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digitalization and technology, it means there’s the opportunity to take a completely different approach, replacing the outdated print-to-projection model with a print-to-possibility mindset.”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.

 

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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