I did the coolest thing the other day – I took myself on a little solo “class trip” to the Flintridge/La Canada (California) Bookstore and Coffeehouse (1010 Foothill Blvd.) to see their newly renovated book store (after it got hit by a truck!) and to visit their Espresso Book Machine (see photo). The Espresso Book Machine (EBM) is a machine that prints, binds and trims bookstore quality books (including front and back color covers) at a low cost. It prints directly from digital files in minutes (depending on the number of pages in the book) and you end up with a “proof” copy that looks and feels just like a book you’d buy off the shelf. There are only two of these Espresso Book Machines in Southern California, and the one at this lovely bookstore and coffee shop is the latest version of it.
Here’s the beauty of the EBM for self-published writers — for as little as $99 (there are various priced packages), you can have your book set up (made print-ready from your files) and then you get your proof copy which is a terrific way for an author to see how their book looks and reads, and a good way to find typos! If you want to order additional proof copies, you can do so. It costs between $7 and $17 for books from 100 to 500 pages. Authors can also send “proof” copies to people in order to get peer reviews, or get “blurbs” and testimonials, or get actual book reviews which they can excerpt and use in the book or on the back cover. You can upload corrections (for an additional set-up fee) and then publish final copies. Because of the cost per book using the EBM, you may decide not to publish your book in bulk this way, but to get proof copies or order just a few books to have on hand, it’s great. (I’ll be talking about other publishing options in this blog). I find it exciting that there are so many choices now for writers that didn’t exist even five years ago — and the EBM is one of them. To find out more about this particular EBM, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can Google “Espresso Book Machine” for articles and information about other uses of the EBM. It’s fun stuff!