February 5 – February 12, 2009 Edition

Gains Acceptance
In UK, Says Lightning

MILTON KEYNES, UK/Authorlink News/02/05/09/–Print-on-demand publishing has become an acceptable medium for books in the UK. According to Lightning Source UK, which last week announced it printed more than two million POD books in 2008, sees the milestone as a sign that demand book manufacturing is now a necessity rather than an option.


"Books are by no means dead – they are very much alive and well," said David Taylor, President of Lightning Source. "To remain in step with change and to confront and win the challenges many publishers are facing today, printon demand must be used to its full potential.


"With print on demand, publishers are able to match supply to demand perfectly – no guesswork, no risk – and with predictable costs," Mr. Taylor continued. "Print on demand is no longer an option; it is a necessity."

The Lightning Source UK operation, founded in 2001, manufactured over 30,000 books on behalf of its publisher partners in its inaugural year. Less than a decade later, the company manufactured over two million books in 2008 using an on demand model that allows publishers to bring books to market, explore new content formats, reach more customers and test international markets with very little risk and investment.


Print on demand reverses the traditional print, store and sell method of book sales. Through digital technology and storage, publishers are first selling, and then printing books. As print on demand has continued to evolve, the tipping point for an offset/digital print decision is migrating. Taylor says, "Publishers are starting to look at print on demand for print runs of 1,000 books or less, rather than the 250 book norm. Print on demand is an all encompassing inventory solution. It's not just about the long tail."


"We have recently been surveying the market to assess the impact of the economic turmoil on the book printing industry," said Gilles Biscos, President of INTERQUEST, a leading market and technology research and consulting firm specializing in digital printing and publishing. "Our preliminary data show that digital book printing will continue to experience rapid growth-15 percent to 20 percent annually in volume, both in North America and Europe-while the overall book market will remain flat."


"Advanced technology used by leaders in the on-demand book field open up opportunities for book publishers to evaluate their offset/digital print decisions," Mr. Biscos continued. "With on-demand quality no longer an issue, market trends indicate that digital printing is very much transforming the way the book industry operates."

Lightning Source is the leading print-on-demand company in the world, offering the unique combination of quality one-off book manufacturing and access to the most comprehensive distribution solutions in the publishing industry. Lightning Source is an Ingram content company. The Ingram content companies provide a broad range of physical and digital services to the book industry, and immediate access to the largest selection of books and book-related products in the industry. The content companies are Ingram Digital, Lightning Source Inc., Ingram Book Company, Ingram International Inc., Ingram Library Services Inc., Coutts Information Services, Ingram Periodicals Inc., Ingram Publisher Services Inc., Spring Arbor Distributors Inc., and Tennessee Book Company LLC. For more information, visit the website at


INTERQUEST, founded in 1990 and headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, is a leading market and technology research and consulting firm specializing in digital printing and publishing.