Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Since we discussed Print on Demand yesterday, I thought it only fitting to take the discussion into the United Kingdom. The site, What They Think?, had an article on Lightning Source UK.
The Lightning Source UK operation, founded in 2001, manufactured over 30,000 books on behalf of its publisher partners in its inaugural year. Less than a decade later, the company manufactured over two million books in 2008…
David Taylor, President of Lightning Source, said:
"With print on demand, publishers are able to match supply to demand perfectly – no guesswork, no risk – and with predictable costs. Print on demand is no longer an option; it is a necessity."
Gilles Biscos, President of Interquest, a market and technology research and consulting firm specializing in digital printing and publishing, added:
"Our preliminary data show that digital book printing will continue to experience rapid growth-15 percent to 20 percent annually in volume, both in North America and Europe-while the overall book market will remain flat."
No matter what your opinion is of POD, you have to note that it’s being discussed everywhere.


  1. Good for them. Lightning Source is a great printing operation.

    Morgan Mandel

  2. Congratulations, Morgan, on your romantic comedy, Girl of My Dreams, placing fourth in the Preditors & Editors 2008 Readers Poll!

  3. I don't understand why some people--publishers and writers alike--still snub POD publishing. It makes sense to publish only what's going to sell, no warehousing costs and fewer, if any, returns. The publishing time is also reduced by a wide margin. So what's the beef? :)


  4. I think the main reason for the snubbing is that some people get POD (print on demand) mixed up with self-publishing. Even the big houses are now using POD.

    Another reason is that using POD will mean a re-structuring of the way best-sellers are identified and the way books are ordered. If bookstores had their own POD machines (very expensive), that would really change the way books are ordered. I don't see that last one happening until the machines came waaaay down in price. But the technology means books can be ordered one at a time instead of 4 or 5, and definitely instead of 50 or 100 (and then sent back when they don't sell).

  5. I agree with Helen - a lot of people get POD printing and POD publishing confused. (I usually just refer to it as digital printing.) I know one small publisher who absolutely hates anyone who uses POD, even though the difference between publisher & printer have been explained to her - more than once, I might add!

    The idea of POD printing just makes sense and it will be interesting to see how it continues to change the industry, especially at the bookstore level.

    L. Diane Wolfe

  6. I think POD's are great - at least the reputable outfits that are selective with their process about what they will publish and have good quality professionalism in the way they produce their books. Hey it's also good for the environment. Print the book when it is demanded, not print out tens of thousands at a time and then throw them in the landfill if they don't sell.

  7. Diane, I'll try to remember the term "digital printing." Perhaps you'll convert us all, one person at a time.

  8. We could start a campaign, Marvin.

    No more books in dumps unless you go there to read!

  9. POD is so darn logical, it's just a matter of time before the traditional way of publishing will be over.


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