Thursday, February 01, 2007

Print Just in Case

Years ago, I remember sitting around the office’s of PIRA (Print Industry Research Ass) with a number of major publishers. The objective was to map out the business processes associated with POD with a view to enable the transactions to be standardarised. The major problem then was agreeing the definition of print on demand and even if this were possible, agreeing the business process flows to support it.

Time flees, and some years later, many still view POD basically as a substitute for the short print run. It is still being performed in alternative, but central print facilities. Even though a considerable number of titles has been made available we have yet to see true print on demand let alone distributed POD.

Today comes a Winter 2007 Short Run Discount Promotion from the leading POD printer, Lightning Source. However it is based on orders of 50 or more books. This is hardly print on demand or print just in time more print just in case.

The Expresso Print machine could provide the answer. However, if the POD PDF files are locked into a single vendor offer and one that remains short print run focused will we ever see localized printing and true demand driven production for the long tail?