Printed Books Bounce Back!
It was heartwarming to read last week's New York Times article "E-Book Sales Slip, and Print is Far From Dead" that was published on Sept. 22.
E-book sales continue to slip, and publishers are building new warehouse distribution centers for, yes, REAL BOOKS. The article went on in detail to explain the firm grip that printed books still hold in the marketplace. If I were a bindery machinery manufacturer, this would have made my day.
The business of printing and stocking books has been revolutionized over the past 10 years or so by a combination of software and new manufacturing techniques. New algorithms can accurately estimate just how many of a particular title a bookstore will need. Short-run manufacturing of both soft- and hard-cover books (enabled by high-speed digital print) has led us to the proverbial "book-of-one" model.
So, far from anticipating the "death of the book," I believe we're in exciting times for the printed book. In the coming weeks, we'll take a look at how the major bindery machinery vendors have reacted to the new market, and what they have in store for new equipment.