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On-Demand inkjet is the future of publishing

by Rob Malkin

Publishing in the U.S. book market is shooting upward, and you can capture your share of the profits.

Does this statement sound like the “stuff dreams are made of”? If you’re shaking your head, consider that InfoTrends reports that not only did production color digital printing of books in the United States account for about 16.7 billion1 impressions in 2013, InfoTrends also expects this figure to grow to 52.3 billion1 impressions in 2018.

But to realize the opportunity, you may consider exploring the latest high-speed, on-demand, variable color inkjet technology. Then, you can fill publishing jobs that require high quality, high speed and affordable prices — jobs that include:


  • Customized textbooks: The growth rate in this publishing sector has been in the double digits.
  • Adaptive learning textbooks: This emerging player could significantly drive the sale of individualized printed textbooks.
  • Variable data printing: Versioning or personalized pages can create new revenue sources, such as trade journals that include geo-specific advertising.

Production color digital printing of books in the United States accounted for about 16.7 billion impressions... this figure [is projected] to grow to 52.3 billion impressions by 2018.

Additionally, consider how the following trends across publishing are further driving growth:


  • Slowing e-book numbers. According to the New York Times2, e-book sales dropped 10 percent in the first five months of 2015. In contrast, the American Booksellers Association counted an increase of member stores to over 2,000 in more than 1,600 locations3. Even Amazon opened a bookstore in Seattle’s University Village Shopping Mall.
  • Adoption of data-driven inventory management systems. Penguin Random House has already adapted a strategy model similar to commodities manufacturers that tracks millions of sales records a day. In publishing, these data insights spark inventory decisions that, in turn, spur more on-demand publishing. With intelligent inventory, there is no need for the publisher to carry inventory, no warehousing costs and no obsolescence issues. Additional benefits include cycle-time reduction, elimination and/or reduction of extra freight costs and re-pulping.

Workflow automation. It’s one thing to manage one order involving one digital file and a thousand copies of a book. It’s another thing entirely to manage 100 files and orders of varying run lengths — one, twenty or 500 copies. Comprehensive workflow solutions automate every step, from order receipt through shipping.

Embrace the future of publishing

See how on-demand, digital inkjet technology can help you gain your share of the publishing marketplace.
Rob Malkin
Rob Malkin, Business Development Executive at Ricoh USA, Inc., has more than 25 years of experience in the commercial printing industry. He has owned three different printing companies and is an expert with on-demand short print runs and served on the board for Printing Industries of America (PIA). 
1 The World of Books: Inkjets Give Offset A Run For the Money. PrintingNews.com. December 1, 2015.
2 The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead. New York Times. September 22, 2015.
3 Rosen, Judith (09 May, 2016). "ABA Sees Membership Grow for 7th Straight Year", Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 21 Oct, 2016.