Turn End-of-Life Titles into Profit
Essentially, Rowman & Littlefield pays for each book printed, with a yearly minimum number of books (40,000 to start) to be printed. The new business model eliminated packing and shipping costs from the printing facility to the distribution warehouse, and promised to print book runs of 100 or fewer cost-effectively.
The facility has two Xerox Nuvera 100s, which recently replaced two DocuTech 6100s, for printing book blocks; a Xerox DocuColor 12 for printing covers; and an in-line Borg perfect binder. An entire book is printed in one fell swoop.
At the outset, the facility also housed a DigiPath scanner, but Rowman & Littlefield staff soon found it challenging to convert hard copy books to digital fast enough, so Edwards Brothers staff in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Hutchinson, Kan., now assist with scanning and deliver scanned images via FTP sites.
Once printed copies are scanned, they are converted from a TIFF file to a PostScript or PDF using proprietary software and the DigiPath Scan and Make Ready Module, which is part of the Xerox FreeFlow Digital Workflow Collection. The scanned files are then stored on CD for future printing.
MORE THAN INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
The whole operation was orchestrated to complement long offset runs to avoid initial overprinting. But, the facility also provided Rowman & Littlefield with an opportunity that had not been available before—one that would cause quite a lift in revenue. The print-on-demand operation provides "end-of-life" services—when a book would normally be "out of print," the company can now print additional copies as they are ordered, adding significantly to a book's revenue-generating life.
In the first year of operation of the in-house digital book printing center, Rowman & Littlefield put more than 500 titles back into print and generated more than $1 million in revenue for books that would have otherwise been dead.