All About the EBM - Frequently Asked Questions
public domain / out-of-print / Google Books
self publishing - info
self publishing - guidelines
events, news & updates
What is the EBM and how does it work?
The Espresso Book Machine® (the "EBM"), which Time Magazine named an "Invention of the Year," provides a revolutionary direct-to-consumer distribution model for books.
Put simply, the EBM is an automated book-making machine. The operator selects a title to print, and within a few minutes a book emerges, with a full-color cover, trimmed to an exact size, and indistinguishable from the publisher's version. As we say, "Hot off the press!"
For general questions about the EBM itself, including hardware, software, and book specs, please see On Demand Books' extensive FAQ
Where is your EBM located and can people see it in operation?
In Amsterdam, it is located in the White Room on the second floor. Operating hours from Sunday to Friday until 15h00.
In the Hague it stands towards the back of the store, near the Special Orders desk.
Walk In Demos are back in the schedule: Every Monday between 18:30 and 19:30 in Amsterdam and every Tuesday between 17:00 and 18:00 in The Hague. These demonstrations depend on the Advanced Operators being present.
When did you start printing books?
Our Espresso Book Machine in Amsterdam was "launched" on Thanksgiving Day, November 25th. We ran the EBM in a test phase until January 2011 during which we practiced and trained the operators.
Since January 2011 we have been accepting orders self-publishing books and in February 2011 we started our out-of-print service.
Our second EBM, situated in The Hague, arrived in April 2011 and is now officially operational.
Can you print any kind of book, from any source?
There are several requirements for printing an item on the EBM: it must already be digitized, we must have access to the digital file, and we must either have a clear agreement with the rights holder to print copyright-protected works, or the content must be in the public domain. The machine produces a softcover (perfectbound) book. It can print color covers, but black and white interiors only. Images may or may not reproduce well, depending on the source file.
What languages does it print?
As long as the typeface is recognised by the machine, it can print whatever you want. English, Dutch, Chinese, Arabic....
How long does it take to fill an order?
If a book is already prepped and loaded onto the EBM, it can be printed in 7-10 minutes. However, books ordered from the On Demand Books EspressNet server will require more time. The file is downloaded and then checked and "formatted" by the EBM. Also, if there are a number of orders in the queue you might have to wait a little longer.
Where do I go to see all the titles available for printing?
Print-on-Demand titles are part of our regular book database and on the detailed book info page you'll see whether it is a print-in-store title. You can search for Public Domain titles via our dedicated EBM search
Are you printing Google Books?
Yes, we can print public domain books from several sources. This includes books from the Google digitization project and from the Internet Archive's Open Content Alliance. Google Books are also available via the EspressNet catalog, courtesy of On Demand Books' recent agreement with Google. (see public domain "out-of-print" books
If I want a book, how does the order, payment and delivery process work?
Print-on-demand titles can be ordered via our regular online and in-store search and order system. Production time is a day depending on the queue.
Can my own manuscript, or other digital files I have, be printed on the EBM?
Yes, provided you sign an affidavit confirming that you either own the rights to the work or have received permission from the rights holder to print it, and can provide us with a correctly formatted PDF file for the interior book block and a PDF file for the cover. (see self publishing books - guidelines
I recently bought an e-book online, can you print it for me?
Unfortunately, no, as that would violate the copyright laws the publisher, the EBM company, and the American Book Center are beholden to. Essentially, only books that are Self-Published can be brought to us for printing. All others need to be ordered through the existing catalog.