Baker & Taylor, Ingram’s main competitor in book distribution, has announced a book-on-demand operation of its own, scheduled to launch in September. I talked to a B&T spokesperson, who made it clear that like LightningSource (which is owned by Ingram), the B&T service is designed for true run-length-of-one POD book printing. The actual production will be handled by R.R. Donnelley using equipment that RRD is setting up inside B&T’s distribution facility in Momence, Illinois.
This announcement is probably good news for publishers (since the service is likely to give LightningSource some needed competition) but not so good for digital book printers (apart from Donnelley) who may lose a chunk of business to the new operation.