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This article was published 15/12/2011 (2072 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
First-time authors and small-scale writing projects have a new publishing option in Winnipeg.
A personalized book-printing and binding press -- the Espresso Book Machine -- is up and running at the McNally Robinson bookstore location at Grant Park Shopping Centre.
The $100,000 press is the first of its kind in Manitoba and one of only 11 in Canada. It has been fully operational since mid-November and offers a unique service for independent writers, book lovers on the prowl for out-of-print editions, or customized textbooks.
"Self-publishing is something that really just takes off," said Liz Treidler, who works with aspiring publishers at McNally Robinson. "If someone doesn't want to print that many copies or pay for a minimum run, they have an option to print exactly what they need. It's another great tool we can use to give people access to a digital machine that prints, binds, trims and produces a great product for you. The possibilities are endless."
Treidler admitted at first she didn't anticipate the "amazing ideas people are bringing into the store." The machine has seen unique, personalized projects -- such as high school classroom anthologies, war diaries and books originally published in the 1800s -- quickly made fit for print.
The entire process takes about four minutes per book.
Creating a paperback with the Espresso Book Machine costs two cents per page, plus a $6 charge for overhead costs, glue and ink. Treidler estimated a 200-page book would run about $10 and there is no maximum number of books required for a run.
The store also has access to over four million digital titles in its Google Books and Lightning Source databases that can be printed on demand through the personal press.