Over the last year, our two ABC Espresso Book Machines have printed and bound more than 150 self-published titles, plus countless books from the On Demand Books & Google Books database. That’s hundreds of works – and heaven knows how many actual books – that would only have existed in bits and bytes, or in the hearts and minds of their authors before the easy and affordable EBM came along.
We’ve been endlessly amazed by the number of different uses people have come up with for our book machines – from school assignments and dissertations, to history books and travelogues, and even art books! We’ve been talking to some of the very first people to use the continent’s first Espresso Book Machines, to find out about their experiences of writing and printing their own book.
We talked to Jeroen Nan about his unusual route to the Espresso Book Machine.
Tell us about your book: what is it? How did you come to write it?
My book, ‘Verzameld Werk’, is a collection of things I’ve written over the years. Short stories, poetry and blogs. It contains some things that I have posted on my blog, and ‘new’ stuff. I’d never thought of publishing them as a book before, but now that I have, I am very proud of it.
What was the writing process like?
You could say it took me several years to write. Since it’s a collection of previous work, I did not have a routine. I do try to write as much as possible. When I see, read or hear things that I find interesting or funny, I try to write about it. When it comes to short stories, ideas pop up in my head and evolve into a story. Making the book was not a matter of writing it, but more of reading through the things I already had and picking those that I was most proud of or found the funniest. It was a nice stroll down memory lane. A friend of mine who is a designer, made the cover for me.
You were one of the very first people to use our Espresso Book Machine. How did you find out about it?
I read about it in a newspaper. I thought it was an interesting machine, but I was not thinking of making use of it. Until MTV contacted me. They filmed me for one of their shows, during a writing masterclass. They also wanted to pay attention to the Espresso Book Machine. All of a sudden I had to create a book.
They wanted to make an item about writing. They contacted Nightwriters Agency for ideas, and ended up filming at a masterclass that was given by bestselling Dutch writer Kluun, author of Love Life (Komt een vrouw bij de dokter). They also wanted to follow someone taking the class who had ambitions in writing. Since I also write for them , Nightwriters’ website knew me and my ambitions and mentioned me. I’m working on my first novel, and MTV actually wanted to print that, but it’s not finished yet so they couldn’t. That’s when the idea came up to make a selection of things I’ve written over the years and print that instead.
How did you find the process of making your text into a book – making sure the format was right for the machine and so on?
The information on the website about the format is comprehensive. That made it quite easy to prepare my book for the machine.
The actual proces of printing the book was amazing. In the interview with MTV I compared it with witnessing birth while looking into the womb. Except of course it was painless and much faster. Holding the first copy was a good feeling.
I’ve made 30 copies of my book, and I gave most of them away, to my family and friends. An interesting option is to get an ISBN-number for your book and having the ability to sell it through the ABC. But for my book the price would be too high.
At this point I don’t have plans to make another book. I’m working on a novel, and hope to find a official publisher for it.