Like everything else, the future in printing is on-demand.

4 Dec

iTunes gives me music in the luxury of my home (not to mention in a manner where I can pick and choose individual songs). Netflix, any digital cable company and many online suitors let me watch TV on my own schedule with virtually any individual episode (and often any individual scene) that I want able to be called up in secconds.  So if audio and video can do it, why was I so shocked when Prof. Taylor presented her hypothesis that print can do it through bookstores becomiug printing stores in the next few years?

The idea makes so much sense that it hurts to think why it isn’t implemented yet.  Bookstores take on an overhead cost initially (the printer and related equipmented) but in turn can order less books and reduce the amount of unsold merchandise in store. They can charge slightly higher fees for the printed product because now a service/labor charge is warranted and they never need to deny a sale due to “out of stock” since a digital library can be limitless.

Publishing companies seems to suffer a bit more since this system can really empower a self-publisher (though I know major publishers have relationships with major retail bookstores that can be sustained in this hypothetical environment). Publishers would no longer get mass sales of books to retailers but selling digital rights and providing digital distribution avenues to authors seems viable.

In the end, it’ll mean trading in huge book sales for the ability to have whatever I want, whenever I want it. It’s the plan for media in the 21st century, no matter what content type.


One Response to “Like everything else, the future in printing is on-demand.”

  1. A Graphic World II December 7, 2010 at 10:52 pm #

    5/5, great job this semester.

    -Bridget Streeter

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