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What is the Espresso Book Machine at Michigan State University Libraries?

The Espresso Book Machine (or EBM) doesn't make coffee - the EBM is a completely self-contained book publishing machine. The EBM can print anything from your family cook book to a novel you’ve written or have selected from our catalogue. The machine will print, bind, and trim a book within minutes – it will do this for virtually any book.

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Where is the EBM located?

The EBM is located in the Copy Center in the Main Library. The Copy Center is on the second floor of the west wing.

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How does it operate? What is the basic process?

The EBM first prints your pages on a high speed copier. Then, pages (called the book block) enter the Espresso Book Machine and are prepared for binding. While the book block is printing, a full color cover is printed from an inkjet printer and is automatically fed into the EBM. The book is then formed by gluing the book block to the cover page – this forms the spine and the cover is clamped against the spine and pages to create a perfect-bound book. Then, in one motion, the newly joined book block and cover page are trimmed to your exact specifications. The book then travels to the pick-up slot for retrieval.

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Can I see the EBM in action?

Yes! The machine runs during normal Copy Center hours and is fully accessible to see up close.

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Can I receive help with formatting my book block and/or cover?

Yes! There is a dedicated staff position for the EBM that will be available during posted hours to help you with any EBM needs. There are fees for certain services, refer to our pricing guides to see those fees.

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How long will it take to print my book?

Your book will print in less than ten minutes if the files are fully ready for print. There are various factors in each case, so refer to the times provided by the EBM staff, they will provide estimates for each case. Books ordered online from the catalog will be available the next business day. If orders are placed on the weekend, allow for two business days for processing and printing.

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Are there templates available for formatting the book block and cover?

Cover templates may be provided upon request. Email your inquiry to us and we can send you a custom-made template.

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Where can I learn more technical information about the machine?

You can either speak with the EBM staff or look on the manufacturer's website. On Demand Books developed the EBM and Xerox manufactures the high-speed copy machine (the model is a Xerox 4112) used to print the book block. The inkjet printer is made by Epson (the model is Epson Stylus R1900).

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What type of books can the EBM print?

The EBM can print:
Books available in the On Demand Books catalog
Books out of copyright and in the public domain available through many sources including Google Books, Hathi Trust, and other outlets.
Self-published books that are custom formatted, written, and designed by the author.

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