New Revenue Opportunities and Efficiencies for Publishers
Putting Digital Publishing to Good Use
Edwards Brothers of Ann Arbor, Mich., a book printer that was featured in the July/August 2004 issue of BookTech Magazine, helps control the costs of fulfilling these smaller orders by running print-to-order production facilities in the warehouses of publishing customers, eliminating the cost of delivery from plant to warehouse.
Other innovative book manufacturers are carving out a role for digital publishing in first-edition printing. Some publishers print shorter first-edition runs to better control warehouse volume, knowing they can respond to demand quickly with digital technology.
Others use digital to fill manufacturing orders more precisely. For example, a manufacturer might print 52,000 copies to fill an order for 50,000, but actually deliver only 48,000 due to routine production errors. Some manufacturers now produce the remaining 2,000 copies digitally, and
bill for the full order.
Digital publishing also allows book publishers to economically produce low-demand, yet viable titles such as teachers' editions of textbooks or specialty books written for niche audiences. These typically have shorter run-length requirements that can't be fiscally justified for offset printing.
These are just some of the ways that digital book manufacturing is helping publishers remain profitable. It provides a bridge to a future in which the publishing industry will almost certainly be re-invented.
Peter Perine is vice president/general manager of the graphic communications publishing segment at Xerox Corp.