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Print-on-demand, Meccanotecnica's solutions for efficient book production

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Print-on-demand, production of books in short runs
03 Sep 2019

How to cost-effectively produce high-quality books in short runs

Print-on-demand is rapidly becoming mainstream and an alternative to traditional publishing practices.

The introduction of POD technology and the adoption of new business models by digital printers, binders, and publishers have generated a new range of books and enabled opportunities unthinkable only a few years ago. Technology innovation, in fact, has a disruptive power that can change the whole industry, but it also opens new possibilities.

Digital production currently accounts for 10% of all printed books in Europe, with a predicted CAGR of 15% between 2017 and 2022, according to the report "Market overview" by Caslon. Today, moreover, print runs of 100-500 copies account for the largest portion of book printers' and publishers' print volume, as stated by a recent InfoTrend survey.


Self-publishing

Self-publishing is the publication of media by its author without the involvement of a publisher. Although it is not a new phenomenon, being used in the past by renowned authors such as Jane Austen, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Marcel Proust to mention few names, it is now radically changed and accessible by anyone who desires to publish its own manuscripts.

A new category of books

Print-on-demand has created a new category of books made by ordinary people who want to record and print copies of their memories. Photobooks are the most vivid example with on-line and cloud services that make book editing easy and quick for anyone.

New publishing business models

Many publishers have adopted in recent years new business models as a way to save money by reducing the cost of the book in its entire life cycle. By using the POD business model, publishers print books in short runs, addressing more accurately the market demand and avoiding letting books sit on a bookshelf or in a warehouse.

POD can be useful for publishers in managing backlist titles or niche publications such as specialistic academic works; the sales of these titles, taken individually may be irrelevant, but cumulative sales can be significant. Publishers, by printing small batches at a time, reduce the risk of demand forecasting, avoiding to inadvertently print many more copies than necessary and pay the cost of warehousing and pulping.

The book-finishing side

Meccanotecnica offers printers and binders a complete range of book-finishing solutions to exploit POD technology, allowing them to produce high-quality books in short runs.

Universe, automatic book-sewing machine

UNIVERSE, “sheet-fed” automatic book folding and sewing machine allows cost-effective binding of short runs and guarantees the production of high-quality books.

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Universe Web, automatic book-sewing machine

Universe Web, automatic book sewing machine, integrates unwinding and cutting processes, allowing cost-effective binding of short and medium runs and the production of high-quality books. This is the solution for high volume digital book production directly from the printed roll.

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Inline, multifunctional back gluer

INLINE is a multifunctional and modular book finishing line. This unit enables multiple forms of finishing for hard or softcover sewn books. Its high degree of automation makes this line a perfect match for short-run production of high-quality books.

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Trimming, fully automatic three-knife trimmer

Trimming is the new compact three-knife trimmer able to perform fully variable changeovers without operator intervention and to manage runs down to one book with the widest range of formats.

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