Print On Demand (Toc 2010) Final


Published on

Slides used to guide a 90-minute workshop on digital printing offered at O'Reilly Media's 2010 Tools of Change conference. Co-presented by Ashley Gordon and Brian O'Leary

Published in: Education
1 Like
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Print On Demand (Toc 2010) Final

  1. 1. Making the case for digital printing<br />Tools of Change in Publishing<br />Ashley Gordon and Brian O’Leary<br />February 22, 2010<br />
  2. 2. Digital printing: a summary<br />Three overlapping segments<br />Can make financial sense when you look at all of the costs involved with creating and managing inventory<br />Potentially significant opportunity to use digital printing to maintain or grow the availability of niche content<br />The benefits available from digital printing depend on the size, page count and annual demand for any given title<br />Models (tailored to address the nature of specific imprints and titles) can help identify the best uses<br />
  3. 3. Digital printing<br />Print on demand<br />Short-run printing<br />Ultra-short-run printing<br />One-off printing<br />Self-publishing<br />Author services<br />Wholesaler/distributor<br />Distribution/fulfillment<br />Metadata<br />Chunking/bundling/repurposing<br />Alphabet City: PDF, XML, DAD/DAM, ONIX<br />Content<br />The vocabulary of digital printing …<br />
  4. 4. It’s useful to first confirm the overlapping models<br />
  5. 5. A range of digital printing suppliers<br />Lightning Source (Ingram)<br />CreateSpace (Amazon)<br />Textstream (B&T)<br />Bookmobile<br />Colorcentric<br />Edwards Brothers<br />ePac<br />Quebecor-World<br />R.R. Donnelley<br />Friesens<br />Sheridan<br />Transcontinental<br />The firms shown are representative; list is not exhaustive<br />
  6. 6. Among digital printing vendors, there is overlap…<br />Lightning Source<br />Transcontinental<br />Various<br />Quebecor-World<br />(Eusey Press)<br />Vendor examples are representative only (not a complete or preferred list; vendors can and do cross segments)<br />
  7. 7. All part of an evolving value chain …<br />Lightning Source (Ingram)<br />CreateSpace (Amazon)<br />Textstream (B&T)<br />Bookmobile<br />Colorcentric<br />Edwards Brothers<br />ePac<br />Quebecor-World<br />R.R. Donnelley<br />Friesens<br />Sheridan<br />Transcontinental<br />Amazon<br />LibreDigital<br />NetGalley<br />SharedBook<br />Value Chain International<br />ReadHowYouWant<br />Ingram<br />Baker & Taylor<br />
  8. 8. Digital printing set-up requirements<br />All look for PDFs; most will (try to) process properly structured documents in XML or native-application formats (InDesign, Quark, sometimes Word)<br />All offer direct or third-party conversion (scanning) of material not available digitally<br />Digital conversions cost less and take less time than scanning<br />Conversion costs occur once; if you work with a digital asset distributor, they may provide it as part of their service (i.e., don’t pay twice!)<br />Separate, lower set-up costs for cover and text/body copy are typical<br />
  9. 9. Typical limitations of digital printing services<br />Paper choices<br />Trim sizes<br />Maximum page counts<br />Foil stamping or embossing<br />Rough cut edges<br />Sewn bindings<br />Case-bound color<br />Spot colors<br />Some vendors offer some of these services; no vendor offers all of them. Before committing to digital printing, evaluate requirements against current and expected market capabilities.<br />
  10. 10. How do you typically work with these vendors?<br />Most maintain relationships with traditional royalty publishers<br />Most offer conversion services<br />Some offer warehousing and/or fulfillment services<br />Options can include: “no” inventory (print only when ordered); limited inventory (order 1, print “n”); and minimum inventory (fill-in)<br />
  11. 11. Author-services firms come in many shapes<br />Author House (Indiana)*<br />iUniverse (Nebraska)*<br />Trafford (British Columbia)*<br />xLibris (Pennsylvania)*<br />Lulu (North Carolina)<br />CreateSpace (<br />Bookends (New Jersey)<br />Blurb (California)<br />Picaboo (California)<br />Picturia Press (California)<br />*While these firms are now part of Author Solutions, they operate independently and offer different types of services<br />The firms shown are representative; list is not exhaustive<br />
  12. 12. How do author services firms typically work?<br />Compete for authors as customers; may make some money selling books<br />Authors invest in editing and digital printing services (basic services generally under US$1,000)<br />Clear agreements on what each service provides (and does not provide)<br />Services can obtain ISBNs and arrange for listings<br />Typically, the services do not promote (unless you buy that)<br />Usually do not handle fulfillment<br />
  13. 13. On-site services (POD “kiosks”) are more limited<br />Instabook (Bookends)<br />On Demand Books (Espresso Book Machine)<br />Limited but growing market penetration at this point<br />Promising uses: local demand for OOP titles; customized content (special editions, course packs, etc.); high-traffic sites with limited inventory (e.g. airports)<br />
  14. 14. So how is digital printing used by publishers?<br />Backlist (but not just long tail)<br />Just-in-Time Inventory<br />New Imprints<br />Distributed Print <br />Overseas Expansion<br />Bridging/Crashing <br />New Formats<br />Large Print<br />Personalized Content<br />Custom Content<br />
  15. 15. Just-in-time inventory saves on the rent<br />Free Books: Bloomsbury Publishing Launches “Radical” New Academic Imprint<br />Library Journal, 9/23/2008<br />The Perseus Books Group Announces New Digital Printing Partnership with Edwards Brothers<br />Edwards Brothers press release, 1/28/2008<br />Northshire Bookstore Prepares to Launch Print-on-Demand Publishing Service<br />Bookselling This Week, 2/20/2008<br />Lightning Source UK and publisher Thomas Nelson Inc. announce best-seller title program<br />Lightning Source press release, 2/26/2007<br />
  16. 16. Crashing & bridging: printing “miracles”<br />Chelsea Green Makes Obama Book Available Early Exclusively on Amazon<br />Publishers Weekly, 8/15/2008<br />Gov. Sarah Palin biography brought to market by Epicenter Press and Ingram content companies<br />Lightning Source press release, 9/2/2008<br />University of Nebraska Press selects Lightning Source to bring Nobel Laureate titles to market<br />Lightning Source press release, 10/15/2008<br />
  17. 17. Digital printing can lower the unit cost of books sold<br />
  18. 18. Digital manufacturing costs are typically higher<br />Unit costs per POD book printed are higher than seen with conventional technologies (studied books between 80 and 320 pages)<br />Unit costs per POD book sold can be lower, depending on sell-through for a title<br />POD can be set up to produce a single copy of one or more consistently formatted titles<br />When POD is dismissed by publishers, it is typically based on manufacturing costs alone.<br />
  19. 19. POD can help reduce or eliminate returns/unsold copies<br />POD technology allows publishers to choose their inventory objectives<br />Supports zero inventory (order, then print) as well as structured maintenance of low volumes of ordered titles<br />Titles printed POD can be sold as non-returnable<br />Titles printed POD can also be fulfilled directly, through contracted services<br />Our research shows that the share of unsold copies is often much higher on small press runs (smaller base, greater uncertainty).<br />
  20. 20. POD can also reduce inventory spoilage/shrinkage<br />Shrinkage (loss or theft) and spoilage (from handling) can consume as much as 10% of a print run<br />Little or no inventory also means significantly reduced spoilage/shrinkage<br />Coupled with fewer returns or unsold copies, lower spoilage also improves POD’s cost per book sold<br />While spoilage and shrinkage vary significantly across titles, the longer a book is held, the greater the loss becomes… <br />
  21. 21. Reducing inventory cuts carrying costs<br />Warehouse costs can range from $0.12 to $1.80 per copy, per year<br />Costs of capital (paying for printing well ahead of when the books are sold)<br />For slow-moving titles (demand below 50 per year), carrying costs can exceed manufacturing expense<br />Because warehouse and financial expenses are usually not part of a departmental or title budget, the costs are often not factored into POD analyses.<br />
  22. 22. However, this analysis compares just “books in print”<br />There is another, important consideration unique to POD…<br />
  23. 23. POD also helps keep niche content in print<br />Higher manufacturing costs for POD<br />Lower expenses for returns/unsold, spoilage and carrying costs<br />“Order, then print” model supports more timely inventory decisions<br />OOP/OSI is no longer a forced (economic) decision<br />Editorial value can be protected without incurring significant upfront costs<br />Lowers risk (“Why not stay in print?”)<br />Prices based on POD expense and full understanding of costs<br />Predictable expenses<br />Search and filter helps drive demand<br />
  24. 24. OUP: an example of backlist life<br />OUP made 15,564 digital titles available through Google Book Search<br />Nearly 144 million book pages viewed<br />Over 700 thousand readers clicked a “buy the book” link<br />An average of 47 “buy the book” clicks per title<br />Expensive books (average price: $40) <br />Click-to-Buy Conversion Rates<br />
  25. 25. Where POD may help meet long-tail demand <br />Potentially cost-effective use of POD for online orders (titles still in print but slower-moving)<br />Use POD to keep titles in print, growing revenues<br />Demand (sales)<br />Title count ranked by demand<br />Maximum offline-retail title count<br />OOP or OSI invoked<br />
  26. 26. Digital printing also supports new formats and uses<br />Large Print Up Close: Diverse content—edgier, younger—plus POD possibilities give new life to a venerable offshoot<br />Publishers Weekly, 5/19/2008<br />“Releasing our large-print titles directly into paperback allows us to be more competitive in pricing… It'll also slide easily into a print-on-demand format at the end of the retail life cycle.”—Anthony Goff, Hachette<br />Penguin Launches Penguin 2.0, iPhone App<br />Publishers Weekly, 12/8/2008 <br />SharedBook Introduces Smart Button™ Technology Through Partnerships with Encyclopaedia Britannica,, and SOHO Publishing<br />Press Release, 2/9/2009<br />
  27. 27. So what are the typical economics for POD?<br />Costs and services vary by POD vendor, so we created a uniform model to track various options<br />This model consists of: a series of vendor tabs (expandable); a summary of all vendor results; and a cost-benefit tab for a book of a given page count and trim size<br />Pricing changes over time, but this model provides a good look at the demand scenarios in which POD makes sense<br />After a short break, we’ll show how these demand scenarios work<br />Switch from presentation to the workbook model …<br />
  28. 28. We’ll add one significant analytical footnote …<br />The model assumes that every book printed and not spoiled is sold<br />There’s no reduction in the model for copies not sold<br />A smaller conventional press run can look like a good financial option if demand is predictable<br />Where demand is uncertain (or certain to be less than your minimum conventional print quantity), POD can become a better option<br />
  29. 29. So what to make of all of this data?<br />
  30. 30. Discoverability and access in a POD world<br />Lower-demand titles are less likely to make it to bookshelves<br />Successful digital printing strategies use online to promote titles<br />Google Book Search, Amazon SITB, BN Search are all valid options<br />Consider digital printing vendors that can seamlessly fulfill<br />Try to balance the market power of Amazon and CreateSpace<br />Use social media to leverage content discoverability, syndication<br />Direct sales probably not as successful in the near term<br />Channel conflict<br />Challenges managing fulfillment<br />There are exceptions (Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing)<br />Individual authors without a platform may be best served by author services<br />
  31. 31. Getting started in digital printing<br />Determine your objectives: what do you want POD to accomplish?<br />Title set up: fees, process, file types, book specs<br />Workflow: design with POD in mind, anticipate when to turn it on<br />Identify vendors and partners: capacity, production specs, relationships<br />Know your numbers:<br />true unit cost<br />inventory needs<br />turn-times (title set up, printing, shipping)<br />
  32. 32. Digital printing: a summary<br />Three overlapping segments<br />Can make financial sense when you look at all of the costs involved with creating and managing inventory<br />Potentially significant opportunity to use POD to maintain or grow the availability of niche content<br />The benefits available from POD depend on the size, page count and annual demand for any given title<br />Models (tailored to address the nature of specific imprints and titles) can help identify the best uses<br />
  33. 33. Suggested digital printing resources<br />Book Industry Study Group (a primer now available)<br />Leading vendors<br />Your current vendor (depending on the relationship)<br />Leading-edge experimenters<br /><br /><br />