May 31, 2007, 12:00 AM

Amazon’s print-on-demand service signs some big-name publishers

BookSurge LLC, a subsidiary of Amazon.com Inc., has recruited major publishers to use BookSurge`s print-on-demand service to make current, backlist, out-of-print and large print books available on Amazon.com and through other distribution channels.

The Internet has changed the way many companies do business. The latest evidence: BookSurge LLC, a subsidiary of Amazon.com Inc., has recruited major publishers to use BookSurge`s print-on-demand service to make backlist, out-of-print, large print and current books available on Amazon.com and through other distribution channels.

Participating publishers include HarperCollins, John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill, Pearson, Springer, Gale, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Princeton University Press, SAGE Publications, Kensington, Hal Leonard, LexisNexis, and the International Step by Step Association.

The service means that publishers do not have to carry inventory for those titles. Titles offered through print on demand are available to Amazon.com customers at the usual delivery speeds, meaning that customers who choose overnight shipping can receive their books the next day. Amazon.com is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

"The print-on-demand service is ideal for publishers who want to bring back out-of-print or backlist titles as well as maintain in-stock availability of midlist and frontlist titles," says David Symonds, general manager, BookSurge. "Printing books as customers order them, without carrying inventory, benefits both publishers and customers. Publishers can now maintain in-stock availability on Amazon.com, which improves sales. And customers can order titles that would otherwise be unavailable and receive them the next day."

"We have a large catalog of titles that have been difficult to keep in print using traditional offset printing models," said Mike Hays, president, McGraw-Hill. "BookSurge has helped us identify the titles with the most potential demand and digitize them through the Print on Demand program, keeping them available indefinitely. We believe this will be a very profitable way to increase both the size of our in-print catalog and our overall sales."

Publishers send their books to BookSurge as PDFs or in hard copy, which BookSurge scans. Publishers do not have to create special electronic formats to use BookSurge.

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