.
Newsstand is confident that it will be able to create a demand for ‘on the spot’ printed books and is planning to charge £10 for a standard paperback version and £14 for a large print book. With more publishers signing up with Newsstand, the database should increase but prices may vary. Blackwell Books, also based in the UK, had hoped to be the first company to install these machines last summer, but following delays their first installed machine will not appear until spring of this year at its bookstore in Charing Cross, London.