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Our Betty the Book Machine is an Espresso Book Machine (EBM), once named "Invention of the Year" by Time Magazine. It provides a revolutionary direct-to-consumer distribution model for books. Put simply, Betty is an automated book-making machine. The operator selects a title to print, and within a few minutes a book emerges: bound, trimmed and in full-color."
For general questions about the EBM itself, including hardware, software, and book specs, please visit the On Demand Books website.
For an "employee interview" with our Betty the Book Machine, please visit the ABC blog.
In Amsterdam, it's located in the White Room on the second floor and in the Hague it's towards the back of the store, near the Special Orders desk.
Betty, our Espresso Book Machine in Amsterdam was "launched" on Thanksgiving Day, November 25th.
We ran Betty in a test phase until January 2011 during which we practiced and trained the operators. Our second EBM, Betty Too, situated in The Hague, arrived in April 2011.
The AnyBook Award competition was held in 2010 to celebrate the launch of our first EBM.
All the winning entries were collected and published in the first book printed on our Espresso Book Machine.
Redesign The World is available via Betty and Betty Too!
Print on demand (POD), sometimes called publish on demand, is a printing technology and business process in which new copies of a book (or other document) are not printed until an order has been received. "Print on Demand" developed only after digital printing began, because it was not economical to print single copies using traditional printing technology such as letterpress and offset printing.Wikipedia
In short, POD titles are not kept in stock by publishers and instead are printed and bound whenever they receive an order.
Our Espresso Book Machines are our in-house POD book makers, but they are not able to produce all POD titles because not all publishers have agreement with On Demand Books.
So, many titles that are ordered via our suppliers have the POD status but are printed by the publisher themselves and need to be shipped.
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 as well as interiors. Images may or may not reproduce well, depending on the source file.
As long as the typeface is recognised by the machine, it can print whatever you want. English, Dutch, Chinese, Arabic....
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.
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.
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.
If there are a number of orders in the queue you might have to wait a little longer.
Yes, if you own the rights to the work or have received permission from the rights holder to print it. (see Self Publishing with Betty)
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.
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last updated: May 15, 2018