Print On Demand versus Short Run Printing

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					Title:
Print On Demand versus Short Run Printing

Word Count:
501

Summary:
Print on demand uses digital printing techniques to produce standard
print books in a rapid and cost-effective process. While short run
printing is a traditional way of printing for just what its name imply -
a short print run.


Keywords:
short run, digital, printing, services, print, on, demand


Article Body:
Print on demand is a new way printing technology that makes the
production of a certain very low print runs possible. The ultimate in
print on demand is the production of one copy at a time. This is only
possible using new digital printing techniques. Unlike the so called
short run printing, it defines traditional printing in small numbers for
a very limited stockholding; while on demand printing enables the
printing as a specific response to a customer order, thus, on demand
prints will never go into stock.

As a formal definition of print on demand and short run printing is that
– print on demand is a fairly recent technology that uses digital
printing techniques to produce standard print books in a rapid and cost-
effective process. While short run printing is a traditional way of
printing for just what its name imply - a short print run. It means that
in traditional printing, the more quantity you print in one run, the
cheaper the cost of each unit.

The advantage and disadvantage of print on demand: The main advantage of
print on demand is that the cost of printing does not occur first.
Therefore, the initial cost of inventory is only the cost of setting up
the digital files to print the book when an order occurs. One
disadvantage is that it takes a very large investment to control quality
and to manage the flow of books printed one copy at a time. A second
disadvantage is that bookstores and wholesalers do not order stock of
books printed one at a time. Therefore such books are always "special
order", which diminishes sales. Higher unit production costs, compared
with offset, can also make it difficult to give a book an attractive
retail price.

Also short run printing has its own advantage and disadvantage: One
advantage is that its better quality control and potentially lower unit
cost, compared to print on demand. Another is that it allows production
of stock for wholesalers and retailers to order, which they do. Its
disadvantages: short run printing does not totally eliminate warehousing
and inventory costs as one off print on demand does.
The best use of the print on demand is from the point of converting
thousands of titles to one at a time print on demand availability,
increasing sales and reducing warehousing costs. While short run printing
is best used

a) when the title is expected to sell more than 100 but fewer than 1,000
copies per year
b) when the publisher wishes to minimize the initial investment in a
title, but wishes to sell through bookstores. According to statistics,
small publishers release about 50,000 new titles per year. The average
number of copies printed is 3,800; the average life of the book is nine
years, or 420 sold per year. For many of these 50,000 titles short run is
optimum because of the savings in initial printing costs and storage
costs—especially considering that if demand actually justifies it, the
publisher can switch from short run to offset at any time.