making books The outside world: progress publishing the auntie mame files
by Harry Connolly
And you know what? It feels great.
I sorta expected my wife to push me to return to the convention today and make another go of it–socialize! network!–but no. Today has been work day, and I’m happy about it.
Anyway, regarding something said during a panel at Norwescon yesterday: Lou Anders was talking about ebooks, paper books, and pricing, and he said that one of the things keeping prices of paper books low was large print runs. If ebooks drive down sales of paper books, he’ll have to choose between a) smaller, more expensive print runs, which means higher prices, or b) the same old large runs of books, but with most of them stored in a warehouse and earning him a tax hit at the end of the year.
But I thought there was a c) that he was missing. If printers want to keep their businesses alive, they’re going to need to adapt to smaller print runs and downward price pressures. It seems like new technology would be the ticket here. (note: I know next to nothing about the current technology used by book printers, so clearly I’m typing this with my ass.)
I don’t mean printers in stores (although that would be tempting) because that takes forever. We’re a long way from having one or more of those in a store, handling large numbers of books at once.
But I suspect the price pressure from ebooks is going to hit printing presses especially hard. Is anyone familiar with the current state of their technology? So much has changed with printing at home in the last ten years (although obviously that’s very different) has book printing tech been changing too?