Apr 15, 2014
Recently, Barb Pellow and I participated in a Canon-sponsored Book Business/Printing Impressions webinar on the topic of books and inkjet. (The replay is available at this link if you are interested.) As is typical of most webinars, listeners were encouraged to submit questions, and in this case we received a lot of them. This blog is comprised of those questions and my brief response to each. While not intended to be comprehensive, I believe these questions and answers are a reflection of what is on the minds of the publishing community in regard to inkjet and books today.
Question and Answer
Q: What would be the cost per book difference to print offset vs. ink jet based upon specs such as Read more »
Apr 11, 2014
nGage’s Inkjet Summit is in its second year and it has grown to around 90 end-user attendees and 39 sponsor companies. The concept is relatively simple: find prospective buyers of high-speed inkjet equipment, pay their way to a resort location, and sit them down in front of the sponsors for case study presentations and one-on-one meetings. This assures that the level of knowledge and experience of the average attendee is very impressive. They have done their research and have a good idea of what they need. Not all of the attendees, though, are first-time buyers. Those looking to purchase a second (or third, or fourth) device were also in attendance. They make up a significant portion of the audience and have hands-on familiarity with inkjet technology.
Similar to the first-time buyer/experienced user split, another split was particularly noticeable Read more »
Mar 11, 2013
The idea behind dandelion distribution is simple. Imagine thousands of dandelion seeds being spread by the wind. Of these, only a few may ever grow into dandelions, but that’s enough. As it relates to e-books, dandelion distribution happens when reproduction and distribution are so cheap as to be virtually free. This idea is encapsulated in the book Spreadable Media by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green, and it was also discussed at length during one of the keynote sessions at the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference (February 12-14 in New York City).
Panelist Cory Doctorow (more on him at Craphound.com) suggested that book publishers consider replacing their traditional “mammalian intuition” (i.e., the idea that each book is precious and must be protected by any means) with “dandelion intuition” (where it is acknowledged that any individual book has a small chance of success and therefore the strategy should be designed around spreading as many ‘seeds’ as possible). This concept goes against traditional publishing logic, but so did a lot of other ideas at the conference.
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Mar 1, 2013
Giving greeting cards is very much part of the British culture. A recent study by Ofcom found that UK consumers send more greeting cards than any other surveyed country;Â France, Germany, Italy, USA, Japan, Australia, Spain, and China.
Greeting cards remain an important part of the UK social culture, and UK consumers are sending more than ever before. One of the key factors driving this growth is the increased demand seen in online print and the growing popularity for personalised photo cards.
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Feb 11, 2013
At Hunkeler Innovationdays this week (February 11th to 15th in Lucerne, Switzerland), Kodak announced a new version of its Prosper high-speed inkjet printing system. The Prosper 5000XLi includes a new extended paper path, an improved transport/drying system, new more durable inks, and software improvements that better leverage existing camera/sensor feedback systems. Key to the features of the 5000XLi are items that improve quality for many applications, but particularly for high-coverage output on coated papers. For those types of applications, the optional Image Optimization Station (IOS) provides an in-line treatment (an aqueous coating) that allows users to use commodity papers instead of more expensive inkjet-treated offerings. The 5000XLi will replace the Prosper 5000XL. Upgrades will be available for current Prosper 5000 systems. The 5000XLi will be available immediately after Hunkeler Innovationdays.
Prosper 5000XLi at Mercury Print in Rochester, New York
I had a chance to see the Prosper 5000XLi running live at a user site in Rochester, New York. The site, Mercury Print (www.mercuryprint.com), has had its Prosper 5000 since July of 2011 and served as the beta site for the new 5000XL. It has also added the monochrome Prosper 1000, which was installed at the end of December.
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Nov 5, 2012
Somehow, zombies have crept into the debate about the value of print. Below are three recent examples of how print and zombies have been connected in some fashion on the Internet.
- Why Print Books Are Like Zombies — This blog is actually about digital rights management, but the point is that printed books live on and on (in your bookshelves, your attic, your basement, etc.). They never die. Nor can they be taken away from you by the publisher after you’ve bought them.
- Print Zombie — Is Print Dead? — This blog examines the future of print. It’s called Print Zombie because “Everyone knows if something dies, it just comes back stronger as a Zombie!”
- And my favorite: Print versus Digital — Who Survives the Zombies? — This imaginative and hilarious infographic provides compelling facts to support the theory that print is much better suited to survive a zombie attack.
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Dec 14, 2011
In anticipation of drupa 2012, the landmark graphic arts trade show that will take place next May, Océ is closing out this year with a couple of product announcements in the high-speed inkjet category. The JetStream 2300 mono, 3300 mono, and 4300 mono represent Océ’s first dedicated monochrome inkjet printers.
With a 3-up (30 inch) web width, these printers fall into Océ’s Wide series and feature printing speeds of 100, 150, and 200 m/minute respectively (328, 492, and 656 fpm respectively). At the highest speed, this translates to 4,040 A4 or 4,296 letter-sized images per minute. With a 600 dpi by 600 dpi resolution, 2-bit imaging, and pigmented black ink, these printers are primarily targeted at the book market. Océ’s newest JetStream printers are very compact with a total length of 7.9 metres from unwind to rewind, and they feature a dedicated two-tower design with very narrow monochrome towers.
On Demand book printing has become a hot market, and we have seen quite a few continuous feed devices heading into book sites lately. Nevertheless, the majority of installations were monochrome because the majority of books are printed in this format. Océ does offer single-colour versions of its range of JetStream and ColorStream inkjet printers, but even when equipped with only a monochrome printing head, they carried the load of devices that were designed for full-colour printing. While the ability to upgrade to full colour is a nice feature, not every book printer will need to do so and pricing in this market is competitive. Océ reckons that the purchase price of a pure monochrome printer is 30% less than a monochrome version of a comparable 4-C inkjet printer. Read more »
Nov 25, 2011
Thanksgiving morning I go out to get the newspaper, which normally can be found midway up the driveway where the delivery guy heaves it from the street. To my amazement, it’s sitting on my doorstep and I do a doubletake because it looks suspiciously like the Sunday paper. It’s humongous. As I pick it up I see why it wasn’t thrown. It’s oozing with inserts and weighs a ton. The delivery guy would have separated his shoulder if he had thrown it. I bring it inside, groggily checking the wall calendar to be sure that it’s Thursday (not Sunday). It soon dawns on me that tomorrow is Black Friday, the biggest retail shopping day of the year, and therefore Thanksgiving, when most people have time to settle in with a newspaper and its advertisements, is most probably the biggest day of the year for newspaper insert printers.
Black Friday newspaper inserts from the Boston Globe
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Jul 28, 2011
Book lovers face two major problems: 1) new books can be relatively expensive and 2) they take up a lot of space. E-readers have solved the second problem, but not the first and have driven down the demand for hard copies of books in the process. A publisher in Concord, Massachusetts has come up with an innovative way to solve both problems using hard copies of books, while also promoting the work of authors, and driving charitable donations. Read more »
Mar 12, 2010
Recently I wrote about the Xerox/On Demand Books announcement (Xerox and On Demand Books Collaborate on Espresso Book Machine) and it has gotten me thinking about the purpose of a book-on-demand machine, or what is also sometimes called a book kiosk. What types of booksÂ are best suited forÂ a book kiosk? If the kiosk is in a book store, it generally wouldn’t need to be used for anything that could be found in the store, unless the store had run out of a mass-produced book and the book kiosk could create a suitable facsimile in a timely and economic fashion. The fit would be much better if the desired title were obscure (like an out-of-print book), targeted (like a university course pack), niche-oriented (too quirky to be stocked on shelves), customized (perhaps drawn from a reservoir of copyrighted content), personalized (maybe using a combination of personal and professional content), or self-published. The more likely that it couldn’t be found in the store, the better. But why does the book kiosk even have to be in a bookstore? What about airports, convention centers, hotels, resorts, theaters, retail stores, or cruise ships?
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