ASHLAND, Ohio — April 20, 2016 — Bookmasters, one of the largest providers of integrated book publishing services, and Baker & Taylor, the premier worldwide distributor of books, digital content, and entertainment products, have entered into an international partnership with Printondemand-worldwide (PODW) to offer print on demand and distribution services to their publishers. Unveiled at…
Book Business: What are some of the key challenges you are facing today as you try to grow your distribution business?
Larry Bennett: The printed book business is shrinking (numbers from a variety of sources indicate that ebooks represent approximately 20 percent of the trade market). As it shrinks, there is growing pressure on publishers, authors, wholesalers, distributors, sales reps and retailers to maintain margins. In order to do this, we need to continuously improve in many areas, including operational efficiencies to minimize cost, effectiveness in the sell-in of our better titles, aggressive pursuit of non-traditional markets and expanded services.
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.
To survive and thrive as the book industry's digital revolution pushes forward, and as better inventory management drives the shift toward smaller print runs, the smarter printers are doing everything they can to ensure they'll be a part of that ongoing transformation. This includes incorporating newer technologies with an ever sharper focus on customer support and service. Book Business spoke with executives from Quad/Graphics, BookMasters, Sheridan Books, Walsworth and Thomson-Shore, and asked about their outlooks for their businesses. The general consensus: They're ready for what the next year (and the years to come) have in store for them.
Mike Shatzkin has another fascinating essay over at The Shatzkin Files. Here he goes into detail about how e-books are priced by various actors in the e-book publishing industry. He explains that the break between agency pricing and non-agency pricing creates two separate standards—the “digital retail price” (of which agency vendors take 30 percent and are not allowed to change) …
Publishers and experts at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany say eBook theft is unlikely to go away, but is a manageable problem with vigilance and action already underway.
“If you give normal, regular, upstanding citizens a legitimate route to your material they are most likely to attain it legitimately, most people do not want to steal,” said Claire Holloway of publishing services provider Bookmasters.
Self-publishing and online services, e-books, and digital demand printing are joined into a new and powerful sector that is transforming the industry. For industry professionals whose career satisfactions and livelihoods are bonded to the future of the book, this new sector offers a wild ride and a venturesome future.
Regarding the book manufacturing industry’s commitment to “green” principles, it could be said that a page has truly turned. Over the past decade, consideration of climate impacts and paper sourcing has become central to the industry’s approach, and, along the way, many manufacturers have discovered ways to balance the need to economize, invest in infrastructure and reduce environmental impacts—often through innovative policies and practices that manage to do all three.
Ten years ago, digital, ondemand book printing officially burst upon the scene at Book-Expo America. With IBM’s roll-fed and Xerox’s sheet-fed equipment producing books on the show fl oor in Chicago, Ingram (then Lightning Print) and Bertelsmann (through OPM) invited the industry to get on board while the train was at the station. Since then, Lighting Print has transformed into Lightning Source, a subsidiary of Ingram Industries and the nation’s largest 24/7 book-at-a-time printer. Book and journal manufacturer Edwards Brothers, which had also been operating a one-off DocuTech service for some years before 1998, has expanded its reach and now has seven satellite digital