Book on Demand

Previously, I told the production manager and marketing manager about a model I saw previously.

In Indonesia, the relatively low publishing volume made sure that most titles will never got reprinted because there’s not enough demand to justify the business demand. Only certain very best seller titles would be republished.

On the other side, many readers missed buying because they either play wait and see or doesn’t want to wait between volumes. This caused a lot of request for reprinting, which is of course a matter of how many thousand volumes you want to buy actually. If you dare to buy on contract some thousand prints, then the reprinting decision might be justifiable.

The model I told them about is the print on demand model I saw when assigned to find info about an old title. The publishing company would list available titles and readers could put request on the book to be printed. As soon as the minimum quota is filled, printing begin and distributed. This way we can fulfil that request, and still get profit through reprint even though it’s in smaller volume because of the higher price tag.

The managers think this is too expensive, printing several books is not just expensive but will take up resource and complicating the sales process with small volume sales. Currently we only sell to business like book store and distribution agents which of course buy in big batches.

Yesterday, I was surprised to see the company’s online store division is offering this print on demand model. More surprised is today when hearing that they’re not doing it on batch (such as per 50 prints). Somebody request for one book, they will ask a PoD for it and sell it. And they’re selling it with normal price. Yes, all of us think like this, “nuts”

Perhaps someone is trying to make a big project for his management training program and not thinking much about the consequences. Even now, the sales department is already starting to get loaded with sales receipts consisting of a single book.

Print on demand, digital printing for small volume, is a lot more expensive. Plus the people asking for these kind of books are most likely collectors who want to complete their collection. In that logic, asking for higher price is actually justifiable. Also asking them to gather more people before the printing is done is also justifiable to reduce the strain to the system.

Well, I’m genuinely curious about how long this will last because they’re already starting to make trouble to other division.

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