In the on-going debate over print versus digital, Ingram Content Group has found a way to give a leg-up to print books through its print-on-demand model. Like many other models of kiosk-based in store selection, printing, and binding, Ingram allows users to only print those titles that are necessary at the point of purchase. Stores do not need to maintain a costly stock of inventory and the costs of shipping are alleviated for the publisher and the consumer.
Now, Ingram has developed its Global Connect program to bring the same ease of purchase to books on an international level. Publishers can now maintain a catalog of titles that can be purchased globally, removing the effort and expense of international shipping. A partnership has already been forged with Singular Digital in Brazil, and negotiations are in the works with book distributors in Japan and Germany.
With all of the recent decisions being made about the taxation status of ebooks, it will be interesting to see if print-on-demand books will be rendered taxable as an import item in other countries, and therefore be charged the same duties and fees as books that are shipped abroad from the country of origin. As the publishers would be charged often heavy import fees if print editions were shipped, sending the files electronically prior to printing within that country should logically alleviate that cost. Should that prove to be true, this could be a boost to the global print publishing industry.