Book publishers are not alone in their attempts to adapt and thrive in a new digital era. Since the introduction of the ebook, printers have faced a radically different industry, one in which print demand has slowed and publishers seek the efficiencies of digital production and distribution. Printers have been forced, much like publishers, to reassess their value in the industry, be more nimble, and find new ways to cut costs and improve efficiencies.
Chuck Nason admits he wasn’t fully prepared for the effects of global competition as it accelerated in 2001. The president and CEO of Worzalla Publishing, a Stevens Point, Wis.-based book manufacturer, watched as a significant portion of the company’s four-color children’s book work went to China. “Global competition has affected us in a major way,” Nason contends. “It caused us to suffer a five-year slide in annual sales from just over $62 million to $44.4 million a year ago. This has meant little or no wage increases for our employees and a freeze on capital equipment purchases for four years.” Nason points out what
Offshoring has taken on new meaning in recent years. The Web, electronic file transfer, advancements in foreign technology and faster, better ways to communicate globally have all stirred the waters of opportunity for tapping the American marketplace from overseas. A global marketplace has swelled beyond what many expected. For some, this means greater opportunity, savings and growth. For others, it means the promise of more jobless Americans, more abandoned factories, more unfair labor competition. For many book publishers, specifically, it means more options for manufacturing books cost-effectively. It means new options for digital content creation, design and editorial. It means increased profitability, growth