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UES Shakespeare & Co. to Unveil New Look and Self-Publishing Machine

By Shaye Weaver | August 24, 2015 4:32pm
 Shakespeare & Co. is set to unveil its new look in September, manager Pete Isop said.
Shakespeare & Co.
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UPPER EAST SIDE — Self-publish your own book in a flash, thanks to this new gadget.

The Shakespeare & Co. bookstore on Lexington Avenue at 68th Street is set to unveil its new look after undergoing a summer-long renovation, which included adding a new coffee shop, seating, a restroom — and a new Espresso Book Machine: a printer that gives authors the ability to print their own books within minutes, according to manager Pete Isop.

Writers looking to self-publish can bring a flash drive carrying their document and use the Espresso Book Machine to print a whole book's worth at roughly 100 pages per minute, Isop said, adding that there are only 100 or so machines like this in the world.

The shop will also offer guidance as far as designing covers, laying out books and selling them, he said.

Once the new features of the bookstore roll out next month, the shop will also open a new section dedicated to self-published writers and will keep track of how many books from each are sold, Isop said.

The machine, which was created by a company called On Demand Books, will also be able to produce books that are out of print or are in public domain, Isop said.

Other new features of the two-story bookstore will include a cafe, which will serve coffee from Counter Culture Coffee and pastries from Colson Patisserie, and include 30 seats, Isop said.

Bookshelves will also be removed from the rear of the store to expose the windows behind them, offering a view of its courtyard, he said.

In addition, a wheelchair accessible bathroom will be added to the first floor, and the stairwell will be replaced before the start of school, Isop said.

The renovation began in earnest after the bookshop was bought by Dane Neller, CEO of Dean & Deluca and founder of On Demand Books, this spring. The store was previously owned by the Manhattan Book Company.

"Nothing like this exists in New York right now," Isop said. "It will be great for students to do their work and get their coffee, but for a lot of local writers in the neighborhood, we'll make it a very welcoming space."

The bookstore will continue to carry textbooks for Hunter College and Marymount Manhattan College students as well as trade books of many genres.

Shakespeare & Co.'s Broadway location at NYU closed last September after 27 years in business due to a rent hike.