Today's edition of The Tennessean is reporting that Ingram Industries will merge its print and digital publishing operations into a single business entity.

The article states in part:  "Ingram Industries will consolidate its print and digital publishing services into one company called Ingram Content Group Inc., a move the company said would make it easier for customers in the publishing industry to find what they need. . . . The restructuring includes Ingram Book Group, Lightning Source Inc. and Ingram Digital. . .Ingram, which serves publishers struggling to define the future of the book in a digital world, has invested heavily in digital technology, including its print on-demand services and electronic book distribution."

Other than the reference to making things "easier" for customers, the article does not discuss the reasoning behind Ingram's move.  However, given the recent announcement by Bowker regarding the explosive increase in the number of on-demand and short-run books published in 2008, it seems fair to say that the boundary between "traditional" book publishing/distribution and "on-demand/short-run" book publishing/distribution may be blurring.

Editor's Note: WhatTheyThink has published an interview with Lightning Source President David Taylor on the Ingram reorganization