IVP - Andy Unedited - Print-on-Demand Soars

June 3, 2008

Print-on-Demand Soars

We've been talking about this here for sometime. Publishers Weekly recently confirmed the trend. Print-on-demand books are increasing massively.

The production of traditional books rose 1% in 2007, to 276,649 new titles and editions, but the output of on-demand, short run and unclassified titles soared from 21,936 in 2006 to 134,773 last year, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by R.R. Bowker. The combination of the two categories results in a 39% increase in output to 411,422. Although it has tracked production of on-demand titles in the past, this is the first year the company has broken out the segment to better show the differences in the traditional categories (such as biography, fiction, juvenile) and the on-demand segment.

This is great for readers since many books that would otherwise be out-of-print can still be available. It is a mixed blessing for authors, however.

On the one hand, obviously, it makes it easier for authors to get their books in print on their own or through a publisher that specializes in print-on-demand books. On the other hand, it increases the competition and makes it more difficult for any particular book to get noticed and have significant sales. As I've mentioned here before, it creates a new reality that increases the burden on authors (whether published traditionally or not) to promote, market and get the word out on their books. Publishers can do a lot in these areas, but in this new environment the author's job has only begun when the book is published.

Posted by Andy Le Peau at June 3, 2008 10:40 AM Bookmark and Share


There are a lot of interesting things going on in the print-on-demand space that are empowering writers and changing distribution channels for their works. I do agree that it increases the burden on authors, but it also opens up more opportunities.

Companies like CafePress are a very positive thing for emerging authors and projects like HP's BookPrep are an interesting attempt at converting and restoring old & new written treasures.

Comment by: Chris at June 23, 2008 10:40 AM

Nice postings..Lots of useful information.. Thanks for sharing.To know more about print on demand publishers http://www.bhavishgraphics.com/print-on-demand.html

Comment by: Bhavish at July 22, 2009 6:03 AM

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book cover"Some publishers tell you what to believe. Other publishers tell you what you already believe. But InterVarsity Press helps you believe," says J. I. Packer. Andy Le Peau and Linda Doll describe how this came to be a hallmark of InterVarsity Press in Heart. Soul. Mind. Strength, an anecdotal history spanning the sixty years from the founding of IVP in 1947 to the present day.