walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Ingram

Geez. Here I was thinking of Ingram as being the cleverest wholesaler ever. The wikipedia entry calls them a "service provider" to the publishing industry, which I would interpret as, "we're going to do everything you do, and charge you to do it for you so you don't have to do it yourself, while we contemplate whether we're going to actually just take over the whole industry or keep you around as a puppet to do the bits we find expensive and annoying."

The article refers to a PW piece profiling the CEO:

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/44589-not-your-father-s-ingram.html

from September 2010.

"over the past five to 10 years, the company has invested tens of millions of dollars to become what Skip Prichard, president and CEO of the Ingram Content Group, called the "centerspoke" of an industry in transition."

I'm thinking my summary is about right.

"Its Lightning Source division now has 4.4 million titles and has added more titles this year than at any time in its history...traditional publishers doing shorter first printings and reprinting using POD; the growth of aggregators that print public domain titles; more self-publishing; and greater use of POD by academic presses."

I kept running into academic presses who turned all their production problems over to Ingram as a result of trying to figure out how to do ebooks.

They've apparently already hollowed out Macmillan: "Macmillan will use Ingram's print-on-demand and distribution infrastructure to manage the publisher's traditional inventory and POD needs for long-tail titles. ... "We expect to take over more publishers' back-end operations as they move from print to digital, and business models change like never before," Prichard said."

Thinking, oh, hey, the distributor (which, let's face it, was in a world of hurt if pbook distribution went into a terminal decline, unless they found an alternative business to be in) is just going to consolidate all the stuff as it disappears? Think again. "About 50 publishers (including Penguin and Macmillan) are using CoreSource to help manage the digital distribution of e-books."
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