New Revenue Opportunities and Efficiencies for Publishers
We are in a time when book publishers are being squeezed from nearly every direction. The rising costs of paper, printing, shipping and warehousing are driving up manufacturing costs, which the already-compressed bottom line cannot absorb. Beyond this, an increasingly inefficient traditional supply chain that accounts for most of the industry's revenue is gradually becoming its Achilles' heel.
Given these circumstances, and without a best-selling title or two, a publisher's only real option for handling profit pressures is to wring out costs. Opportunities exist, but it is challenging to change the processes that are so entrenched in how the publishing business is run.
A Solution Just in Time
However, new approaches to publishing, driven by digital print technology, are giving publishing entrepreneurs a competitive edge and traditional publishers a means to combat the considerable pressure their businesses are experiencing.
The biggest benefit of digital book printing is its ability to produce books 'just in time,' reducing the dependence upon inexact customer demand forecasts and minimizing warehousing costs (about half of the books manufactured in the last decade are gathering dust in warehouses). Digital printing also helps control costs and deliver incremental revenue that offset printing cannot. It provides an economic advantage for print runs that range from one to several thousand.
Digital technology also offers advantages for nearly every printing requirement before and after the main edition run. Prior to the main run, digital is an economical choice for short runs of review copies, comps and preview copies for sales reps and promotions, or to produce short runs of limited-distribution copies to serve as a market test.
The latter stages of a title's life cycle are also a digital stronghold with profitable production in quantities as low as one and titles that never have to go out of print. Old titles can be stored in electronic archives for printing on demand, providing incremental revenue.