While the explosion of digital media has seen some industries, such as print journalism, endure a marked downturn in recent years, its impact on the book publishing industry has been far less severe – thanks in large part to the adoption of digital strategies.
Ebooks, social media and audiobooks are here to stay, and the publishing has understandably had to pivot to address changing customer needs. Digital printing models are one way in which the publishing industry has been able to control costs and reduce inventory. And with book color and mono digital printing forecast to grow – each by at least 15% CAGR through to 2022 – there’s optimism about the industry’s future.
So what’s inspiring these publishing-growth statistics, and what are the emerging trends driving book sales and revealing niche markets?
In its earliest days, leaders in the publishing industry saw the advent of digital media as a fierce competitor – one with the potential to bankrupt major publishing houses. But after years of competition, the two are starting to work together.
Like the fashion, food and lifestyle industries before it, publishing now has its own brand of digital ambassadors in the form of ‘bookstagrammers’ and ‘booktubers’. These digital natives are specialist book bloggers who use the best of digital media to promote their love of books, re-igniting a passion for printed books in a new generation of readers.
Millennials and Generation Z are some of the most vocal advocates for supporting what they love – and businesses that harness that support can reap the benefits. For one booktuber, Jen Campbell, viewers of her videos buy around 600–800 physical books every month.
Whether they are snapping photos of books in lifestyle shots or reviewing literary fiction in vlogs, these book evangelizers – such as Book Bento Box (@bookbento), an Instagram account that recommends books alongside complementary items in visually appealing images – are breathing new life into the publishing industry from a purely digital podium. And it’s making a big impact on digital printing.
Digital printing is playing an increasing role in book production in the Middle East, with the total value of its printing industry set to top $20 billion by the end of 2018. This figure will continue to rise – and spread across new regions – given the variety of business models that are already adopting digital to satisfy their diverse customer base.
From optimizing offset production processes to fully embracing on-demand publishing, digital printing can accommodate a much more fluid range of products than previously possible.
This hybrid production process grants major benefits to publishers. For short-run printing, digital means shorter delivery times, faster time-to-market and reduced warehousing and distribution overheads. A totally digital, dynamic publishing model – where digital print and the internet form a ‘first sell, then print’ model – allows publishers to retain capital otherwise tied up in unsold stock.
Canon understands this ever-changing landscape of book publishing, and offers a variety of printing solutions to meet market demands. Whether they want to incorporate digital to optimize their existing production processes, or embrace a fully dynamic publishing model, publishers can use Canon’s products to not only adapt to this new market, but thrive.