Publishers gripped by page-turning book production developments

It’s exciting times for the publishing market.  It is clear to me, from the Interquest Digital Book Forum held on Tuesday 28th in London that, when we look at the publishing market we see it is poised at the beginning of a new world of opportunities.

Benoit C participates in the vendor panel 2

Benoit Chatelard (right) discusses Ricoh’s Vision of the Future at Interquest

Over the last five years we have seen that digital book printing has become mainstream.

Publishers have been taking advantage of the digital printing to go beyond simple print on demand. They are using sophisticated virtual stock strategies and ASR (Automated Stock Replenishment) not only to reduce their inventories (and therefore their risk) but also to revive their backlist catalogues.   So it’s no surprise that, according to Interquest, 89% of print volumes in Europe are now short runs.

In fact according to one publisher at the event, “Print on demand is the hidden saviour of the small publisher.”

Print on demand is the hidden saviour of the small publisher

 

High quality colour – the next breakthrough

We are finding that publishers are now looking to use the benefits of digital printing for as much of their catalogue as possible. This means that they want higher quality for colour books – especially Scientific Journals, Children’s books and trade books. However they also want the costs as close to offset printing as possible – i.e. Inkjet costs.

This requires a level of print quality significantly better than the majority of inkjet systems installed in the marketplace.

That’s why Ricoh’s ProVC60000 colour inkjet platform has been capturing publishers’ attention. It offers superb quality colour inkjet which now make it possible to print high quality books and journals, even on offset coated stocks. Elsevier’s Johan Van Slooten states the detail and the sharpness of the inkjet samples were better, adding: “Digital printing can result in better quality than litho.”

Digital printing can result in better quality than litho.

 

Amazon-like service, worldwide

Publishers see how Amazon.com has effectively set customer expectations with fast turnaround, 24 hour delivery and rapid response.

And this is what publishers are increasingly looking for.

The larger publishers really want to achieve this worldwide – that’s why there was so much interest in local printing and in particular the distribute and print model.

 

A brave new world for book manufacturers

All in all we think this represents a significant challenge for book manufacturers. It’s no longer just about substituting offset with digital, but it’s really about how to re-invent production to take advantage of new industry 4.0 technologies and processes.

Every book printer we talk to confirms that, in this new world of short SLAs, shortening print runs and flexible business models, then automation is essential if they are to continue to be profitable.

That’s why we have launched our new Digital Book Printing Solution. Built on Open Standards such as XML, PDF and JDF, it works with many digital print technologies. It is designed to help book manufacturers produce short run books profitably and cost-effectively. Using Ricoh’s longstanding heritage in financial markets the solution can batch print jobs to make printing more efficient and track and trace work so book printers and publishers alike know exactly where each job is.

Our rapidly growing presence in the European book printing marketplace is supported by our headline grabbing technologies. They include superb quality colour inkjet which now makes it possible to print high quality books and journals  -even on offset coated stocks. Our high performance heavyweight digital toner solution is not only ideal for book covers but also for ultra-short run books.

Print production capabilities, combined with quality and seamless job delivery, enable PSPs to redefine their business approach to more effectively address a broader range of markets.

A model approach

Benoit Chaterlard

Benoit Chatelard Vice President, Production Printing Group, EMEA

Who said print was in decline?  According to Interquest US commercial print volumes have been increasing every year for the past five years.

In our view there is a new mood of optimism in the publishing market. Digital print technologies have enabled publishers to reduce their risks and takes out wastage .

Now it’s time for the next phase. To explore new business models –  and open new worlds in publishing.

 

 

Find out more about Ricoh’s solutions for publishing

How digital print technology is enabling providers to compete in a shrinking transactional market

Digital production printers were prime movers in reshaping transaction printing in the
late 1970s by enabling companies to quickly and efficiently produce bills, invoices, and
other account-based documents in a single computer-based operation. Today a new
generation of digital printing solutions is enabling the industry to respond to the
challenges and opportunities created by electronic alternatives to the mail.

Ricoh’s new whitepaper, from Interquest, explores recent trends, challenges, and
developments with transaction printing in North America and Europe. It also examines the critical and evolving role of digital printing technology, and how it is enabling providers to successfully compete in a shrinking market.

Here are some of the key insights.

Leading Market Trends - Europe

    • total decline in printed transactional pages is less than perhaps expectedINTERQUEST forecasts that transaction print volume will decline by -2.8% per year in Europe, and by -3.6% annually in the U.S. from 2014 to 2019

 

    • Faster, more capable and more economical full-colour inkjet and toner systems are helping transaction providers and their customers enhance transaction mail and improve production and delivery operations.

 

    • In North America high-speed inkjet printing has taken the transaction print market by storm. More than half (55%) of the output currently produced …

 

    • Strong latent demand for paper-based bills and statements in Europe: In Europe 83% of clients’ customers currently receive paper bills only, 13% receive electronic bills only, and 4% receive both

 

 

“We see a step forward in the move to electronic delivery, with corporate billers forcing their customers to move away from paper. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of paper printed because print provides a better response rate than electronic”.—French transaction printer

 

 

To find out more, download Ricoh’s new whitepaper: Transaction Printing in North America & Europe Market Trends & Outlook

 

How digital print is injecting new life into Newspapers and Magazines

Magazines and newspapers are well-established and widely read the world over, but like other print media, face serious challenges from online and mobile media. Digital printing as thus far played a marginal role in production, but this is beginning to change as publishers explore new ways to inject life into their printed products.

Ricoh’s new whitepaper, from Interquest, examines the current and future state of magazine and newspapers in North America and Western Europe, and the use of digital
printing for the production or enhancement of these products.

Here are some of the key insights

 

Newspapers

Despite the decline in circulation, digitally printed pages are growing rapidly

Despite the decline in circulation, digitally printed pages are growing rapidly

  • Digital printing has been used for over a decade for newspaper production but is still in an emerging stage of adoption.
  • Early efforts used digital printing to produce newpapers on demand near end-consumer locations such as airports, resorts, and hotels.
  • The most important developments for the use of digital printing in the newspaper market have been with inkjet systems, which are faster and feature higher capacity, larger format, better quality, and lower TCO.

Magazines – leading trends 

  • Titles Up, Circulation Down—In developing countries overall magazine circulation has declined..
  • Newsstand Sales Suffer—Magazines are circulated at retail outlets and by subscription
  • Ad Pages Contract—declines in circulation and competition from digital advertising have led to a decrease in advertising revenue for magazine publishers. Since 2007 total ad pages in the U.S. have dropped by 8.2%.
  • Cross-Media—According to The Association of Magazine Media, a high percentage of magazine readers are also internet users and have made purchases online; in addition magazine advertising triggers the highest percentage of online searches among all media, so cross-media opportunities abound.

Despite declining print runs, most magazines still fall outside the cost, quality, and/or throughput parameters of digital presses. Even so, opportunites are available for toner and inkjet printing systems in areas such as distributed print, personalisation and customisation, wraps and inserts, self-publishing, and branded editions.

To find out more, download Ricoh’s new whitepaper: Newspapers and Magazines –Newspapers and Magazines – The Outlook for Traditional Print Media NA and Europe

 

 

Book printing – an industry in transformation

Book printing dates back to the invention of movable type in the fourteenth century. It has undergone surprisingly few process changes in the intervening centuries—rotary letter presses in the industrial revolution, lithography, and more recently, digital printing. Profound changes in the publishing industry, however, are shaking up the book supply chain as never before and remaking how, when, and where books are
printed.

Online and mobile technology has disrupted the conventional book publishing industry in relatively short order. It has touched virtually every aspect of the industry: how books are published, how they are distributed, how (and if) they are printed, and how they are read. In the process, traditional roles and responsibilities have been rearranged.

Ricoh’s new whitepaper Book Printing – the Remaking of an Industry created by Interquest examines the impact of these transformations on the book printing supply chain, and explores how and why digital book printing is being used in North America and Europe to adapt to the fastchanging environment.

Some of the key findings are:

  • In North America twice as many books are printed digitally as in Western Europe – 10% vs 5%
  • More than half (56%) of the North American book printers recently surveyed by INTERQUEST use high-speed inkjet presses to produce books
Western Europe

In Western Europe, where only 5% of books are printed digitally, the focus is dealing with shorter print runs

Download the whitepaper here.

 

Understanding the value and effectiveness of multichannel advertising

Direct mail and catalogues suffered through a perfect storm during and immediately after the recession of 2009. The sharp downturn in the global economy shrank marketing budgets as consumers closed their wallets and businesses struggled to stay afloat. At the same time maturing online and mobile channels began attracting a growing portion of advertising revenue by offering more economical alternatives to print-based marketing. To some observers, print-based direct marketing was in crisis and headed towards irrelevancy.

Despite the rapid growth of electronic forms of advertising, print media accounts for about two-thirds of direct marketing expenditures in the U.S.

Despite the rapid growth of electronic forms of advertising,
print media accounts for about two-thirds of direct
marketing expenditures in the U.S.

Since then the dust of the recession has largely settled and world economies are slowly recovering. Marketers are beginning to understand the value and effectiveness of multichannel advertising, and direct mail and catalogue volume has stablised and grown.

For marketers as well as consumers, print-based direct marketing will remain a trusted and valuable complement to online and mobile channels.

By most reckoning, however, it will never be “business as usual.” Volumes will likely never return to pre-recession levels. While marketers and consumers alike continue to
value direct mail and catalogues, they are increasingly looking for more relevance and personalised content. This report will explore recent trends, challenges, and developments with direct mail and catalogues in North America and Europe. It will also examine how developments in digital printing technology are enabling print providers to transform print-based direct marketing into a vibrant and viable medium for the future. For marketers as well as consumers, print-based direct marketing will remain a trusted and valuable complement to online and mobile channels.

Find out more – download our new whitepaper:  Direct Mail & Catalogues: The Transformation of Print-Based Direct Marketing

How print is evolving to meet the new needs of the connected world

With more than one-third of the world’s population now online (Pew Research Center), it is little wonder that the role of printed communications is changing. The challenge is that the time spent with various media is rapidly shifting from traditional channels such as radio, TV, and print to internet and mobile channels. This means the role of printed communications must be readjusted and redefined in the broad spectrum of all media.

Time spent on each Media vs Advertising Spend

Time spent on each Media vs Advertising Spend

Not surprisingly advertising dollars are now moving to online and mobile markets. According to PWC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2013, internet advertising grew by about 16%, and mobile advertising by 47% in 2013.

This has major implications for key areas of printed communications of interest to Print Service Providers.

Direct mail and direct marketing catalogue volume has suffered at the hands of the recent recession and the rise of electronic media. Although both remain key marketing channels for businesses, they are increasingly being orchestrated alongside digital forms of communications.

Transactional printing – unlike direct mail and catalogues, which are business-driven marketing expenditures, transactional printing is increasingly consumer-driven since recipients dictate their preferred delivery methods

Books – Electronic media has profoundly disrupted the book publishing industry by fundamentally altering the dynamics of how books are sold and consumed. Book publishers and book printers are adjusting to the fast moving realities of the market and tapping new business models enabled by publishing in a multichannel world.

Newspapers and magazines have been impacted by online advertising, rising postal costs, and competition from electronic media. Newspapers and magazines remain widely read and trusted, however, and publishers are finding new and innovative ways to combine print with electronic channels.

Our new white paper, Multichannel Communications The Evolution of Printing in a Connected World,  examines how advertisers and publishers are adapting printed products to multichannel realities in a number of key markets: direct mail and direct marketing catalogues; transactional printing; books; and newspapers and magazines.

Download the white paper here

Interquest Reveals Publishing’s Self Awareness

Every conference, seminar or industry event likes to throw up a controversial statistic or two to get the attendees thinking, talking and sharing. Interquest’s Digital Book Printing Forum in London on June 24 was no exception.

The statement that struck a chord with most of the 120 or so representatives from the book printing and publishing industries in the UK and across Europe was this: self-publishing authors will capture 50% of the ebook market by 2020.

Whether they agreed or disagreed with the projection was one thing but more interesting was the question of defining self-publishing. Where does self-publishing stop and publishing begin? Andy Cork, Managing Director, PrintonDemand Worldwide, explained customers could choose the level of help they would like in getting their book printed from delivering print ready files to editing and promotional assistance. Terry Compton, Production Manager, Troubador Publishing Ltd, added that whatever help is needed can be provided and it depended on their customer’s knowledge and requirements.

Another interesting statement, on the back of Interquest’s latest market findings, was that ebook growth declined from 69% in 2012 to 26% in 2014. Although, it was quickly pointed out, ebooks and printed books will co-exist as readers continue to choose to use the different mediums for a variety of reasons.

The findings also reported  85% of publishers now use digital printing technology for some part of the production process. This was reflected by much discussion on how the printed book can build greater market share. Ricoh Europe’s General Manager, Benoît Chatelard (pictured second left above), explained that improvements in printing technologies was the way forward with high capacity dryers aiding the use of substrates up to 250gsm running at full production speed, improved inks setting gamut and price standards and software for aiding efficient production to eliminate barriers to the effective turnaround of short runs.

Francis Atterbury, Hurtwood Press and Charlotte MacDonald, Director, Special Case Books, felt the quality of the final product was crucial in elevating the perception of digital print. For Mr Atterbury choosing the right substrate was essential in helping create the perfect result.

For Walter Castiglione, Journals Production Manager, LSWR Srl, it was the continued increase in use of colour in the short run book market that will help it grow market share. Between May 2013 and 2014 22 of the 48 new editions it produced were colour. He said: “Digital colour printing is finally stepping up to the plate and in many cases providing a more viable solution.”

Other areas of interest were publishers keen to investigate the potential for software to improve front list and back list management and printers such as John Rowell, Managing Director of Jasprint Ltd searching for ways to way to save costs, shorten run lengths and improve liquidity of assets.

As well as  a lot of discussion about what could be done to make improvements  in both print and publishing, there was much reassurance asserted that the changes being made were the right ones for the right reasons supported by the right partners. The take home sentiment was that everyone understands the need to change and the mechanics of that change and most have found the help they need but for those that haven’t there is plenty available.

The Interquest event was held near London's Trafalgar Square

The Interquest event was held near London’s Trafalgar Square

Fine out more about Ricoh’s solutions for Publishing and Book printing

 

Digital Book Printing’s Profit Turning Plot Twist

The prevalent thorny issue in production printing remains price. Most buyers still shop around for the best deal and think the lower the figure the better. All the while print service providers struggle to reduce their running costs in an effort to improve margins.

There are many sectors where this is an obvious market pressure but it is undoubtedly a crucial one in book publishing which is why it is being highlighted at the Interquest 2014  London Digital Book Printing Forum , June 24.

John Rowell, MD Jasprint Ltd

John Rowell, MD Jasprint Ltd

It is something close to the heart of Ricoh ProC901 user John Rowell, Managing Director of Tyne & Wear digital print specialists Jasprint. At the event he will highlight how business models are changing and customers are realising that spending a bit more on a book can help save money in the long run.

For example one publishing customer , The Memoir Club, had been used to producing runs of a thousand or more to obtain a cheaper,  bulk purchase, price. But then it had to find somewhere to store the books before being sold.

If they were not sold they then had to be recycled at extra time and cost. The money paid to have the books printed, amounting to tens of thousands of pounds, was tied up and subsequently written off.

The Memoir Club had not realised that via the print on demand capabilities offered by digital printing they may pay more for their books initially but these will actually cost less in the long run.

By buying books in small quantities , and only when they need them, less cash is spent  maintaining liquidity. Also the need for storage and stock control is reduced. Wastage is kept to a minimum.

This approach can be applied to all elements of commercial printing from letterheads and menus to catalogues and brochures. It also enables publishers to be more flexible and creative with book covers, designs and issue releases.

For the digital printer support of publishers’ other services, aside from book printing, can be offered to include promotional literature such as point of sale and posters.

Then there is fast-growing self-publishing market that digital printing has helped make increasingly affordable and easy to navigate.

Digital print creates a nimble, agile, service offering and  delivers the ability to differentiate on more than price.  It provides the ideal production platform to show publishers just how deftly they can manage their transformation into a more flexible and responsive book production enterprise.

Ricoh at the London Digital Book Forum: latest news and a new magazine publishing model

There were over 100 attendees at the recent London Digital Book Printing Forum

There were over 100 attendees at the recent London Digital Book Printing Forum

Ricoh was one of the main sponsors at the recent Interquest Digital Book Printing Forum in London on June 20th, Benoit Chatelard (BC) represented Ricoh on the Vendor panel.

Interquest: What’s new with your company since last year ?

(BC) In the Hardware domain, we have released two important graphic arts editions of our product lines.

First of all in the high end, the High Capacity Dryer on our continuous form line to support a much wider range of media (including coated stock). This is very important for high quality books, and in colour provides extremely high quality at an unprecedented speed on heavy media.

It is noticeable that we have now more than three hundred IP5000 print engines installed worldwide. We believe this makes  it the largest Inkjet Drop on Demand installed base.

In the cutsheet environment, our superb graphic arts system the Ricoh C901+  incorporates  for the first time in the market the E100 EFI Ultra Rip digital front end. This is excellent for creating book covers.

In the software and solutions domain, we are “live” in UK with our Clickable Paper solutions at Barnwell Publishing. I presented that solution last
year in this forum as a technology demonstration – we are now in the process of  rolling it out.

Our strategic investment into PTI, has lead to the announcement in Europe of Marcomcentral a solution for digital asset management and electronic stores as well as Web to Print capabilities.

And no later than yesterday Meganews  launched in Sweden the first worldwide newspaper and magazine Kiosk, based on Ricoh Print on Demand technology. It is designed to be rolled out in Shopping Malls and other public areas The kiosk allow you to choose between 200 titles, pay by credit card and get it printed in less than 2 minutes on the spot.

 

Interquest:  According to INTERQUEST research, digital book printing is growing at 20% or more annually, both in North America and Europe. There’s no doubt that digital book manufacturing has been successful, but in interviews and conversations with key industry players (book printers and equipment vendors) over the past 6-9 months we sense some disappointment. Some expected digital printing (and inkjet in particular) to grow even faster than it has. What’s your opinion?

(BC) Digital books is absolutely growing and will continue to grow. At Ricoh we see high new demand – for example in the Academic and  Education marketing.

However I have seen recently that there seems to be some over-capacity at existing digital Book Manufacturers. I believe this is a temporary issue and demand will soon pick up.

Interquest: Monochrome inkjet has been well adopted on both sides of the Atlantic for book printing. Colour inkjet, however, seems to be taking more time to take off—particularly in Europe. Cost (both equipment and TCO) is often mentioned as a key barrier to the growth of colour inkjet. What are your views on this ? 

(BC) If you look at the facts,  the costs of investing in Colour Inkjet have actually declined. In fact hardware price have been reduced by 2 in the past 4 years whilst the Ink price has also been consistently reduced.  So the bottom line is that Colour Inkjet solutions have never been so cheap, and the industry has never sold that much colour Inkjet than now.

Although, in many cases, Offset still offers the best cost now and for the foreseeable future , Colour Inkjet is economically perfectly viable for many short run situations and many overall clients looking for process re-engineering. You have to look at the entire cost of the value chain and the service rended to appreciate the viability of the Colour TCO.

Interquest: Substrate limitations have been a major issue with inkjet presses. What developments have been made in the past twelve months? What progress do you expect over the next two years to broaden the range of papers inkjet presses can run, especially in the coated area?

(BC) We work very closely with the Paper manufacturers. Not so long ago the price gap between Offset paper and Inkjet treated paper was 2 times: it is now as low as 20%.

We’ve now qualified more than 400 papers and expect this to grow to 600 paper in the next 18 months primarily focused on coated stocks using our new dryers and improved inks.

Benoit Chatelard, General Manager Solutions, Production Printing Group, EMEA

Benoit Chatelard, General Manager Solutions, Production Printing Group, EMEA

 

So all in all we believe the market is ready for high speed Colour Inkjet. I believe this market is beginning to mature and there is an increasing range of options available to Book Manufacturers who wish to take advantage of Publishers’ demands for print on demand solutions.

 

Find out more about Ricoh’s Digital Book printing solutions