Espresso Book Machine & Third Place Press F.A.Q.

Espresso Book Machine: Frequently Asked Questions

What's going on in the Glass room with the machine?

This is the home of Third Place Books' new printing venture THIRD PLACE PRESS. The big machine you see in the middle of the room is an ESPRESSO BOOK MACHINE (we like to refer to her as 'Ginger'--you can too, if you like).


Put simply, the EBM is an automated book-making machine. The operator selects a title to print, and within a few minutes a book emerges, with a full-color cover, trimmed to an exact size, and indistinguishable from the publisher’s version.

All EBM books are perfect bound with paperback covers & they have black-and-white interiors.

What does this mean for me?

Well, for one thing, the EBM greatly expands our book catalog (by nearly 800,000 in-copyright titles from 8,000 publishers and millions of public-domain titles through other content aggregators (such as Google editions). All which can be printed here in this tiny room. Seriously.

How will I get myself one of these Print on Demand books?

Visit or just go over to the bookstore’s INFORMATION counter, ask for an employee to assist you with your query, and as easily as you might regularly order a book for yourself, Third Place Books will set the order up to print here on the EBM.

Ok. But how long does it take to print the book?

Well, when we've worked out all the kinks in the ordering & printing process, we expect to have your book ready in 30 minutes, enough time to get a quick bite, a coffee, or browse the magazines.

In the beginning though, we ask for your patience as we streamline the process, so we'll have your book ready in 24 hours or less.

Why can't I order a Print-on-demand version of a HARRY POTTER title, or the latest Dan Brown?

There are certain agreements between authors and their publishers that currently restrict printing books by this process. The EBM and its publishing model is still relatively new to everyone; you, me, Ginger, and even the publishers. As time goes on, and EBMs become more common place, we'll see more an more title popping up on our catalogs. In the meantime: did we mention millions of titles?

I bought this book online a while back--I think it's a PDF--written by an author I like. Can you print it for me?

Unfortunately, no. This kind of printing would violate the copyright laws the publisher, the EBM company, and the Bookstore are beholden to. Essentially, only books that are Self-Published (see below), that is, you retain the copyright of the work, can be brought to us for printing. All others need to be ordered through the existing catalog.

How much will the books cost?

Most books still in copyright are subject to the publisher's retail price—pretty much what you pay for your books right now. But there are millions of public domain titles that are available for the price you might pay for a mass-market paperbacks or less.

Can I search a database myself for books I might want to print? Can I do it from home?

Yes! You can go to, an in the upper right hand corner there is a link to our Espresso Book Machine database. Once you have found the book you want you can call the store and order it. Also in January we will install a public-access kiosk for you to browse the catalog while at Third Place Books.

Ok. You've piqued my interest, but now I want to know if I can print my own book (it's a Northwest Lepidoptery field guide)?

Yes. You can call 206-366-3306 or email to arrange for an appointment with our designer to discuss the costs, time-frames, cover design, etc.

If you have any further questions regarding Third Place Press, feel free to contact us at: