Binding for Digital Short-Run Book Projects
Edwards believes on-site POD facilities will play an important role in the future. "There's more to it than just installing a digital printing/ binding operation in a customer's shop. We've become printing partners, solidified our business relationship, and provide a higher level of service."
The POD site, which was installed in Rowan & Littlefield's Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., facility, became operational in July. Edwards says printing and binding short-run books on-demand, within 24 to 48 hours, has made the term "out of stock" obsolete for this publishing firm.
"If a book manufacturer can offer case-bound and soft-cover products, publishers can offer both products simultaneously with acceptable mark-ups. Digital printing/binding allows publishers to simply add more products to their Web sites. Without investing in inventory, they're able to increase their sales, profits and revenues," says Edwards.
And in the real world (OK, in the virtual one, too), this win-win situation is changing the rules of the publishing/book manufacturing game. Internet shoppers are getting their products in record time. Publishers are increasing their product lines and profits. And book manufacturers are eliminating the age-old problem of inventory — by digitally printing/binding just in time, instead of just in case.
Cheryl A. Adams is a Baltimore-based freelance writer who specializes in printing technologies.