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The Espresso Machine, for books

Ignacio Hernandez's picture

Or how to print your own book.

The World Bank's Infoshop inaugurated today the world's first commercial book Print on Demand (POD) device (or Espresso book machine).


The new machine as a technological innovation promises to revolutionize how we buy books. It allows printing and binding a single copy of a book at the point of demand without human interactions. Buying a book will eventually be very similar to getting cash from an ATM. You choose a title, insert a credit card to pay for the book -- and walk away with the finished book a few minutes later. On a global scale this would eliminate shipping and warehousing costs for books (thereby also eliminating returns and pulping of unsold books) and allow simultaneous global availability of new books. POD offers the opportunity to deliver development knowledge and content to students, practitioners, media, and simply interested individuals in a way they could not be reached before. 


The still-warm espresso book looked great when it came out of the machine. Could these machines change the editorial world as we know it?


Read more on Print on Demand.


Submitted by Bill on
There is a great writeup on the Expresso Book Machine over the World Bank Infoshop website (see the In Focus section). Also, the U.S. News & World Report website ( goes into detail about Print On Demand and other new publishing technologies in their article titled "Publish or Panic" (Mar 13, 2006). This is a very BIG deal, maybe bigger than Gutenberg and his printing press.

Submitted by Catalina Escobar on
I also think this is BIG. When will this be available for purchase? I work in Medellín, Colombia and we are setting up a network of public libraries with access also to ICTs. Having an Expresso Book Machine could be huge so books that are not easily available in print, could be just printed on demand. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks! Catalina Escobar

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