As John Ingram issues a statement on the Lightning Source website regarding the advantages of print on demand, the lines increasingly become blurred between this printing method as a means of self publishing, and what most would call traditional publishing (i.e.,when the author does not have to meet the cost of publication him or herself).
I find myself agreeing with many of the points that John raises with regard to print on demand, and this will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog. POD has many advantages to offer author and publishers alike, the ease of making changes to either the cover and/or text, the speed with which the books can be printed, bound and shipped, and most importantly of all, the ability to print books in small numbers without keeping a huge inventory. It seems that the rest of the industry is beginning to realise what authors such as myself have known for some time.
As John so rightly says, the industry needs something to transform it, not revive it. It will be interesting to see what The Money Programme has to say later in the week, when it presents its own analysis of the industry.
An article in the Irish Independent on Sunday poses the question, "Will we see radical new approaches to book publishing and selling over the next few years, some new faces and ideas that reflect our new-found search for meaning in these turbulent times?" I think to the answer to this, has to be yes, if the industry is to thrive and survive, and print on demand undoubtedly has a role to play.