Until recent years, the go-to-market strategy for publishers was to print, then sell. Based on sales predictions, thousands of books would be produced on offset presses – providing the best margin for the run lengths involved – and then shipped to retailers, in whatever numbers were ordered.
This often meant that publishers had to warehouse thousands of books at a cost and accept the risk that not all of the copies produced might be sold, resulting in reduced profits in either – or both – cases. However, with automated stock replenishment systems and digital print technology enabling short-run production, publishers can now be much more flexible on the number of copies they have to produce at any one time.
At Canon’s virtual Future Book Forum in 2020, we heard from Grupo Planeta, Spain’s leading publishing, media and education group, about changing customer demands and how it’s impacting the company’s go-to-market strategy. With physical bookstores across Spain and an increasingly popular e-commerce shop, Planeta’s challenge was to ensure it could maintain stock levels, while reducing the number of wasted books, and achieving fast lead times from order to distribution.
Ignasi Conde Cancells, Purchasing Director at Grupo Planeta, explained how they had been seeking out a book printer who could deliver an efficient service, competitive pricing and superior quality, “Most commercial printers offer high quality and short lead times but only for standardised products. With such a broad product offering, we were looking for a printer who could deliver all of that and on a variety of cover designs, paper grades, book sizes and binding options.”
Grupo Planeta then met Liber Digital, a Madrid-based book printing and binding company at Future Book Forum 2019. Having gained a deep understanding of Grupo Planeta’s challenges, Liber Digital is now working with them on highly efficient order-to-print and production workflows.