Special Advertising Section: Digital Printing: The Burgeoning Business of Books
While the glitter and flash of ebooks, e-readers and tablets get all the mainstream media attention—and pundits predict the end of printed books—traditional printed volumes still represent enormous opportunity for print providers. According to Caslon & Company, monochrome books will account for up to 85 billion pages through 2016 and color books are expected to make up some 15 billion pages in the same period. Little wonder that savvy print providers are adding capabilities, technology and workflows to carve out a presence in this burgeoning market.
In fact, such firms see ebooks and tablets as helping grow their business. While the latest titles from name-brand authors have both electronic and traditional versions, the greatest potential for print providers is not the best-seller list. Second-tier fiction and most nonfiction titles are also appearing in both formats with the resulting lower print volumes making them a great fit for digital presses and demand-driven production volumes. Digital presses are also seeing a growing volume of titles from new authors because the economics make it easier for smaller publishers to produce short runs economically and test the market for unknown writers.
And it's not just books from traditional publishing houses that are part of the growing page counts. Businesses, associations, trade organizations and educational institutions all produce catalogs, directories, booklets, manuals, guidebooks, course packs and more. Low volumes and the need for regular revision make digital printing the perfect solution for such books. Likewise, the rapid growth of self-published titles that bypass conventional publishing houses are bringing more new books and authors to market. It is not just the domain of players such as iUniverse and Lulu, but other printers who have cracked the code of digital book production. All are seeing reliable revenue streams from a host of new customers. It's safe to say the printed book is anything but dead.