Greetings, Loyal Reader!
Getting your hands on a print copy of Hero Wanted (assuming the free ebook on Smashwords doesn’t satisfy you) requires ordering a copy from Amazon or your other favorite online bookseller or placing a special order at your local bookshop. My publisher, Trove Books, takes a very 21st century — and, may I add, eco-conscious — approach to publishing books. Instead of killing a bunch of trees, printing a bunch of books, storing said books in a climate-controlled warehouse, then shipping the books out to bookstores in heavy trucks to sit on the shelves until someone strolls by and decide to buy a copy, Trove only prints a book when it is ordered1 and ships it straight to you, via Amazon or whomever.
UPS was going to be in your neighborhood anyway.
But whether you order Hero Wanted online or at your local bookstore, you do have to wait at least a couple of days to start reading the book. Is there any way to get the book faster? If you happen to live in a few special communities around the world, then yes, there is: it is called the Espresso Book Machine.
No, it does not make coffee.
The Espresso is more of an “ATM for books.” Here is the official pitch from the makers of the Espresso, On Demand Books: What Gutenberg’s press did for Europe in the 15th century digitization and the Espresso Book Machine will do for the world tomorrow.
I assume that means they are hoping to set off decades of bloody religious warfare between Catholics and Protestants.
Or else provide “library quality paperbacks at low cost, identical to factory made books, printed direct from digital files for the reader in minutes, serving a radically decentralized world-wide multilingual marketplace.” Er, right. That’s more PR gobbledygook, but translation: it’s a machine that prints, collates, covers, and binds a single book in a few minutes.
Here is a video that eventually shows you how it works:
So. Nifty. So what? Well, Trove Books has arranged to make Hero Wanted available through the Espresso Book Machine. So if you live in or near a town where an Espresso Book Machine is located, you can — in theory — go there and purchase your very own copy of Hero Wanted and see it printed before your very eyes. 2
Here are the known locations of Espresso Book Machines around the world:
- Angus & Robertson Bookstore, Melbourne, Australia
- University of Melbourne Library, Victoria, Australia
- University of Alberta Bookstore, Edmonton, AB, Canada
- McMaster University Bookstore, Hamilton, ON, Canada
- University of Waterloo Bookstore, ON, Canada
- McGill University Library, Montreal, QC, Canada
- New Orleans Public Library, New Orleans, LA
- Internet Archive, San Francisco, CA
- University of Michigan Library, Ann Arbor, MI
- Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT
- Brigham Young University Bookstore, Provo, UT
- University of Arizona Bookstore, Tucson, AZ
- University of Missouri Bookstore, Columbia, MO
If there is an Espresso near you, go check it out! I’ve seen a demo in person and it is pretty cool to watch it make a book.
If you do happen to buy a copy of Hero Wanted printed on an Espresso, remember to take your digital camera and send me a picture of you, your new book, and the Espresso at Dan@JasonCosmo.com. Send me the picture and your thoughts on the experience and I’ll feature your story here on the Jason Cosmo Update. I dont’t think anyone has bought an Espresso-made copy yet, so you could be the first!