How Digital Printing Can Reduce Risk and Offer Access to New Markets
Editor's Note: Kirby Best, former president of POD book manufacturer Lightning Source, spoke at the 2014 Digital Book Printing Conference. Here he shares the unique opportunities digital printing presents to book publishers. For more coverage on the latest digital printing technology and strategies, join Book Business at the 2nd annual Digital Book Printing Conference on October 27, 2015 at the New York City Union League. Register here.
The fate of print publishing depends largely on whether it is able to adapt to changing circumstances. Flexibility and sustainability have grown more and more important within the industry, a fact that has lead many publishers to move toward digital printing..
We spoke to Kirby Best, president and CEO of Performance Scrubs and former president of POD book manufacturer Lightning Source, about the opportunities digital printing provides for publishers, and how on-demand printing can help publishers reach new markets. Kirby presented his insights on new publishing opportunities in a session titled "Confessions of a Former Book Manufacturer" at the 2014 Digital Book Printing Conference.
What do you think is the greatest opportunity (or opportunities) that digital printing presents for publishers?
The most significant advantage digital printing offers to publishers is risk reduction. The ability to print the exact quantity needed, when it's needed, and not fill warehouses full of books that will never be read is a real possibility with digital printing. The technology allows publishers to test market a title before taking on the risks and costs associated with long print runs. The publisher realizes cost savings by reducing inventory and decreasing returns. Adopting a digital printing strategy opens the door to a more nimble, efficient, and customer-focused publishing house.
What are a couple of ways book publishers can drive revenue or cut costs with print on demand implementation?
Digital printing offers publishers the opportunity to drive revenue by accessing new markets that have been off limits due to artificial trade barriers. By building a central electronic distribution hub, content can be distributed to local markets around the world. The printing takes place in the selling region so you reduce transportation costs and increase access to customers in every continent. With this model the publisher also reduces warehousing expense as books are printed and distributed directly to the local bookseller. With digital printing technology and the adoption of a central digital distribution hub, the vision of being able to buy any book anywhere becomes a reality.
What can attendees expect to learn from your talk at the Digital Book Printing Conference?
Attendees will learn about the advantages of bringing all of the book industry players together to build a central digital hub that distributes content globally. The seminar will de-mystify the complexities of a digital hub strategy and demonstrate that the advantages warrant breaking the existing roadblocks.