The Book Market: Not an Industry in Decline
August 1, 2008

Despite the rising costs and tight supply of paper, increasing fuel costs impacting shipping prices, and growing pressure to cut inventory and increase turnaround times, among other challenges facing book publishers, two Book Business articles reveal positive news for the book manufacturing industry. In the June issue, the “Top 30 Book Manufacturers” feature showed that revenue for 23 of the 30 book manufacturers listed had grown over the previous year. According to Book Business’ 2007 ranking (in the June 2007 issue), just 17 book manufacturers had reported revenue increases. In this issue, in Book Business’ first compilation of leading digital book printers

Digital Printing
August 1, 2008

PublicAffairs, an imprint of The Perseus Books Group, recently found itself with an enviable problem—not enough books to fill orders for a runaway best-seller. The book was Scott McClellan’s White House memoir “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” but luckily for Perseus, the appearance of McClellan’s face everywhere on TV this spring coincided with a propitious meeting at BookExpo America between John Ingram of Ingram Book Group, owner of digital printer Lightning Source, and Perseus Publisher Peter Osnos. “Demand went vertical, and there was a period of time when orders were coming in and they [didn’t have] any

Visant Closes Manufacturing Facilities as Part of Consolidation Effort
July 11, 2008

Armonk, N.Y.-based Visant Corp. announced that it will permanently close its manufacturing facilities in Pennsauken, N.J., as part of its effort to consolidate its book cover and component manufacturing operations. Manufacturing will continue at the company’s Milwaukee, Wis.; Hagerstown, Md.; and Rockaway, N.J., plants. The Pennsauken plant was one of the manufacturing locations for the Visant company Lehigh, a book component and overhead transparency manufacturer. While Visant’s Milwaukee plant also produces Lehigh products, it is unclear whether the closing of the Pennsauken facility will bring an end to the Lehigh brand. Paul Carousso, Visant’s vice president of finance, says that the company has “not

Visant to Consolidate Manufacturing Operations
June 30, 2008

ARMONK, NEW YORK, June 25, 2008 — Visant Corp. today announced the decision to consolidate its book cover and component manufacturing operations. As a result of the decision, the company will permanently close its operations at its Pennsauken, New Jersey manufacturing facilities and consolidate operations into its Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Hagerstown, Maryland and Rockaway, New Jersey facilities later this year.

Quebecor World Creates New Publishing Services Group
June 20, 2008

Quebecor World Inc. announced Tuesday that it is integrating its magazine, book and directory divisions into a single operating structure, the Publishing Services Group. According to the company, the new structure will streamline operations, improve services and better serve existing and new publishing customers. Kevin J. Clarke, who has served as president of Quebecor World’s Book and Directory Publishing Services Group for the last 5 years, will lead the new Publishing Services Group. “The integrated Publishing Services Group is part of our ongoing efforts to meet and exceed the requirements of magazine, book and directory publishers, and to ensure we are in a

Maple-Vail and Amerikal Develop New, Sustainable Book-Printing Process
June 20, 2008

The Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group and Amerikal Products Corp. have unveiled a process called THINKTech that will allow books to be printed on a heat-set web press without any curing. The companies claim the new, sustainable process will revolutionize how books are printed and manufactured. The THINKTech process, which was developed after Maple-Vail switched from traditional pressroom chemistry to Amerikal’s Genesis line of sustainable chemistry, utilizes Amerikal’s Thin Ink Film Technology. The new process will be accomplished by turning off gas-fired ovens, chill drums, chill water compressors, electrical pumps, silicone applicators and electrically powered blowers; replacing traditional press cleaners and wash-up chemicals with Genesis

The Top 30 Book Manufacturers
June 1, 2008

Speak to just about any book manufacturer these days about his or her business, and you’re likely to hear a laundry list of concerns: an economy teetering on the edge of a recession, paper’s rising costs and tighter supply, the need to respond to publishers’ and environmental groups’ “green” demands, and mounting pressure to improve turn times and to upgrade technology, among others. And yet, for an industry so seemingly wrought with challenges, a look at Book Business’ annual list of North America’s Top 30 Book Manufacturers (on pages 16-17) appears to tell a different story. Just seven of the 30 printers who appear

Books Bound for Greatness
May 1, 2008

Printers generally like to talk about investments they’ve made in print technologies—offset or digital. Perhaps that’s because it suggests they’re doing well and that they’re investing in their customers’ businesses. Besides, talking about a slick, new machine that requires little to no makeready time and gets up to color with minimal effort is sexy. Well, comparatively speaking. The clunkier “back-office” equipment found in the typical finishing department is perhaps not as provocative, but talk to most any book printer or trade binder, and they’ll likely confide that the bindery machines are the real workhorses. Indeed, investing in the bindery is just as important

Gene Therapy
May 1, 2008

The publishing industry’s intensified movement toward going “green” was highlighted by recent reports from three major trade groups—the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF). In this column, I summarize the major features of each of these reports, as well as note a bit of contention on some of the findings, that point to the why and how of going “green” for publishers and book printers. (For an extensive and very useful backgrounder, check out the article “The Green Team,” by James Sturdivant, in Book Business, February 2008, also

PMA Speaks Out Against Amazon’s POD Policy
April 11, 2008

PMA, The Independent Publishers Association, which represents more than 4,000 independent publishers, has issued a statement denouncing Amazon’s recent policy aimed at publishers who use print-on-demand (POD) technology to sell directly on The online retailer has directed that these publishers must either print their POD titles exclusively through Amazon’s BookSurge subsidiary for fulfillment of orders placed through its Web site, or incur additional cost to print elsewhere and maintain inventory with Amazon. “This policy imposes a significant financial burden on tens of thousands of small and independent publishers who can least afford it,” says Terry Nathan, PMA executive director. “Without the opportunity to