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Major success for the 2015 INTERQUEST London Digital Book Printing Forum

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

Stellar lineup of U.K. and international book publishers & printers share their views and experiences with digital book printing 

Charlottesville, VA and London, U.K. - INTERQUEST, a leading market and technology research and consulting firm serving the digital printing and publishing industry, today announced a successful 2015 London Digital Book Printing Forum held at the Royal Society on June 25th. One hundred thirty (130) professionals attended the educational forum that focused on key trends in the book market, the evolution of book manufacturing and the supply chain, and the use of digital printing to produce books.

According to Gilles Biscos, President of INTERQUEST, "The event was a resounding success with an international mix of European and North American speakers. Attendees heard about the latest advancements and innovations in the digital printing marketplace, and networked throughout the day with key vendors, solutions providers, and print buyers. We were extremely encouraged and rewarded by the excellent feedback we received from partners and participants about content, speakers, and venue."

To set the stage for the day, Mr. Biscos updated the audience on the state of the industry and presented key findings from recent INTERQUEST research. He indicated that about 80% of European book publishers recently surveyed by INTERQUEST produce books on digital printing equipment, and nearly half say that digital printing has fundamentally changed their supply chain. He also underscored the dramatic growth of inkjet printing in the U.K. over the past few years. "Five years ago there was no inkjet presses producing books in the country. Today close to 20 inkjet presses are installed in the U.K. book market and about 75% of the digital book volume produced by the printers we interviewed is produced with inkjet." 

Julie Legault, Researcher, MIT Media Lab, discussed the future of the book and shared projects that are being pursued at MIT Media Lab in Boston. The 30-year-old facility was founded by Nicolas Negroponte to conduct interdisciplinary research for many industries, including the creation of books. She shared concepts that could be viable for the "book-of-the-future," including sensory books, books based on virtual reality, books created through social media, and books that immerse the reader in a complementary physical environment. "In the lab we work toward a future in five to ten years, so these are not being implemented right now." The Lab has changed its motto to 'Deploy or Die,' signaling that its projects will be geared for real-world implementation.  

After the morning break a panel of industry experts representing print, publishing, and distribution discussed how they use digital printing to streamline the supply chain in order to reduce costs, increase sales, and shorten delivery times. Panelists included Mathijs Suidman (Centraal Boekhuis in the Netherlands), Jonathan Huddart (CPI Books and Journals), Mark Sanderson (Emerald Group Publishing), Andy Cork (Printondemand-worldwide) and Gareth Jarrett (Taylor & Francis). Andy Cork discussed the more than £1,000,000 investment his company recently made on inkjet equipment. "We are seeing a huge growth in our POD (Print-on-demand) business. Today 70% of our orders are bespoke 'book of one' production." Gareth Jarrett said that Taylor & Francis currently has 83,000 ISBNs representing 70% of its list now available through POD or ASR (Automated-Stock-Replenishment); three-quarter of these titles have no, or very low stockholdings. He also indicated that longer run inkjet AS R is growing rapidly in the U.K., with 800 ISBNs added since September 2014.

The morning session concluded with a panel of leading European printers who shared their experiences and insights into the market. Speakers included Enrique Parilla, from Lantia Publishing in Spain, Giulio Olivotto, from Gruppo L.E.G.O. in Italy, and Fredrik Borg, from Holmbergs in Sweden. 

Following lunch, executives from leading digital printing systems suppliers highlighted their companies' recent developments in book manufacturing and digital printing, and looked ahead to drupa 2016. Participants included: Reinhold Frech (Canon), Mark Hinder (Konica Minolta), Benoit Chatelard (Ricoh Europe), and John Conley (Xerox). 

The following session was a discussion by Andrew Copley (U.K. book manufacturer Clays) and Simon Crump (head of Production Supply Chain for Academic Books at Cambridge University Press) about the practical application of distributed print. Cambridge needed a solution for printing in multiple countries and the speakers shared how a publisher and printer worked together to establish global printer alliances to improve the supply chain by printing in multiple countries.

Toby Cobrin, Director at INTERQUEST presented recent INTERQUEST research in the U.K. market. Leading trends cited by publishers included a propensity for shorter print runs and a focus on inventory control and cost management. "These trends are leading publishers to an even greater use of digitally printed books," reported Cobrin. She also indicated that colour currently accounts for about 12% of the U.K. publishers' book volume produced on digital equipment; the publishers surveyed expect this percentage to increase to nearly 30% by 2018. 

The program wrapped up with two panels of U.K. and international publishers and print providers. The first explored innovations and opportunities in the market—particularly in the area of color and personalisation. Speakers included Emanuele Bandecchi from Rotolito Lombarda in Italy, Jérôme Jallu from Sejer/Editis Group in France, and Ian Sutherland, from Lost My Name in the U.K..  

A second panel of publishers shared their experiences with using digital printing to produce books, and provided their reactions to the day's proceedings. Topics discussed by the panel included opinions on inkjet printing, supply chain management, and multichannel strategies. When asked what the industry will look like for publishers in three years, answers ranged from a breakthrough in digitally printed colour books to growth in backlist and more POD print suppliers. Participants included Nigel Marsh (Faber & Faber), Arjen Jansen (Collins Learning), Birgit Dahl (RELX Group), and Siân Chapman (University of Wales Press).


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