Last week in the Bookseller in the UK, there was a sponsored post placed there by HP Book as a Service printing solutions. Other print to order vendors are emerging in a variety of markets with a variety of offerings. Ingram is no longer the only game in town for on-demand publishing on a global scale, and publishers large and small are taking notice.
For those who have self-published or for true micro-presses, Print on Demand, or as we like to put it, print to order has long been a solution, with two major players in the game: Amazon, and Ingram.
Each has different rules, drawbacks, and issues. But the fact that Draft2Digital (although really they are working with Ingram) and others like HP are looking at printing books on demand for both publishers and authors is both a bonus and an indicator. The bonus is that we are beginning to see broader choices, and that competition can only be good for both pricing and quality.
But more importantly, it’s an indicator. The post even offers a free eBook download from HP called “Think Globally, Print Locally.” It’s an interesting read, because it states things we already talk about at Mooney and Lambert.
Print to Oder is Environmentally Responsible
This is for more than one reason. First, we don’t waste energy and resources printing books we do not need. Print runs by large publishers have a huge impact on the environment. They also result in books being returned by bookstores and others, when they are most often pulped, or destroyed. This takes fuel and energy as well.
The second is that we can use Print on Demand vendors around the world to fulfill orders closer to the customer’s actual location. We don’t waste resources (and money) sending books around the world from a single location.
Finally, we can ensure print quality around the world, regardless of where the customer orders the book from by using a consistent network.
Developing Local Connections is Challenging
It is possible to publish globally by establishing relationships with local publishers in a variety of locations. However, this is a challenge for small and micro-presses, as such relationships can take time to develop. The challenge of a global pandemic meant shutdowns for a number of those partners, and even in some of them disappearing altogether.
For a global solution to work, a print on demand network is absolutely essential, and places like Ingram (and now HP and others) are developing such networks. This aligns with HP’s new model, “everything as a service” which offers cloud printing and even new, more agile printing press solutions for both large and small presses.
This Model is for Everyone
Look, lower costs equal greater profits for authors, agents, and everyone involved in the process. It’s better for our planet. And it means books that will sell in smaller projected numbers are still viable for publishers to take on, because production costs are reduced.
The old way of publishing is simply irrelevant to the modern way of distributing and printing books. Indie bookstores, small presses, and authors all come out ahead in the long run.
We don’t want to claim to be the first. But Mooney and Lambert has taken a unique position in the market, working with Agent Fox Media in the UK to form a new kind of publishing partnership, a post-Brexit, transatlantic agreement with historic implications.
And it’s Working
Authors who normally would have held out for deals with High Street and New York publishing houses are seeing the benefits of a more agile approach, one enabled by print to order publishing.
They’re books get to market faster, can potentially sell more copies, and the authors get a better contract to start with. This is the publishing model of tomorrow, and we’re pioneering it today.
We’re open to talking to agents and authors, and we’ll be opening for submissions coming in June. Watch this space for more exciting news!