On demand printing puts books back in hands of academics

November 27, 1998

That elusive out-of-print tome could soon in the hands of the searching academic with the launch of a print-to-order book service.

Macmillan are now offering an on-demand service for out-of-stock textbooks and will print a single copy. If the trial is successful the service will be extended to cover all the publisher's out-of-print academic titles.

Dominic Knight, managing director of Macmillan Press, described the launch of the On Demand service as "a step in our mission to keep works of academic value in print for ever".

The production process is split to keep costs to a minimum. Reprint orders of less than 300 in a monthly cycle are run off on 600 dpi (dots per inch) laser printers and then bound in the normal way. These titles will cost up to Pounds 10 more each than the standard price. Larger orders are printed using conventional litho presses. For example, a customer who places an order in mid-month can expect to receive their book by the middle of the next month.

"The maximum time they will have to wait is six weeks," said Tim Fox, publishing services director.

THES textbook guide, i-xvi

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