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.
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
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
The 2008 Publishing Business Conference & Expo—held March 10-12 in New York City— was the setting for a meeting of many of publishing’s top minds. With more than 1,000 book and magazine publishing industry executives in attendance, the Publishing Business Conference & Expo featured two-and-a-half days of intensive conference sessions addressing the biggest issues facing publishers today. Held concurrently, the expo hosted more than 100 exhibitors showcasing publishing technologies and services. The show, which this year featured its new Publishing Business brand, is produced by Book Business and Publishing Executive magazines and follows in the footsteps of the BookTech Conference & Expo. “The evolution
Italian author Robert Bernocco has completed his first book, which he wrote completely on a mobile phone and it will be published on Lulu.com, an online marketplace for digital content. The 384-page sci-fi novel, “Fellow Travellers,” was written on Bernocco’s daily commute to work on the train, via his Nokia 6630 phone, using the T9 system. “We live in an age when individuals are strapped for time due to work and family commitments, and this can often stifle creativity,” said Cristel Lee Leed, European vice president, Lulu.com. “Mr. Bernocco is a great example of the type of author we often encounter on Lulu—he has
Or maybe that should be, Available Now at a Bookstore Near You. After all, it was only a few years ago that digitally printed books were thought of as a modern version of vanity press for wannabe authors or only appropriate for titles with narrow audiences. It was acceptable for volumes catering to niche interests, product manuals, and the college course packs but not for “real” books. After all, the machinery was relatively slow, digital printing was low quality, and existing binding equipment couldn’t deliver a marketable product. How things have changed. Now there are digitally printed books at major book stores, at Amazon, and
While digital toner and inkjet based color has been available for years, Lightning Source’s announcement at Book Expo America of its four-color one-off production line exponentially expands the base for untapped publishing business opportunities for mid-range, independent and high-end publishers. It also shines the light on the transformation of manufacturing business models in the past 10 years, providing a price-list-based, sophisticated manufacturing service that simplifies the supply chain process without sacrificing quality controls. Buying color in Asia or Europe in sufficient quantities to bring the unit cost down and allowing for the weeks of turnaround time need no longer be a barrier to the
Book publishers are keeping their fingers crossed that 2005 will be the year the industry shakes off the period of stagnation that has coincided with the U.S. economic downturn. The domestic market continued to remain essentially flat in 2004, but industry insiders are hopeful that the market will soon show growth. The shift toward more flexible production schedules, and resurgence in educational and reference titles will likely be the engines that drive any industry upswing. Another trend in 2005 will be publishers aiming to enhance profitability by leveraging the cost benefits of digital printing and international sourcing. Setting the Stage for Growth