The hottest view on the new atmosphere of publishi

2022-10-23
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From the American book fair to see the new atmosphere of the publishing industry (Part I)

since the 1990s, the American Book Fair has always been the stage of the emerging book industry technology exhibition. The grand event held in Chicago this year has come to a successful conclusion, but it leaves us with more thoughts. This paper mainly focuses on the discussion of on-demand printing and e-books, two hot issues in the book industry

At the 1998 American Book Fair, on-demand printing was a fashionable word. A few weeks before the 2000 book fair, it was precisely when Stephen King's new work "flying on bullets" achieved great success in the e-book publishing experiment. E-books were also quite popular at that book fair. So what about these two new technologies at this year's book fair? Some people may worry that the economic downturn will have a huge impact on the book industry, but we can rest assured that this book fair is still as crowded as previous years. Although the book industry has suffered some impact, the whole industry has maintained a healthy development trend

on demand printing: a new favorite of the industry mainstream

at this book fair, the focus of on-demand printing sellers' display has shifted to the economic topics that publishers are concerned about. Some sellers even assisted publishers in installing equipment at the retail outlets of this exhibition to reduce the cost of equipment transportation. Adobe has been occupying a leading position in the on-demand printing software market. This time, it also made on-demand printing the focus of its publicity at the book fair. However, senior executives of the company claimed that the company did not try to shift its business focus from the printing industry

heavy technical equipment withdrew from the booth

the remarkable difference between this book exhibition and the past is that the merchants did not display their heavy equipment, and it is difficult to find a laser printer in the whole exhibition hall. Large companies such as Xerox and IBM have adopted the practice of putting printing samples in glass boxes this year. According to relevant sources at the exhibition, Xerox has made a strategic decision to focus on color printing business in the future

there are two reasons for the withdrawal of heavy machinery and equipment from this exhibition: first, because of the recession of the whole social economy, it is obvious that this is the main reason, rather than some people worry that the industry has lost interest in on-demand printing; Second, many equipment sellers believe that publishers and booksellers have generally accepted the concept of on-demand printing. Now these people are more concerned about how to make profits than the renewal of machinery and equipment. It is understood that many publishers now widely agree with on-demand printing, and generally believe that it is time to end the past way of book publishing and begin to accept a new workflow

publishers still have doubts about the rate of return on investment. Many people in the industry are worried that they can't recover their investment within the period they can afford. In addition, publishers are generally concerned about how the price of books printed on demand can be reduced to be more competitive than offset books, and whether the quality of books produced by this on-demand printing method meets the standards set by the industry, What types of books are suitable for this publishing mode and when and how to print them. Therefore, vendors no longer fully display cutting-edge technology and equipment as before, but highlight their return on investment evaluation program. Some businesses even take on-demand printing as a supplement to offset printing

although the publishing industry has always expressed concern about the quality of books printed on demand, it is no longer an embarrassing thing for dealers. Some dealers even showed samples of two kinds of on-demand printed books in the past and now, and let visitors compare them with offset printed books. Although the color of the book cover printed on demand is slightly dim, and the effect of some beautiful pictures is not particularly ideal, on the whole, it is quite satisfactory, and even professionals have to express their admiration

as for the price, one company exhibited a 161 page on-demand printing book at a cost of $4.50, including printing, binding and labor costs. Compared with last year, the cost has decreased a lot

large and small companies have different destinies

companies operating on-demand printing business have different operating conditions due to their different sizes and the economic downturn. Some small companies are in trouble in the fierce market competition, and some small companies may be easier to survive than those companies that rely on large-scale sales to make profits because of the relatively small amount of capital they need

the problem faced by large companies is how to make customers believe that their equipment can attract a large number of business activities, so as to achieve the estimated cost per page. This is a big challenge for Xerox, whose docutech equipment system has long occupied the vast majority of the market share. Xerox's service and consumables costs are calculated based on large business lines. Only when the company's docutech equipment has millions of business volume every month can it make real profits

in addition, dealers of on-demand printing equipment have attracted much attention by setting up environmental friendly features such as low-carbon, green and renewable recycling of materials, and establishing multiple production sites, which can directly transport the equipment to end users, thus reducing high transportation costs. Some dealers even consider the binding and transportation of books, so as to reduce transportation costs and shorten the production cycle of live parts. From these operations of dealers, we can see two points: first, on-demand printing is really occupying more and more broad market space, because the scale of equipment manufacturers is constantly exploring new markets; 2、 Based on the requirements of reducing transportation costs, equipment manufacturers are implementing programs close to distribution and printing customers. It is still difficult to predict the final extent of this market operation of businesses

Adobe's market strategy

for Adobe, the on-demand printing business may be less attractive than the e-book business that provides direct download. Recently, the company seems not optimistic about the prospects of the on-demand printing market. Adobe's current marketing strategy focuses on online publishing, which also includes the printing business. Relevant institutions predict that e-books will account for 3.2% of the digital transmission content in the next five years, while on-demand printed books will account for 96.8% of the digital textbook market

of course, this prediction is not necessarily accurate, but the operating conditions of some companies can explain the problem. An American company that operates both on-demand printing and e-book businesses showed that the average book business in print format for each book sold by the company in March this year was 87.5 dollars, while the average book business in electronic format was 60 cents. This makes it more difficult for people to understand the marketing strategy of adobe, which focuses on e-books rather than on-demand printed books

according to an employee of adobe, the company is transferring the on-demand printing business to their partners, most likely the two companies of iUniverse and lightning source, and overdrive and reciprocal may also be under consideration. Overdrive has on-demand publishing business with many big publishers such as random house, Harper Collins, McGraw Hill, etc., but the company's e-book business volume is also considerable, and there is no obvious tendency to focus on on on-demand publishing business at present. IUniverse announced at the exhibition that its 500000 on-demand printed books have been offline, and the company has an average of 100 books of each type in on-demand printing format. A customer service manager of the company, which often has many attributes that cannot be coordinated due to conflicts, revealed that they do not have a customer-oriented e-book business. At present, iUniverse has established cooperative relations with six on-demand printing dealers

although at present, Adobe's PDF has become a common file format for on-demand printing book transmission, and although the company has inherent advantages in promoting the development of application tools for multi platform on-demand printing book business, there is no sign that the company has taken significant measures in this regard. An Internet Printing Product Manager of the company pointed out that adobe is very conservative in on-demand printing, but the company still has the vast majority of market share in PDF content format and PS rip format. The manager also revealed that the company should take major measures in the coming months

security solutions

Adobe has developed special network control tools for t/r systems, OC é and other companies, called Maestro and PRISMA respectively. However, they can not solve the security problem in the transmission of pdf books from the publisher's station to remote printing devices. Part of the problem is that due to the obvious gap between the overall strength of sub industry and the international advanced level and developed provinces and cities, sales and printing have become more dispersed, and the remote printers know less about what they should know, so it may be difficult to operate according to the expected mode

the network transmission of on-demand printed books is not as simple as that of e-books. The PDF data of e-books is very different from that of on-demand printed books. On demand printed books also include high-resolution pictures and bitmaps, different picture clipping and paging, and cover files of paperback and hardcover books. Adobe content server of adobe provides full technical support for on-demand printing of books, but there is still a big gap compared with the company's technical means in e-books. In fact, this content server was not designed for on-demand printing at the beginning, but for e-book business. But after all, this server can be used for the on-demand transmission of books from publishers to printing equipment, because the initial design paid more attention to the security in the process of data transmission. Adobe ebook reader, which is specially used for online transmission of e-books, allows users' technicians to monitor the whole transmission process. The security performance of this device is more complete

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