Short run promotional sample giveaways for airports, special edition book club runs or promotionally customised offerings.
These creative possibilities are among those that could shape the future of short run digital book production.
Some are already having an impact on today’s route to market for books as we saw at the London Book Fair this month. For example independent co-edition packager Elwin Street produced small quantities of offset-like quality books to cost effectively market their new trade list.
Titles chosen for this innovative treatment were The Vegetarian Year by Jane Hughes, endorsed by the UK Vegetarian Society; The Alkaline Cookbook by Dr Stephan Domenig and the Alkaline Cleanse, the follow-up to the best-selling Alkaline Cure; Love, Aimee x featuring 50 original, creative desserts from Aimee Twigger’s kitchen, as featured on her popular blog.
The new approach was supported by highly flexible, cost effective, easy to operate digital printing production technology from Ricoh and saw 50 editions of each produced.
Elwin Street’s Director Silvia Langford commented that the ability of Ricoh’s digital presses to produce books with high production values in very small quantities enables the publisher to show clients what new titles will look like.
The result was more conversations with more prospects.
However digitally printing books opens up additional opportunities. With digital print it is possible to produce personalised, customised versions of books.
Lost My Name is one company that has already reaped the rewards of personalisation in publishing. David Cadji-Newby who founded the company with three others developed The Little Girl/Boy Who Lost Her/His Name – an illustrated hardback which creates a personalised story around the letters of a child’s name. It has sold 500,000 copies to date, according to its publishers.
A slow start prompted the founders to appear on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den television show, where they secured £100,000 in return for 4% of the company – the highest valuation in the programme’s history. The 30-strong team now ships books, printed on demand, to 136 countries.
It is this kind of innovative approach that will shape the future for book production which is whyat Ricoh we see publishing as a significant opportunity for our digital print technologies. The flexibility that digital print can offer – especially for very short runs – presents so much choice.
It helps publishers like Elwin Street take a more considered approach to their print production processes – they can agree run lengths that suits today’s demand and know there is the ability to produce variable quantities in the future.
So is it time you looked at what considerations should you be evaluating and how can we help?