Print on demand makes Publishing Industry environment-friendly and cheaper

Prime Group believes that the publishing world should adopt the model

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Print on demand makes Publishing Industry environment-friendly and cheaper
Jon Tolley, Chief Innovation Officer at Precision Proco Group

One of the UK’s leading print-on-demand companies believes the service should be embraced by publishers wanting to drive down costs and lower their environmental footprint. Prime, part of the Precision Proco Group, has cornered the market in its fully automated print-on-demand system, which customers across various sectors have widely embraced.

And now the company believes it is a model that should be adopted by the publishing world, allowing it not just to produce the books it needs and to be able to restock quickly if needed but also to ship directly to the customer.

An estimated 77 million books are pulped each year in the UK alone, and while in some cases this is recycled, a proportion is destroyed or discarded.

Tolley highlights the benefits of print on demand

Jon Tolley, Chief Innovation Officer at Precision Proco Group, believes that waste could be slashed with no adverse effects to the customer by simply utilizing what print on demand has to offer.

“Despite being able to read on electronic devices, people still love and prefer the feeling of having a book in their hands,” said Jon. “But there’s no doubt that every step of the production process has an environmental cost, particularly if the book ends up in a pulper because it hasn’t sold.”

“By using digitalization and technology, it means there’s the opportunity to take a completely different approach, replacing the outdated print-to-projection model with a print-to-possibility mindset.” Book publishers take a gamble on sales every time a book is brought to market, particularly from a first-time author with no real idea of how it will be received.

“Using print on demand carries a far smaller financial risk, allowing publishers to print in smaller quantities, even with special embellishments to the cover or jacket, but with the option to quickly replenish that stock if it becomes a bestseller,” said Jon.

Print on demand also brings the opportunity for publishers to cash in on frontlist and backlist titles, allowing them to be delivered to the reader. “It means that there will never be a time when anyone has to stay out of print ever again, added Jon.

 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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