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Xerox Workshop Spotlights Opportunities in Digital Books

Press release from the issuing company

As the publishing industry continues to fragment, many of its best growth opportunities are in “small places,” with profits realized from efficient, low-cost processes. A key enabler is digital print on demand, which will grow significantly as it continues to boost efficiency in the supply chain.
These were the views of Publishing Consultant Lauren Dawson of LJNDawson.com during Xerox Corporation’s recent Thought Leadership Workshop on digital books. Hers was one of about a dozen presentations by industry experts and Xerox executives describing the impact the slow economy is having on the industry as it is being transformed by digital technologies. About 40 publishing and printing professionals attended the workshop, which was led by John Conley, vice president, Publishing Industry Segment, Xerox Corporation.
Dawson noted that most of the industry’s projected growth is either in “power hits” (big-selling, embargoed titles) produced the traditional way, or in alternatives offered by in-store printing, self-publishing, regional and small presses, as well as digital print on demand. Caroline Vanderlip, chief executive officer, SharedBook Inc., described opportunities in Web-based publishing, including customized and personalized books, collections created from existing materials stored on the Web, and collaborative works created using Web-based collaboration tools.
The workshop opened with a visit to The Open Publishing Lab at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where attendees heard about electronic technologies that are changing book production, publishing and reading.  Additional sessions presented by Xerox executives covered sustainability, black-and-white and color digital printing, workflow, variable information printing and finishing.
Edgar Santiago, director of finance, Moody Publishers, the 115-year-old publishing arm of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, attended because the company is considering bringing some digital printing in-house for short runs of titles, specialty products and materials supporting the school. “I got a lot out of it,” Santiago said of the workshop, “especially a snapshot of the future of publishing and the impact of technology.”
He also gathered ideas he can apply immediately to his business, among them: collecting annotations and blog postings into books that can supplement school and church curricula and tightly integrating a digital printing system with Moody’s Web site and business enterprise software systems.  “We’re not looking to get into the printing business,” Santiago explained. “But on short-run or specialty items and with a wealth of titles in our archive, we have an opportunity to develop new offerings to replace some of the business we’re losing due to the economy and changes in the industry.”