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 Amazon.com 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?

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About aviyer2010

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

One 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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