Books on Demand at Harvard Book Store

That’s because, on September 29th, the independent Harvard Square bookseller will unveil, on its premises, a new Espresso Book Machine®, enabling the store to produce books locally, and ship them globally. The Espresso Book Machine® is a twenty-firstcentury printing press that can produce library-quality, perfect bound paperback editions from a virtually limitless inventory of digital titles in multiple languages, including rare and out-of-print public domain titles.

This month, Google and On Demand Books, LLC, the maker of the Espresso Book Machine®, signed an agreement to offer its patrons immediate access to over 2 million public-domain titles in the Google digital files. This unprecedented number of reading options is in addition to the current 1.6 million titles available directly to Harvard Book Store via the book machine’s catalog and the million titles already available through the store.

On September 29th, Harvard Book Store will publicly unveil the new machine in an event featuring owner Jeffrey Mayersohn, On Demand Books founders Jason Epstein and Dane Neller, and the distinguished, award-winning author, E.L. Doctorow.

“My vision is to provide our customers with any book ever written, in any format, and have it either in your hands or at your doorstep—the same day,” said Harvard Book Store’s owner, Jeffrey Mayersohn. “This collaboration between Google, On Demand Books, and Harvard Book Store is a major step toward realizing that vision.”

All in all, Harvard Book Store’s book machine revolutionizes the traditional bookmaking and -delivery system, and the community bookstore will operate as a fast and affordable distribution point for millions of titles. Local customers will be able to receive books same- or next-day, via the store’s bicycle delivery program. The store also ships books both domestically and overseas.

The paperbacks produced by the book machine are indistinguishable from paperback books produced by major publishing houses. Featuring a full-color cover and black & white interior, a 300-page book can be printed, bound, and trimmed in roughly 4 minutes.

The book machine also represents a unique opportunity for authors wanting to see their work in book form.

In order to introduce the book machine into the Cambridge community, Harvard Book Store will launch a “Name Our Book Machine! Contest,” challenging creative minds to develop a fitting and informal name for this new, robotic member of the Harvard Book Store family. 

In the coming weeks, self-publishing guidelines and available title information will be made available.

Harvard Book Store is an independently run bookstore serving the greater Cambridge area. The independent Cambridge bookseller, located in Harvard Square, has been locally owned since 1932 and, since the fall of 2008, has been under new local ownership. 

On Demand Books was co-founded in 2003 by Jason Epstein, former Editorial Director of Random House and Dane Neller, former CEO of Dean & DeLuca. The Espresso Book Machine® was named to Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2007” list.

Made in the USA, Espresso Book Machines® are environmentally friendly green machines. For more information go to