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.
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.