I am Bruce Batchelor, the guy credited with inventing on-demand book publishing, also named print-on-demand or POD publishing. That is the organization procedure behind the solutions supplied by AuthorHouse, BookSurge, Lulu, Xlibris, Spire, Agio Publishing Residence, Trafford and other 'author services' corporations. “Invent” is an odd term, considering the fact that I did not style any certain machine or gizmo, but rather I took current devices and processes, and recognized how they could be combined into a viable organization. That portion of the book business now generates about $200 million per year in sales volume, and has enabled about 100,000 authors to be published considering the fact that its inception back in the mid-1990s.

Here's a bit of background to that invention …

Almost certainly just like you, I have had a lifelong like of books. From following along as my mother study to me as a toddler, by way of my pre-teen years captivated by the Biggles and Hardy Boys books, I was mightily impressed with the printed word. Then, when operating on my higher school's yearbook, I found that one particular could develop books just by getting so bold as to typeset the words and spend a printer to make bound copies! Just after that, there was no stopping me.

In the 1970s, I wrote, self-published and effectively marketed two bestselling books, undertaking so independent of any standard publishing property, somewhat oblivious to how promoting books was supposed to be so terribly challenging. The marketing and advertising for these two titles was so apparent and simple that I believed marketing and advertising for all books would be as basic. I no longer think that!

For the previous 30 years, I've worked at editing, ghost-writing, publishing and marketing and advertising, at times with standard publishing homes and far more normally assisting the self- publishing authors who bravely reside on the fringes of the book business.

In the course of these 3 decades, my wife Marsha and I also operated a communications consultancy. We designed marketing and advertising applications for organization, non-profit and government consumers. We made, typeset and pasted-up actually thousands of books, magazine concerns, brochures, technical manuals, reports, newsletters and ad campaigns. Normally, I was involved in the writing and editing of every single job to some extent and Marsha was the graphic designer. We won several awards – the most gratifying ones have been for the effectiveness of campaigns, rather than prettiness. I've taught marketing and advertising at the college level, and also worked as a newspaper journalist and magazine editor. When writing operate was scarce I worked as a surveyor, fisherman and parks patrolman. Going way back, I was a computer system programmer/analyst, and earned an honors degree in pure mathematical trouble-solving. In the mid-1970s, I lived in a log cabin in the Yukon, at times going on lengthy winter camping trips with a group of sled dogs, and normally just sitting and pondering.

That eclectic background supplied me with a one of a kind vantage point in 1994 to foresee an wonderful chance emerging from the convergence of specific technologies and trends. Print-on-Demand (POD) gear + the World wide web info super-highway + World wide web search engines + credit cards + e-commerce + desktop publishing + e mail + Adobe PostScript(tm) + authors anxious to be published … I envisioned a book publishing service that would assistance independent (or 'indie') authors everywhere. It would conform with the standard publishing business by possessing ISBNs and copyright registration and library cataloging, but it would be unique in a pretty significant way. It would conduct most of its organization more than the new World wide web, and would use print-on-demand manufacturing to create only as quite a few books as required. To retain fees to the absolute minimum, we would go one particular step beyond 'just-in-time' inventory to be entirely 'on-demand', printing the books only soon after an order came in. Most men and women believed I was nuts.

Inside a year, Trafford Publishing had been formed in Victoria, BC, and we had our initially paying consumers. These have been pioneering authors who have been departing from the book industry's old distribution model (of possessing preprinted books sitting in warehouses and on bookstore shelves on a consignment basis), for the novel idea of advertising and promoting books largely more than the World wide web.

By 1996, Amazon.com had begun to popularize the notion of shopping for books more than the World wide web. As effectively, Baker & Taylor, one particular of the USA's biggest book distributors, had set up POD gear to print back-list titles for publishing homes, calling their service Replica Books. Then Ingram Book, the USA's biggest distributor, constructed a monster POD printing factory in Tennessee beside their biggest warehouse, so POD books could flow into Ingram's distribution technique and out to bookstores and on-line retailers. Initially named Lightning Print, this print service later became Lightning Supply Inc. (LSI). Quickly other corporations opened and adopted Trafford's POD organization model of serving independent authors: Xlibris, iUniverse, AuthorHouse and dozens of other folks. Now some newer publishing solutions, such as Lulu.com and Blurb.com, supply on-demand book printing without the need of book trade distribution.

In the course of my 11 years as Trafford's founding publisher and CEO, it grew to grow to be one particular of the world's most prolific publishing homes with far more than 10,000 active titles from indie authors living in far more than 100 nations. At present, thanks to Trafford and related POD publishing solutions, more than 30,000 new authors are published every single year.

Now we authors are getting into a amazing new chapter in indie publishing, highlighted by ever-expanding distribution working with eBook editions, audio books and genuinely international POD production. I get in touch with this coming phase the many lengthy tails era and predict that higher awareness and availability of indie books will drastically enhance the typical quantity of copies authors sell, and quadruple the count of new indie titles by 2010.


Assisting authors comprehend their dreams is magical for me. In July of 2006, I left my leadership position at Trafford to return to operating personally with authors, their manuscripts and these dreams. 

A major thank you to all the authors who embrace print-on-demand publishing and who constantly amaze the globe with your writings and thoughts.