Print to order by HarperCollins and small bookstore competitiveness

An article in the Wall Street Journal (Sept 23, 2011) describes the impact of a decision by the publisher HarperCollins to make 5,000 paperbacks available through OnDemand Books LLC Espresso print Machine. The small printer enables a book to be printed in a few minutes.  The goal is to decrease the 25 to 80 % of paperbacks not available in bookstores due to space limits, the revenue will be split 70 % to the publisher and 30 % to the bookstore.  Will such a strategy enable local bookstores to compete with or will it be subsumed by e-books ? Should the publisher own the printer and recover costs based on book sales or should this remain the bookstore owner’s decision ? Will such a decision decrease the incentive for the bookstore to carry books by HarperCollins ? How can the publisher use this strategy to increase competitiveness of his books?

About aviyer2010

This entry was posted in Collaboration, Ecommerce, Operations Management, Service Operations, Supply Chain Issues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Print to order by HarperCollins and small bookstore competitiveness

  1. How awesome is this idea! Putting a machine that allows mass customization at the retail store. This is a great solution for 80% of their books: instead of stocking them, put a kiosk in the store with the massive, searchable, sortable database. Print on-demand instead of over printing. The low-demand books have high variation, too. Instead of predicting demand at a store for 80% of your books, you don’t ship extras AND you don’t miss out on stock-out.

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