The Espresso Book Machine uses a variety of technologies to produce books on demand. Here are some frequently asked questions from the creator's Web site.
What is EspressNet?
The Espresso Book Machine (the "EBM") is essentially an ATM for books. Using digital files, it automatically prints, binds and trims, on demand at point of sale, perfect-bound, library-quality paperback books with full-color covers. These books are indistinguishable from other books found in a bookstore or library.
EspressNet is the custom software system that connects the EBM to a vast network of content as well as to other EBMs. It enables books to be ordered and printed on-site at the EBM or remotely via the Internet. It tracks sales, remits all publisher/author royalties and uses industry-standard encryption methods.
How many titles are available through the EBM network?
ODB's growing digital library includes nearly 2 million titles (pending publisher permission). ODB's most significant catalog is Lightning Source, with nearly 1 million in-copyright titles from over 6,500 publishers. ODB also has access to more than 1 million public domain books through the Open Content Alliance, as well as to additional titles through numerous individual publishers.
How do customers select books to print?
Users can access the EspressNet catalog of titles either on site at the EBM or remotely via the Internet. Book files can also be printed in person from CDs, flash drives, etc.
How do users select an item? Can they also do it remotely, from their own computer?
Users can access the EspressNet digital library and order a book on site or remotely, via the Internet. Book files can also be printed in person from CDs, flash drives, etc.
Can we create digital files of anything a user might want to print? It doesn't just have to be a book, right?
The EBM will print, bind and trim absolutely anything that a laser printer can print. Customers have used the EBM to print journals with personalized covers and lined pages, technical manuals and report collections.
How many books can the EBM produce?
A single machine operating 12 hours a day, seven days a week, can produce more than 60,000 books per year with minimum supervision.