There's Growth in Them There Stacks
Tomes used for browsing and settling arguments will also likely see resurgence in 2005, according to Alison Fargis, a partner at publisher Stonesong Press. For the past few years it has been almost taboo to utter the word "reference" in front of a book developer, but resistance to the category is beginning to change, Fargis says. "People who have been relying on the Internet for information are realizing that they can't always trust the source," she says. The Internet or television may spark an interest in a subject, which then generates interest in purchasing a more authoritative source such as encyclopedias, tabletop books or desk references.
Fargis says publishers will try to replicate the recent success of trivia book "Schott's Original Miscellany" by offering reference materials that can catch the reader's eye. "Readers accustomed to interactive content are no longer satisfied with looking at two columns of text," according to Fargis. Titles are being redesigned for 2005 with more conspicuous jackets and pages featuring more graphics surrounded by quick bites of information that satisfy readers with shorter attention spans.
Instead of trying to revive the market for books with accompanying CDs, Fargis says some titles will feature integration with familiar Web sites, such as DK Publishing's reference titles that are joint efforts with Google, or books that accompany TV series like the "Discovery Channel."
Digital Grows Up
Digital printing will likely have the most impact of any book technology in 2005 as publishers will more frequently complement offset printing with short runs. According to Jim Hamilton, director of the On Demand Printing and Publishing Consulting Service for analyst firm InfoTrends/Cap Ventures, the launch of a 'book factory' machine early in the year by Muller Martini and Delphax could make a significant impact on the industry.
The Muller Martini SigmaLine is a start-to-finish machine, providing printing through binding, and is rated to produce a 300-page book every five seconds. The emergence of this type of printer will enable publishers to cost-effectively turn to short runs for volumes up to 1,000 or more. As the technology continues to improve during the next few years, "digitally produced short runs could approach 5,000 units," Hamilton says. He believes another significant development is the availability of digital printers with 19-inch rolls, such as the IBM Infoprint 4100 and the Kodak Versamark, that accommodate the 6-inch by 9-inch format with full bleeds.
- Association of American Publishers
- Banta Book Group
- Banta Corp.
- ColorCentric Corp.
- Eastman Kodak, Kodak Versamark
- IBM Corporation
- InfoTrends / CAP Ventures
- Lightning Source Inc.
- Managing Editor Inc.
- Microsoft Corp.
- Muller Martini
- On Demand Machinery LLC
- People Magazine
- Quark Inc.
- WoodWing Software
- Xerox Corp.