Bartell's launches on-demand printing center at U Village

SEATTLE - Bartell Drugs at University Village has something new and unexpected for its customers Thursday. Alongside cough drops, shampoo, and greeting cards sits a brand new kiosk that lets customers print books on-demand.

"It's a very sophisticated digital printing press that is connected to our Kodak kiosk," says Howie Cohen category manager for Bartell Drugs.

The On-Demand Books Espresso Book Machine Solution for In-Store Printing is a pilot program and is only available right now at the University Village Bartell Drugs location.

The center's online catalogue features 7 million titles that can be printed on the Espresso Book Machine.

"It's available right there, and it's available instantly, so there's no waiting for shipping," Cohen says. "We can print it right there, and you can walk out with it."

But there's also a twist: authors and writing enthusiasts can also print their own work.

"Family history, a novel somebody wrote, it could be a dissertation for school," Cohen says, "it can all be submitted to the machine and printed instantly."

Cohen says the printed books are bound just like a paperback you would pick up at the book store, and representative are on-hand to assist with any problems that may arise.

"We have help available for people," Cohel says. "Assistance in formatting for people who haven't done it before."

A chance to be a published author awaits as you're shopping for common goods, making this printing center the first of its kind in a drug store environment.

Bartell's also plans to launch photobook printing at the center in spring of 2014.