Book Printing Outlook : Rolling With the Changes

Top 5 Book Printers

Courier Corp. added a pair of HP T410 digital inkjet web presses at its Kendallville, IN, facility this year.

According to Duening, Quad/Graphics has made significant investments in its digital platform, both from a press and finishing standpoint. However, Quad’s conventional printing platform will continue to see investments where appropriate. He says the company sees possibilities to use its interactive print solutions with book publishers to add value and extend book content.

“Interactive print connects print with mobile technology, such as a smartphone or tablet, to create engaging experiences that pop off the page,” he notes. “Interactive experiences include augmented reality, video, social media sharing, online access and more. These experiences add value for consumers.”

Duening points out that Quad/Graphics Media Solutions offers XML capabilities to help publishers maximize their content across channels, and earlier this year began offering a full range of content creation services to book publishers, including research, concepting and design; copywriting, editing and proofreading; photography and art direction; and page layout and production.

As to what 2014 may hold in store for those spaces where Quad/Graphics competes, Duening says the economy will play a role in determining fortunes, but he sees a long, slow journey to recovery ahead. “One thing we are doing is keeping in close contact with our book publisher partners so we better understand their challenges and offer solutions to help them capitalize on opportunities,” he adds.

It was a year of evolving markets for Chicago-based printing giant RR Donnelley, which noted changes in many segments it serves, including trade, education, religious, juvenile and professional. RR Donnelley continues to focus on investments that allow it to help publishing customers drive revenue, manage costs and improve services, reports Dave McCree, senior vice president of the firm’s book business.

“We offer publishers quick turns, schedule flexibility and easy order replenishment that allow book shipments to reach retailers faster,” McCree says. “We continue to invest in our one-color and four-color digital printing offering, as publishers shift their focus to inventory management needs for changing print volumes. Our enhanced fulfillment and distribution solution is specifically designed to solve the challenges of publishers who seek to lower their fulfillment and distribution costs, while enhancing service to their customers. Each of the solutions offered by RR Donnelley are also supported by our unsurpassed customer service.”

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  • Werner R

    All of those statistics only cover the traditional titles. The true action is with the so-called "non-traditional titles." All thanks to easy to use computers and digital printing, we produce more books than ever. Annually, 4 million + titles are listed at the Library of Congress yet my friends down in the trenches tell me, many do not register their keep-sake books. Yes, these are low quantities. Markets do change. Ask suppliers of POD binding equipment and materials and you get the true story, all report record sales.
    Werner Rebsamen Prof. Emeritus RIT

  • Rob Mauritz

    I have to agree with Werner that sales in what he calls ‘non-traditional titles’ are very strong. LBS’ fiscal year ended October 31 and we trended upwards in comparison to 2012. December 2013 was the largest sales month in the company’s history. Publishers and book manufacturers along with material and equipment suppliers that are finding success have morphed themselves to meet the demands of the print and bind on-demand market.
    Rob Mauritz – LBS