“For publishers [who work with us] here, I can tell you [that] right away they never have to manage that inventory again,” she says. “There’s no worry about shipping. It’s just a nice flow, a nice life cycle.” In addition to the 180 new books and approximately 70 paperback reprints published yearly by the UCP, the CDDC runs fulfillment services for more than 50 outside presses.
Weinkle refers to her clients as “a community of like-minded publishers who have similar financial challenges”—among them, the shifting market for academic materials as university libraries scale back on print purchases, and, in some cases, staff cutbacks that have made it difficult to develop digital distribution and marketing services in-house.
“The Mellon Foundation wanted to help scholarly publishers and help older books stay alive,” Weinkle notes. The service is not a competitor of Ingram Digital, she adds. “It’s a very different business model …. We definitely make a profit here, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s about keeping the books alive,” she says.
In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, the CDDC had a net revenue of $60 million, a 13-percent increase over the year before, according to the center.
BiblioVault offers scanning, PDF enhancement, preflighting and file conversion, as well as marketing services and printing through the CDDC’s digital printing center, which is run in partnership with Edwards Brothers. Through this partnership, the distribution center has the flexibility—thanks to FTP technology— to use satellite manufacturing facilities during peak printing season.
The distribution center’s printing system also can activate an automated short-run printing process for any title specified in advance by a client. The service prints a predetermined number of books any time an order puts a title out of stock, ensuring there are enough printed copies available to fill a future order.