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The End of the 1,000 Copies Era

by Zamir Bar Lev

 We are all witnessing and aware of the big crisis in publishing and especially book publishing. The crisis destroyed the economics of the market, and led publishers and book stores to offer bazaar sales, and the cost of books in stores are well bellow the production cost point. We are not very far away from a day when books will be priced and sold by weight.

The cause of the crisis

For the printers, publishers and book producers the crisis is well known, and it is rooted in the traditional way of pricing and producing books using offset printing presses. When the price for the first 1,000 copies is the minimum threshold to justify the set up for the production and any additional quantity will reduce the price per copy. This creates a temptation for the publisher to order too many books. to theoretically lower the price of a single copy, but in fact, this fills up the warehouses with unnecessary surplus of books. From here, bazaar sales or paper recycling is very near.

The solution - digital printing

Books on demand serves as the ideal solution. When looking for a complete end to end production solution there are two critical elements that you must have: First and more important you must get the same print quality, in color and black & white, as in your offset production. The book must look and feel the same as a standard offset book. Second, for the best binding - sewing, stitching or perfect binding - you need to be able to create up to 32 page signatures from a narrow format, similar to the signatures from your 70x100 offset.

The HP Indigo W72000 press provides this solution. It is a roll fed press, with offset quality and the highest volume digital productivity.

When to use book on demand printing

To stay competitive and profitable, you must use book on demand printing wisely. For short and medium size orders, digital production is optimal and profitable, even with a single book. When longer runs are required, traditional offset production should be used.

The most important thing is to offer your customer, the publisher, a more profitable solution and better service.

Pilot edition

We all know that all authors think that their books will become bestsellers. We also know that very few of them do. Therefore, printing a pilot test edition, of few hundred books, is the perfect offering for the publishers. When real orders and reservations are sent by the book stores, you can decide whether to print offset for a longer run or digital for a short or medium order run.

Another advantage of printing the pilot is being able to correct mistakes, Introduce changes and amendments in the next edition.

Old Titles Restoration 

Digital printing is ideal for reprint of old titles. Books that were produced years ago, even before computer files were used, were for years out of order. Now with scanning technology and digital printing, any book can be easily reproduced, to the highest quality.

Family Books

This product segment is fast growing. With the development and popularity of software and tools for self publishing and photo editing, more and more of such books are produced. This segment is for digital production only. The quantities are low, well below 100 copies per production. Some time the order is for 2-3 books.

Family celebrations, baptizing, marriage ceremonies and memories from a family member of a summary holiday, are most popular book types for this segment.


This field is not new, of course, common among graduates of schools, universities, army and military units, church members etc. These books printed in dozens or hundreds copies and are ideal for digital printing.


Universities, colleges, institutes, private schools usually use self published textbook materials, will find the perfect solution with digital book on demand printing.

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