Please Note! 

Due to staffing changes, the ‘XPress Self-Publishing service model has been altered.
From now through October 31, 2017, service at the Self-Pub Lab will only be available on the following days
from 9-11:30 am.
  • Friday, October 6
  • Saturday, October 14
  • Friday, October 20
Watch this space for updates on the service model.
Questions can still be directed to
Voicemail will be retrieved and answered on the above-noted days.


More than 16,000 books printed!  Is yours one of them?

The Espresso Book Machine (EBM) has the ability to allow customers to print custom books while they wait. The EBM system offers local authors the opportunity to print professionally-bound copies of their own work, out-of-print and out-of-copyright books and books which are not presently in the WPL catalogue. The machine is a fully-integrated, high-speed, compact solution that automatically prints, binds, and trims – on demand – perfectly bound, library-quality paperback books.

Printing a book

Once all of the writing, editing, proofreading of your book is complete, you are ready to format your book to be printed on the machine. Instructions on formatting the interior or designing a cover for your book are available in PDF.

We can help with anything, from creating the document to creating a PDF.  Be sure to make an appointment for assistance.
Our Espresso Book Machine will print a high-quality paperback with black and white or colour interior pages, and a full-colour cover. You can choose the size you want: from 4.5” x 5” to 8.25” by 10.5”. The book can be from 40-800 pages.

Quick-Start Check List:

  1. Write, edit and polish your book until you are sure it is ready to publish;
  2. Choose a size for your book;
  3. Format your manuscript until you are satisfied with the layout – font, page numbers, headers and footers, etc; email for formatting guidelines.
  4. Create your cover in a program such as Photoshop® or InDesign®. Again, we’re here to get you started, or help when you are stuck!;
  5. Convert your interior and cover files into PDFs;
  6. Make an appointment to meet with facilitator and print your book;
    NOTE – Colour interiors can be done only on certain days.
  7. Bring your files – both the PDFs and the original working documents – (Cover and Book Block) on a flash drive;
  8. When it’s all formatted correctly, sit back and watch your book being made!








Set-up fee: $20

The set-up fee is a one-time charge per title.  It covers the cost of checking file compatibility, loading and storing on the EBM.

Cover: $3.50 – NOTE: All-black covers are $4.00
(Cover fee includes cover stock, ink and the binding process).

Interior Pages: $.05/page for black and white; $.50/page for colour

For example, a 100 page, black and white interior book would be $8.50 to print  (after the $20 set-up fee).

Discounts are available for bulk orders.

Self-Publishing Lab Opening Hours

*We are open alternate Fridays and Saturdays.

Monday 10am-4pm
Tuesday 1pm-4pm
Wednesday 10am-4pm
Thursday 1pm-7pm
Friday* 9am-5pm
Saturday* 9am-12pm


To book an appointment, call 519-255-6770 x4603 or email

Contact Us

X-Press Self-Publishing Lab
Windsor Public Library
850 Ouellette Avenue
Windsor, ON
519-255-6770 Ext. 4603


  • What are the specifications of a Books-On-Demand Book?

Cover: Full-colour
Interior: Black and White or Colour
Page-Count: 44-800 pages
Trim Size: 4.5” x 5” to 8.25” x 10.5” and anything in-between.

  • Can I use the EBM to publish my own book?

Yes! If you have written a novel, a memoir, a how-to guide, a family history, cookbook, a storybook for your child…
All can now be preserved in beautiful book-form. You provide us with two print-ready PDF files: one for your book’s interior pages, and one for the cover, formatted the way you want them to look.

  • Can the book be illustrated?

Yes, the book can be illustrated.

  • Do you edit?

No, we currently do not offer editing services, but we can put you in contact with professional editors. Likewise, we can offer basic assistance on cover design, but can provide you with a list of local designers if you are looking for professional help, or even typists if you need one!

42 Responses to "Self-Publishing"

  1. Emily says:

    Hi there, I read that in order to print, your book must be 40 pages minimum. Does this mean there are no options to print children’s books? Thanks for your time.

    • Sue says:

      The minimum number of pages is 40 to allow for enough surface area for the glue to be applied. We have done several children’s books, though, as long as they are 40 pages or longer.
      I hope this helps!

  2. Sabrina Marchi says:

    Hi Sue,
    I was curious about doing a bulk order for a novel I have written.
    What is considered a bulk order (5, 10, 100 copies?) and is there a way to estimate the bulk discount?
    Further more, how long does it take to print 1 book out? How long would say 10 take?
    I’m really excited that we have this technology in our city.

    • Sue says:

      Hi Sabrina,
      Bulk discounts start at 100 copies and the discount is 15% off the total bill.
      In most cases, it takes between 4-7 minutes to print one book. 10 books average an hour to print.
      I hope this helps.


  3. Kim says:

    I am looking to self-publish a book of poetry this summer, however, I am not very good with technology, layouts, formatting, etc. If I save everything as I want the text to appear in Microsoft Word, is there staff available to help with the PDF conversions, etc?

    • Sue says:

      Hi Kim,
      Yes, we certainly can help you with the conversions. I will send you an email with instructions, and/or to set up a time to meet.

  4. paul gainora says:

    Hi Sue:
    Does one need a library card with WPL to use your self-publishing facilities?
    Is a U.S. copyright acceptable, or only Canadian?
    Paul Gainor
    Windsor, ON

    • Windsor Public Library says:

      Sue is away until August 3. She will get back to you as soon as she can. Thank you.

    • Sue says:

      Hi Paul,
      We always love everyone to have a library card! If you have a WPL card, your set-up fee is only $20. For non-card holders it is $25. U.S. copyright is perfectly acceptable as well.

  5. Francine says:

    Thank You Sue for the informative “Got You Covered” class. I learned both marketing for book covers and the technical aspects.

  6. Georgia Berg says:

    What type of 3D printer does central have?

  7. Lee Rabideau says:

    Sue. The PDF for designing the cover for you book says that the formula for spine thickness is as follows: page count divided by 444.
    Is that the written page or the physical paper page?
    i.e. A 300 page book would be printed on 150 paper sheets.

  8. Sue says:

    I have my book in pdf format but I do not have photoshop on my computer. Can I just put the cover in pdf format and make it 11 x 17.? The cover is black and. White and just has the title on it and a small black and white picture

    • Sue says:

      Hi Sue,
      It doesn’t matter what format you create the cover in, as long as it is set up to print on 17″ x 11″ paper and is converted to a PDF. (For example, Word works just fine).

      If you have any more questions, shoot me an email at and I can get back to you right away.


  9. Lee Rabideau says:

    I am hoping to self publish a first novel by the end of the year. I have a couple questions.
    Does the library stock one of the self published books for readers to check out?
    Does the machine generate isbn numbers for self published books?
    How does one obtain the name of a potential editor?
    When is the next workshop and what do then entail?

    • Sue says:

      Hello. Congratulations on nearing completion of your work.
      The library treats books published in the lab the same as any other book: submit the title for recommendation and the librarians will base their decision to purchase on budget and collection needs.
      ISBNs are obtained (for free) through Collections Canada. Check out here to get the process started. Once you receive your 13-digit ISBN from Collections Canada, the Self-Publishing Lab can assist you in turning it into a barcode to include on the cover of your book.
      If you send an email to, I can send you a list of people who have expressed interest in editing (for a fee).
      The next writers’ group meeting will be Tuesday, December 8 at 7 pm. It will be a wrap-up for the year. If you have any work to share, or have questions about writing, publishing or marketing for the group, you may find the answer here!

  10. Carolyn Sauvé says:

    I just read about your new machine in Windsor Life and it made my day! I was surprised to learn of the many authors in our area and hope to be one of them one day. How does one go about getting copyright for their story? I have one completed manuscript and 2 almost finished. I’m so excited I can’t stand it!! Thank you for making this dream a possibility.

    • Sue says:

      Hi Carolyn,
      We are very lucky to be able to offer this service at the Windsor Public Library. Congratulations on completing your manuscripts! Please send me an email at or call me at 519-255-6770 extension 4603 so I can explain your options about copyright in Canada.
      I hope to see you soon, and help you fulfill your dream.

  11. A says:

    Hello there! I would like to make an appointment to print an eighty page book (65 black and white and 15 colour pages). I am, however, finding it a bit difficult to contact a technician by phone. The communication, however, is extremely speedy via internet!
    Would it be possible to book an appointment via email? If not, is there a time before 3:30 today that I would know for sure someone is able to receive my call?

  12. Aisha says:

    Hello there! If i am correct, the title is stored on the machine indefinitely?

    Also, if my math is correct, an eighty page book (65 black and white and 15 colour pages) is $13.25 per title?

    I am also wondering how to book an appointment with a technician.

    • Windsor Public Library says:

      You can call Sue in the Self-Publishing Department at 519-255-6770 x4603 for an appointment.
      I will let her answer the rest of the question herself.

    • Sue says:

      Hi Aisha,
      Your math is correct! After the $15 set-up fee (one-time only, no matter how many changes you make to your file), each copy of the book described above would be $13.25.
      The title is stored on the machine as long as it is needed, and you can contact us for reprints at any time.
      Looking forward to working with you!
      Sue Perry

  13. Joan Jolin says:

    Hi: Would you please send me the formatting guidelines and cover design. Thank you.

  14. APC says:

    Hello there! Do you know if it is possible to print a book that has several black and white pages and a few colour pages? Thanks!

    • Windsor Public Library says:

      Yes it is as long as there are not too many colour pages as our technician has to add them manually in the machine.
      In order to make sure Sue can do this for you please contact Sue Perry at 519-255-6770 extension 4603.
      Thank you.

  15. Nicole says:

    Would you be able to email me a copy of the formatting guidelines. Thank you!

  16. Cassidy Deneau says:

    Hi, I was wondering if you could send the formatting guidelines to my email adress, because I’m very interested in printing a copy of my book here for a large school project.
    Also, it says that you need to have at least 40 pages, and would it be exceptional to have a few pages under that amount?

  17. Anon Y. Mouse says:

    The cost for colour printing is $0.75 per page.

  18. Windsor Public Library says:

    Each branch has a colour copier you can print your documents on.

  19. What are the rules in producing a book? And how can you find out if the same title of the book is out there?

    • Sue says:

      To produce at book at the library, you need to own the copyright to do so. That means it is an original creation of your own, or the holder of the copyright has given you permission, in writing, to produce a copy.
      Since you cannot copyright a title, there are many books in existence that have the same title. To see if the title you are thinking of using has already been used, you can try a commercial site like Amazon or a library catalogue like WorldCat. It is fine to use a title that has been used before.

  20. Thi Rotermund says:

    Wonderful site you have here. Good stuff here to enjoy. Looking forward to reading more. Only desire to have more hours to stay longer.

  21. Louise Schultz says:

    I am looking to have a geneology book printed and it says about 600 pages. I do not have an index typed in yet and do not have the pages numbered. The above message talks about guidelines for formatting your book and designing a cover, could I be sent the same? I probably want to start with 100 copies, would I be able to make more later? Could I have a rough cost total. How long would it take to print 100 copies? I only have one page with a little colour on it.

    • Sue says:

      I have sent the formatting guidelines and cover design instructions to your email address, along with the calculations for figuring out your costs.
      Yes, with print-on-demand, you can print as many — or as few — copies as you like, and print more at any time. Each book takes approximately 4-7 minutes to complete. 100 books could be completed in about 2 days’ time.

  22. Bill King says:

    Sue, could you provide me with a copy of the formatting guidelines? I take it that the size range between 4.5/5 and 8.25/10.5 is a consistent ratio?
    I am completing a book of local historical interest and would like to print an initial 500 copies. Is this possible, and could you provide a general estimate of the cost and time required?
    Thanks very much.
    This is exciting for me too!
    Bill King.

    • Sue says:

      Thanks for your inquiry, Bill. It is not a fixed ratio — you can have any dimensions you like, as long as they are between the parameters of minimum and maximum trim size. I would be happy to send the formatting guidelines, plus details of pricing to your email. Just shoot me a line at and I can get that information to you right away.

Leave a reply