By: Larry Norton, SVP, Business Development
“Do you guys do print?” After hearing that question literally dozens of times, it finally dawned on me: maybe we should offer print – even though INscribe Digital was founded to service the eBook market! After all – one of the best ways to grow your business is to listen to your customers!
The question then became – what kind of print services should we offer? We started focusing on print on demand, as this would meet the needs for most of our clients. There are two pieces of the puzzle, though:
- Providing printed books at a competitive price.
- Making the books available for sale on all the major retailers.
Thus began our search for partners who could offer these services and provide a compelling alternative to what is available in the marketplace.
Fortunately, we were able to find two industry leaders to work with, Edwards Brothers Malloy (EBM), a company that has been providing print services in the publishing industry for more than 75 years, and Independent Publishers Group (IPG), an industry leading distributor of independent publishers for more than 35 years. Working together we brokered a three-way deal that we think offers some unique solutions for our publishers.
EBM allows us to offer printed books at a competitive price in a wider range of specifications and formats than our competitors. First, we are offering hardcover formats – which one of the key competitors in the market does not offer – and have already attracted a number of clients based the availability of this format. Second, EBM allows us to provide off-set printing for larger quantities, which can dramatically reduce unit prices, especially for special deals. This option is not available with competing services, and we have already closed a deal for 5,000 copies for one of our clients.
Our print distribution solution with IPG allows us to make titles available to booksellers throughout the country at industry standard terms. We have access to IPG’s wide distribution network for print on demand titles, and also to their full distribution services, supported by a sales force, for titles that have both a more traditional timeline and enough of a platform to support advanced orders and placement quantities.
Our target market is small to medium-sized publishers who might not otherwise have access to printers at the prices we offer or distributors like IPG. We are also working with our client base of selected authors, which has a built-in audience eager for print, especially in libraries.
So at BEA, after six months of a beta program, we are announcing INdemand, our print and distribution solution – and we look forward to an exciting new chapter in the history of INscribe Digital!