Hachette Livre and Lightning Source Partner on French POD Operation
Hachette Livre of France has partnered with Lightning Source Inc. to offer print-on-demand (POD) services to the French book market. This new POD operation will be located at Hachette Livre’s distribution facility in Maurepas, near Paris, and is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2010.
According to the companies, the first phase of the operation will enable Hachette to extend the range of services it makes available to both Hachette-controlled publishing houses and to third-party customers of its distribution facility. After the successful completion of this first phase, phase two will give independent publishers the option to participate in the POD program, regardless of ownership or distribution contracts.
The two companies already have identified thousands of titles from Hachette-owned publishing companies as POD candidates, based upon their physical characteristics and sales profiles. In addition, the new venture may bring out-of-print titles back into the marketplace.
“The joint venture with Lightning Source in France is a strategic move that will allow Hachette to make leading-edge digital technology available to all its business partners, no matter how small," says Arnaud Nourry, chairman and CEO of Hachette Livre. "Its implications are considerable. No book entered into the program will ever be out of print. The turnaround between incoming order and shipping is so short that copies can be delivered to point of sale as fast as if they were pulled from inventory, and mint-like in terms of quality. It is the perfect solution for low-volume backlist and out-of-print books. At a time when out-of-print books are the subject of much attention, POD offers a convincing solution. I am delighted we could partner with the world’s leader in this technology, and look forward to a long, successful relationship.”
John R. Ingram, chairman of Ingram Content Group Inc., says the joint venture is a significant step forward in the company’s international expansion. Lightning Source serves more than 9,000 publishers worldwide and prints about 1.4 million books each month.
“We have had a terrific working relationship with Hachette, both in the U.S. and U.K. for many years, and are extremely delighted to strengthen both of our businesses through this joint venture in Hachette’s home market,” Ingram says.
“We are very excited about this innovative partnership with Hachette," adds David "Skip" Prichard, president and CEO of Ingram Content Group. "It allows us to build out our globally distributed print capabilities in one of the largest book markets in Europe, and to bring the huge financial and cultural benefits that POD offers to the French book market. POD is about so much more than just printing books. The on-demand model is revolutionizing the very manner in which books are being published and distributed.”