Books While You Wait
But the fact is while most would agree that POD has potential at the retail level, it's much too soon to start selling your stock in the commercial printing industry. Significant obstacles still face the transition to on-demand printing in the retail space, not the least of which is price. With the most state-of the-art digital presses running as high as $500,000 to $1 million, the technology is simply too expensive for most retailers (and even smaller publishers) to afford just yet. Another issue is the daunting task of digitizing book titles. Though many titles released today may already be translated into digital (and e-book) format, classic books and more obscure releases will need to be converted before POD at the retail level can really take off. For this reason, on-demand will likely remain a limited offering attracting more printing and publishing houses—at least for the next several years. Still, the implications of the technology are astounding and, in the future, POD is likely to change the way we buy (and produce) our reading material.
-Chris Moraff (firstname.lastname@example.org)