Espresso Book Machine Aids Haiti

Three booksellers used their print-on-demand Espresso Book Machines to create copies of the Haitian Creole (Kreyol) Pocket Medical Translator for relief workers in Haiti. According to a report in the Grand Rapids Press (the local Schuler Books & Music is one of the participating stores), the project was originated by Google, which waived the fee for accessing the title and is underwriting shipping costs.

During a panel at the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute last week, booksellers talked about their experiences with the machines. Shelf Awareness reports today that they are popular for self-published works. One bookseller said people get very excited about finally seeing their book in print; “I go downstairs when I know an author is coming in so I can witness that exchange.”

This week; The Christian Science Monitor ran a post on about two Seattle-area stores that have installed the machine. One of them, Third Place Books, has a blog devoted to the store’s experiences in on-demand printing, including a visit from a group of librarians from Bainbridge Island, who “thoroughly grilled [the staff] on the EBM’s promise to books, retailing, and libraries.”

For those of you not able to grill the Third Place Books staff, they have provided a helpful FAQ on the machine. You may also want to check the  list of Espresso Book Machine locations to find one near you. The only public library on that list is New Orleans (NYPL exhibited the machine in 2007).

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