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Lightning Source Builds Color Books-on-Demand Effort with Expansion in HP Indigo Digital Press Fleet

Press release from the issuing company

PALO ALTO, Calif., April 17, 2007 – HP today announced that Lightning Source, the world’s largest provider of one-off, demand-based book manufacturing and distribution solutions, has launched a comprehensive growth program to expand its capacity and service offerings in both color books on demand and consumer-created photo books. Lightning Source’s HP Indigo presses are the backbone of the firm’s color print-on-demand operation, producing short-run color books and color covers for monochrome books, as well as photo books for the firm’s new photo specialty operation. “Working with more than 4,500 different publishing companies – including the world’s most respected book publishers – it is clear that the time for color in the books-on-demand market is now,” said J. Kirby Best, President and CEO of Lightning Source. “HP Indigo technology has provided us an exceptional color manufacturing solution that meets, or exceeds, the needs of our publishing partners. We turn books around in twelve hours or less from order to ship. We needed a reliable, exceptional quality color solution. With HP, we have achieved that.” The two newest presses, HP Indigo press 5000 s, are ideal digital devices for the books-on-demand market, capable of printing one-off books that are virtually indistinguishable from traditional offset manufactured books. Lightning Source first became an HP Indigo customer shortly after HP acquired the offset-quality Indigo liquid electrophotographic printing technology in 2001. In addition to the HP Indigo press 5000s the firm is currently installing, the company also operates two HP Indigo press 3250s , six HP Indigo press 3050 s and a pair of HP Indigo press 1000 s. “We are pleased to be able to provide the high-quality, reliable solutions that will continue to help Lightning Source be the leader in its field,” said Alon Bar-Shany, vice president and general manager, Indigo division, HP. “Productivity-minded investments like the one Lightning Source is undertaking provide real evidence that the HP Indigo press 5000 and w3250 platforms can bring color to the world of books on demand once and for all.” Lightning Source is a leader in color and monochrome books on demand, and its HP Indigo press installations represent the scaling up of a color program that will be matched with previously announced purchases of monochrome digital presses from another manufacturer. Key components to its book production operations in both color and monochrome applications include reliability, maximum uptime, and productivity, as most books on-demand at the firm are printed, bound and shipped within hours of being ordered. Lightning Source offset-quality color books-on-demand are a big benefit for publishers. With the capacity for color books-on-demand production available on its new HP Indigo presses, the company can increase the number and types of titles that remain in print, expanding the range of choices available to publishers, and ultimately consumers. Equally important for Lightning Source’s publisher customers is the fact that an expanded range of titles increases profit opportunities. When titles are published exclusively by traditional methods, they become unprofitable to produce when demand drops below a certain point. Publishers then take titles out of print. Books on demand, by contrast, can be profitable for publishers in order quantities as small as one, enabling publishers to keep titles available and in print. In the past, books that incorporate color, such as art books, fine art photography, children’s books and cookbooks, could not be effectively printed on demand, making them susceptible to going out of print. Lightning Source is reversing that trend with its HP Indigo investments. The HP Indigo press 5000, the most advanced high-end digital printing press on the market, is designed for extremely demanding production environments. Pantone-licensed, it prints in up to seven colors, delivering offset quality on a wide range of substrates, and is supported by a complete range of specialized solutions partners. More information about the HP Indigo press 5000 and other digital graphic arts solutions is available at www.hp.com/go/graphicarts .