Print-on-demand service puts publishing in reach

English professor Marty Gervais said the University has a “great service” with its new Espresso Book Machine.

“It’s basically a literary vending machine,” he said Wednesday at an event to launch the University Bookstore’s new print-on-demand service.

Operators can produce a paperback book with full-colour cover in about five minutes – printing, collating, gluing and trimming.

Students in Gervais’ editing and publishing practicum course were the first customers, printing test copies of books they will send to a traditional print shop this week: Terry Ann Carter’s Day Moon Rising and Mary Ann Mulhern’s Brides In Black.

Fourth-year English major Jaclyn Wood called it “a proud moment.”

“It’s cool to see it, to see my name on the copyright page,” she said as she leafed through Mulhern’s 80-page work.

The student edited the text, designed a cover and the interior layout using professional design software.

“It was really interesting,” said Wood’s classmate Beth Harrett. “Before when I looked at books, I never considered the fonts or the choice of what typefaces go together. Now I find I’m doing that all the time.”

According to Bookstore marketing manager Martin Deck, the machine’s products are virtually indistinguishable from books printed the traditional way. He believes the services will be useful for authors hoping to self-publish, organizers seeking customized print materials for conferences and events, and readers seeking specialized or out-of-print books.

“We are ready to roll,” he said Wednesday. “We can print more than a million on-demand titles, as well as any new works people have written.”

The store is working with Document Imaging to offer assistance with layout and design, and has prepared a list of production specifications. For details, contact Deck at 519-253-3000, ext. 3726 or e-mail