Special Advertising Section: Digital Printing: The Burgeoning Business of Books
"Producing these digitally lets us produce and distribute titles that would not otherwise be available here," says Sevin. "Having more titles helps us in representing a publisher because the more titles we have the greater the interest we get from big distributors like Ingram or Amazon. This just wouldn't be the same without digital printing."
The opportunities extend to marketing and other support for publishers. BookMasters offers an array of publishing support services from editing to design to promotion and more. Color House sees the same needs in its own customers. "There are small imprints and self-publishers who don't have the capacity to do all the legwork it takes to be a publisher," says Knight. "We can add more value by providing those services."
Quality a Non-issue
The technology used to produce a book may be invisible to the reader but even a few years ago there were noticeable quality differences between offset and digitally printed books. Now, quality has become a non-issue. From cover to cover, the look and feel of a digital volume is indistinguishable to all but a trained eye. Print quality is the same and paper mills now offer the same substrates for both offset and digital presses. Digital presses have also become more flexible in the range of papers they can run, enabling a book printer to have a selection of paper stocks that can be used on any press.
"At Gasch Printing our two roll-fed machines [Océ VarioStream 10000 and 7550] are printing on offset paper with recycled or FSC certifications," says Hess. "Our cut sheet printers (a pair of Canon imagePRESS C7010s and a Canon 665) can print on any substrate, gloss, matte, textured for covers and color pages."
Color House uses all sheet-fed presses for its titles and gets in rolls of paper in a variety of weights, then sheets them onsite for its Heidelberg large format press or its Xerox iGen4 and Nuvera 288 monochrome presses. This gives any title a seamless transition from offset to digital as volumes change.