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Printondemand-worldwide Blog

  • Print on Demand Worldwide Forecast – 2022 to Show Functional and Industrial Printing Market to Grow to £144.8 Billion

    The market for industrial and functional printing applications has experienced growth in dimensions including those of:

    • Décor and laminates
    • Ceramics
    • Electronics (which includes......Read More

  • The Forgotten Art Of Bookmaking

    Ever since people have started reading e-books on Kindle and downloading apps like Goodreads publishing of books on paper has been in decline. Now that people can... read books on their phones and tablets there are some books that never get published on paper.

    That means, the market today pays heavy attention to the quality of books that do get published. This gives them the best chance for that second glance on the shop floor. Bookmakers and printers set the words and typefaces to such accuracy with modern technology that the process is automated, demonstrating significant evolution from the traditional methods which would normally take weeks - not hours.

    But there are still those who cling to the old ways. That believe a book made by hand acts as evidence of the process, not merely a document of information - and for one, we applaud them.

    The Larkspur Press

    There was once a time when bookmaking was considered an art almost as important, distinct, and refined as writing a book. Luckily, there are some places that still consider it so, for example, Larkspur Press in Kentucky. This press is owned by Gray Zeitz who has been creating books for more than forty years.

    This two-story writing press is near the small town of Monterey where Zeitz prints one book at a time printing just a few editions each year. He has associated with some of the best writers in the state such as Bobby Ann Mason and Wendell Berry. Zeitz is 69 years old and uses a Chandler & Price printing press from 1915 to print books. He cuts the stacks of paper on a different machine that is from the late 1800s.

    History of Larkspur Press

    Gray Zeitz was a student at the University of Kentucky in 1974, but he left the university when he was just half a semester away from getting his English degree. He had been learning about letterpress work and how each individual set type makes a different impression on good quality paper.

    He wanted to make good quality and fine books, especially about poetry. At that time more and more printers were shifting to faster offset printing, and the craft of letterpress was slowly fading. But Zeitz felt that the time was right to start a letterpress.

    At first, he didn’t have indoor plumbing or electricity, but he did not let such things hinder his dream. He wanted his press to feature Kentucky writers, and for that, he was prepared to grow tobacco and raise calves to pay the bills. Later on, he started doing smaller print jobs like wedding announcements and business cards to augment his income.

    At that time Monterey was becoming a hub for musicians, candle makers, hippies, and artists. At Larkspur they started a fall festival which attracted people from all over the country who came to see the books that Zeitz created. They touched their hand-sewn bindings and marvelled at the perfection produced at Larkspur. According to his friend Jack Campbell, who is in industrial design, the whole concept of lightness and texture gives the book a sensual quality.

    Gabrielle Fox, a professional bookbinder, has done a lot of work for Larkspur. She teaches at the American Academy of Bookbinding in Colorado every summer. The students there come from all over the world and they use books made at Larkspur Press as textbooks.

    Leslie Shane is the only full-time employee of Gray Zeitz. She hand sews the books at Larkspur press and then cuts them. There are a limited number of books pertaining to each title, for example, the poetry book Animals at Full Moon by Erik Reece has only twenty copies which have been hand-sewn by her.

    Larkspur press prints only four books per year and sometimes they are two years behind schedule. Gray Zeitz does not know how to operate the computer, but if he could, he would be able to go to the Larkspur website and browse through the covers of all the hundred books that are on the shelves in his inventory.

    Some special editions of such books cost $200, but the Larkspur press is best known for books that they can sell for just $20 or $25. Gary Zeitz sets each space and letter of lead type by hand. When the ink is ready, he puts this on the press and then pulls a proof to see how it looks.

    Gary Zeitz lives in a fading purple colour house on top of the hill near his press with his two dogs. He does not plan on retiring because he says that if he ever retires, he will print books so he might as well continue working.

    ...Read More

  • PrintonDemandWorldWide: A Short Introduction to Our Print Services

    At PrintonDemandWorldWide we develop new services at such a rate that it can be difficult for us to keep up with which ones our customers are familiar with......Read More

  • Why Publishers Should Be Using Social Media: Part One


    Believe it or not you don’t have to break the bank to promote your books and drive great results on your social media platforms. If you have......Read More

  • 15+ Words with “syn” or a Variation

    The Greek prefix syn- meaning “together ” and two alternative forms combine with many other word elements to form terms pertaining to community or unity. This post lists and......Read More

  • Parents prefer printed books over e-books

    A New York based non-profit organisation dedicated to studying and promoting children’s reading has released a report stating that parents and children both prefer reading printed books when reading......Read More

  • Young Nigerian Writers Produce A Wave Of New Fiction

    Two years ago in Nigeria Abubakar Adam Ibrahim was ready for an extreme backlash following the publishing of his provocative novel Season of Crimson Blossoms which talked... issues such as ethnic violence, political corruption, female sexuality, and drug use; all topics that are taboo in the predominantly Muslim conservative Hausa culture of Nigeria.

    However, Abubakar started to be treated as a rising literary star and won the Nigeria Prize for Literature, awarding him $100,000, as well as the African Writer’s Residency Award from Goethe Institute.

    Cassava Republic, a Nigerian publishing house, got international publication rights for the novel and released it in the United States, Britain, Germany, Kenya, and South Africa.

    Nigeria’s literary setting

    Abubakar is part of the new generation of young Nigerian novelists that are gaining prominence internationally. His success is a sign that the flourishing literary scene is promoting boundary-pushing and groundbreaking fiction.

    For a while now, Nigeria has been a literary hub and home to some prominent writers such as Helon Habile, Lola Shoneyin, and Wole Soyinka. A few years ago, African writers who gained success abroad weren’t read widely in their own country. However, now, many Nigerian young authors are successfully building an audience at home too, and the appetite for contemporary issues and fiction is gradually increasing.

    As writers experiment and explore different genres and topics like polygamy, the rise of Boko Haram, and violence against women, the country is producing stylistically and thematically diverse fiction.

    The reason behind the success

    Cassava Republic, Abubakar’s publisher, has been majorly responsible for the literary renaissance of Nigeria and is working exhaustively to release books in America after it expanded to Britain in the previous year.

    However, instead of selling publishing rights to the publishing house of America, Cassava Republic distributes the books to American booksellers via a Minnesota based bookseller called Consortium.

    While the expansion doesn’t really have a commercial impact, it does have cultural importance. The global aspirations of the company symbolise a crucial landmark for African literature. Till now, the majority of the African literature present in the West had been filtered by American and European editors and publishers who choose work based on the educational and historical importance.

    Now, however, an African publisher is picking out the books that the world should see. Consequently, readers in the West can now choose from various titles which include children’s books, crime, contemporary African romance, and fantasy.

    Co-founder of Cassava Republic, Ms. Bakare-Yusuf, aims to publish those Nigerian writers that gain fame in the West but aren’t read at home. She started off by getting the publication rights for those novels that had been already published abroad and then distributed them in Nigeria. Later, she looked for original work and published exciting novels.

    Now, after more than ten years, Nigeria’s publishing house has upward of 50 titles under its wing and has published all genres including memoir, science fiction, and fantasy too. Until now, in the United States, the company has only published eight books. In the coming year, the company plans to publish nine titles in the United States alone.

    The novels distributed by Cassava Republic in the West have a range of styles, subjects, settings, and genres. As a result, America has gotten a broader view of Nigeria’s contemporary fiction. More and more Nigerian novelists are testing the waters and are writing for entertainment purposes only. Plus, many writers are no longer compelled to talk about colonialism or Western notions regarding African literature.

    Future of Nigerian literature

    Now, as more Nigerian authors receive global prominence, the range, as well as the diversity of fiction present in the country is completely on display for the world to see.

    Of course, Nigerian publishers and writers still have to face significant obstacles. Until recently, the publishing market primarily had educational books. Moreover, piracy is still a big problem that squeezes out the profit from the film, music, and publishing industry. Pirated books circulate openly in the markets, and there are hardly any formal bookstores in the region. At the same time, illiteracy is another major problem, and for a major part of the population, books are thought to be a luxury which is still difficult to attain.

    Despite all the problems being faced, the publishing industry of the country has blossomed tremendously in recent years, after the country’s return to democracy after years of military dictatorship. In the previous few years, many writing workshops, book prizes, and literary festivals have sprung up, and apart from Cassava Republic, many publishing houses have also been formed including Ouida books and Farafina.

    ...Read More

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Useful resources:

  • East of England Business Champion Winners 2011
  • PEFC
  • ISO 9001
  • ISO 14001
  • Breeam Building
  • BPIF Members
  • Investors in the Environment Green Award 2012