4/08/2005

New Life for Out of Print Books

Amazon Acquires On-demand Printer

Attempting to generate more revenue from hard-to-find books, Amazon.com acquired US inventory-free book printing and fulfillment company, BookSurge.

Founded in 2000, BookSurge offers its inventory-free book fulfillment network to publishers through BookSurge Publishers services and to authors through BookSurge Publishing. It also provides its services to retailers, distributors and wholesalers through its Global Publishing System software platform. Some examples of titles available on demand through BookSurge include foreign-language books such as the Arabic-language version of the international bestseller The Da Vinci Code and Perez and Martina: A Puerto Rican Folktale, by Latina librarian Pura Belpre. BookSurge also offers selections from New York bestselling author Robert Morgan as well as non-fiction works that include books produced by the Museum of Modern Art. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. “Print-on-demand has changed the economics of small quantity printing, making it possible for books with low and uncertain demand to be profitably produced,” said Greg Greeley, vice president of media products for Amazon.com. “BookSurge makes it possible to print books that appeal to targeted audiences, whether it’s one copy or one thousand.” He said the new relationship with BookSurge will provide Amazon customers an ever-expanding selection of titles that are not available through other channels.

Source: EDITTECH INTERNATIONAL

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So this could be really good, helping indy/midlist books that are out print to get back into circulation. College instructors may then be able to teach books previously too difficult to secure for their classes. I have to admit to a certain skepticism simply because of the word "acquisition" that seems heavy with corporate compromises for the sake of profitibility, but perhaps, the resistance to Literary Canon has just received a new tool to use.

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