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Books on Demand

When it comes to publishing a book, fast isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind, especially in the academic world. But right on campus, there’s a nifty machine that can turn a finished manuscript into a library-quality bound book in just minutes.

If that sounds too good to be true, see for yourself. Wolf Xpress, the university’s full-service print and copy center, will host an open house today (Nov. 10) from noon to 7 p.m. to showcase the Espresso Book Machine. Wolf Xpress, a subsidiary of NC State Bookstores,  is tucked inside the Atrium Food Court on the ground floor of D.H. Hill Library.

Espresso can produce a 300-page paperback book in about four minutes for just a few cents per page, making it an option for customized texts and course packs, self-published books from cookbooks to novels, and extra copies of theses and dissertations.

“The primary goal is to provide an affordable option for on-demand publishing on campus,” said John Starbuck, associate director for marketing with Campus Enterprises.

NC State has one of only 22 Espresso Book Machines in the country, said Teri Hellmann, manager with the NC State Bookstores.

About 2,500 volumes have rolled out of the Espresso since it was purchased more than a year ago. The machine also allows users to print public-domain books from sources such as Google Books, Hellmann said.

If you miss the open house, don’t worry. Hellmann will be glad to schedule a demo of Espresso and discuss the full range of printing and copying services offered on campus. Contact her at 513-7142 or

You can read more about the Espresso Book Machine on the Wolf Xpress site.