Book Printing Outlook : E-Readers Equal E-rosion?
Top 5 Book Printers for 2010.
Two HP T300 inkjet digital web presses helped Courier reduce inventory costs, warehouse space and keep fewer books in inventory.
In order to grow business, Malloy capitalized on much of the work it had been doing by enhancing its scheduling system to provide guaranteed and expedited deliveries. That guarantee provides clients with free product if the promised delivery date is not met.
"It can be valuable to publishers—when they're in a jam—to know they're empowered to come back to the printer to say, 'this has to happen in three days,' " Upton says. "We're also doing more fulfillment. We refer to these as Title Support Services that enable publishers to manage inventory better and improve their cash flow."
E-books will actually play a role in Malloy's success going forward. The company is beta testing an e-book conversion solution with a third-party provider, pulling archived titles out for formatting and conversion into electronic form. On the traditional front, Upton is hoping to see state educational budgets allow for more textbook purchasing/adoptions.
Upton also reports that Malloy plans to replace a casing-in line for hardcover books to coincide with its digital short-run offerings. Malloy can produce case-bound runs with as few as 100 copies; 24 for softcover.
Despite the economy, consumers are still snapping up printed books, notes Brian Freschi, president of retail inserts, books, directories and Canada operations for Quad/Graphics of Sussex, WI. He points to AAP data that say traditional sales in 2010 are up compared to the previous year, and Freschi confirms that has been Quad/Graphics' experience, as well. He expected the final numbers for the second half of 2010 to be buffered by continuing strength in best-selling trade titles, along with a strong showing by educational book products. Quad/Graphics also competes in the religious, reference and B-to-B markets.
Digital printing has helped buoy the back list/out-of-print title arena for Quad. Freschi cites Bowker data that illustrates the explosive growth in titles printed since 2008. "Consumers love choice, so we expect the growth of digital printing to continue at double-digit rates because it allows publishers to economically produce books on-demand," he says.