The Printers' Evolution
BB: What new services are you offering book publishers?
Prichard: By offering complementary services that cover traditional book distribution, digital distribution and a full range of printing services, Ingram is delivering unique solutions for the publishing industry. By strategically combining traditional print publishing with digital workflows, print-on-demand and digital content delivery, publishers can focus on the creation of high-quality content versus infrastructure investment. As a distribution services company, we are … making it easy for publishers to focus on content while we take care of digital and print distribution.
Publishing innovators Springer and Macmillan have already created real-time, on-demand, inventory programs with Ingram. Our goal is to make every book always available, always relevant and never out of stock.
BB: How are market forces impacting your printing strategies and the suite of services you offer?
Prichard: Consumer-driven market forces are driving publishers to reduce capital invested in inventory and infrastructure and focus on content development. They need to squeeze every drop of revenue out of their print titles while expanding the formats that are available for those titles. In addition, the emergence and maturing of digital book distribution (e-books) is reducing traditional print runs. An integrated print-on-demand program that allows for digital and physical distribution will allow publishers to more aggressively transform their business models to suit the current and future book business environment.
BB: What segment(s) of the book market are currently most impacted by short- and ultra-short-run printing models?
Prichard: In the publishing space, print-on-demand is being used as a strategic tool by publishers in all segments—no one is immune from the changes that are happening in the marketplace. The strongest and most adventurous segments in terms of print-on-demand utilization are both academic and professional, technical and reference publishers, although we see all segments, like larger trade publishers, catching up quickly.