Thursday, January 10, 2008

Print on Demand comes to Borders

My lovely boss was in an even lovelier mood today, since he said I could go home an hour early at 4.30 instead of 5.30 (5.45 by the time we get all the customers out and the shop locked up). I would have gone to the gym had I had my gear with me, but I didn't, so I came home instead and thought I would use the time to do some online research into different things. Along the way I found an interesting news story re Borders.

It seems that they are piloting a print on demand scheme in their Oxford Street store starting in February 2008, in yet another sign of how the publishing world is at last beginning to embrace this technology and see its benefits.

Customers will have access to a database of around 1500 items of software (not books) like games, music and video. They are hoping to introduce the ability to actually download films to DVDs as well as spoken word CDs over the next few months.

The items available will be listed in either an e-catalogue or a printed one available in store. They just take the empty case over to the cashier who then places into a console, so the software is pressed into the disk while they wait, complete with inlay card and user manual. The entire process is designed to take a matter of minutes.

The company behind this service, Tribeka, has agreements with more than 225 providers including the BBC, Dorling Kindersley, Lego, McAfee, Sage, and Britannica. The advantage to the retailer is of course that they will not have to physically hold stock, (or for that matter count it) thus reducing overheads.

Borders are also looking at ways to sell audio books in a similar manner. Where's my voice recorder ? !

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