Print-on-Demand Becomes On Demand

May 22nd, 2006 · 2 Comments
by Booksquare

As we continue to process our BookExpo America experience, we’ll be posting all sorts of exciting news. We did want to start your morning (it’s always morning somewhere) with an introduction to what we believe was one of the coolest announcements of the conference.

Amazon.com (you may have heard of them) unveiled a complement of new features designed toward moving the publishing game into this brave new digital era. We’ll be looking at these with our noted depth later, but one item caught our attention: Amazon’s aggressive move into Print-On-Demand.

Last year, in a little-noticed move, Amazon acquired a company called Booksurge. In the coming months, Amazon will be integrating BookSurge’s POD technology with the entire digital initiative.

What makes this so cool? We’re glad you asked. First, a twenty-four hour turnaround in the printing process. One problem with most POD services is the long delay between ordering and delivery — it’s not so much print-on-demand as it is slow-boat-from-China. Second, of course, is that these are high quality books. We were given a sample, and while it’s true that POD titles will not be printed on the same grayish paper with feathery-edged type that you’re accustomed to seeing, you are getting laser-sharp type on good quality paper. Add good binding (though we have not yet subjected this to the battery of BS

So you have a good product with fast delivery. Also you have a product integrated with Amazon’s existing systems. Next up, we look at how this impacts publishers and authors.

[tags]amazon.com, booksurge, print-on-demand, BEA2006[/tags]

File Under: The Future of Publishing

2 responses so far ↓

  • Cindy Procter-King // May 22, 2006 at 4:32 pm

    My publisher deals with Booksurge (they do our printing), and the Amazon buy-out has really affected things. Previous to the Booksurge buyout, for example, copies of books ordered by non-American residents (like, say, Canadians) were printed and mailed to Canadian addresses from Canadian printers, cutting down not only on shipping and handling charges but on border-crossing charges. When Amazon bought BS, they canceled those contracts because they (and I can’t blame them) want to establish their own contracts. In the meantime, however, small press non-American authors are at a disadvantage. The second edition of my book (changed publishers) isn’t even available at http://www.amazonca. Oh, you can buy the first edition – for $75!!!

    I sure can’t wait until Amazon gets their non-American contracts going. It’s too bad they canceled the contract they were using for Western Canada (or at least my province) though, because of the three author purchase shipments I’ve made from my publisher in the last year, the best quality, by far, came from the printer in Victoria, B.C.

    Cindy

  • Booksquare // May 23, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Cindy — interesting perspective. Being a selfish American, I didn’t consider the international contracts (also, Canada is our friend to the North — I often forget there are some deals that do not cross borders). I believe in Amazon’s desire to maximize profit, so I believe that Amazon will certainly renegotiate these deals. It makes sense.

    $75? That puts you in collectible territory.