Special Report: Digital Printing: What’s New and on the Horizon
On-demand book production continues to grow in the market with the establishment of partnerships and services among a number of key players.
- Baker & Taylor is partnering with RR Donnelley to provide publishers with short-run and on-demand services through Baker & Taylor's TextStream Digital Print Service.
- Open Road Integrated Media is expanding beyond e-book publication to also offer print-on-demand (POD) services.
- Springer Science+Business Media has an agreement with Amazon's CreateSpace (recently merged with BookSurge) for on-demand production of Springer's paperback book catalog as well as new large-print hardback editions.
- BiblioLife works with libraries, archives and aggregators to distribute out-of-print books via POD channels worldwide.
Also, self-publishing continues to grow in leaps and bounds. Bowker (the exclusive U.S. ISBN and SAN agency) reports that 764,448 titles were produced in 2009 by self-publishers and micro-niche publishers—an increase of 181 percent over 2008. Over the same period, the number of traditional book titles printed declined by 0.5 percent from 289,729 to 288,355.
Traditional publishers and book-sellers such as Thomas Nelson, Harlequin, Amazon and B&N, along with Apple, now are dipping their toes into the self-publishing waters.
Lulu, which printed more than 2.5 million books in 2009 using multiple POD providers, announced an IPO in March to raise $50 million. Author Solutions, which includes AuthorHouse, iUniverse, Trafford, Wordclay, Inkubook and Xlibris, signed an agreement in March for Amazon to distribute new black-and-white titles through the Kindle. Blurb's revenue grew 50 percent in 2009 over the prior year to $45 million. The company is now eyeing further penetration of the European market. Scribd.com recently added premium options for customers to have paperback books produced on-demand by Blurb.
Although self-publishers have always made extensive use of distribute-and-print, traditional publishers and distributors are increasingly using the model as well. The list of distribute-and-print partnerships continues to grow and includes: Bridgeport National Bindery and Oxford University Press through an agreement with CPI/Anthony Rowe; Lightning Source U.K. and Harvard University Press; Hachette Livre and Ingram Content Group; Baker & Taylor and RR Donnelley; and Edwards Brothers and Author Solutions. In addition, ColorCentric has kicked off a program to provide distribute-and-print solutions around the world utilizing its Printernet software. In the realm of distributed point-of-sale printing, On Demand Books is expanding its placements of the Espresso Book Machine, and has tapped Lightning Source and Google to expand its library of offerings to more than 3 million titles.