Magazines Register

Print-on-Demand Services: Minimizing Waste and Maximizing Flexibility


While digital transformation dominates the headlines, a quieter revolution is unfolding across printed magazines pages. The traditional model of high upfront printing costs and large inventory commitments can limit creativity and responsiveness to market trends. New solutions are emerging that offer a more sustainable and adaptable approach to print production: namely, print-on-demand production.

Cost efficiency and environmental benefits

Traditional printing requires a significant upfront investment in inventory. You need to estimate demand accurately, and miscalculations can lead to a surplus of unsold copies or stockouts that frustrate readers. Print on-demand (POD) production eliminates this risk entirely. Publishers pay only for what gets printed, freeing up capital and minimizing the chance of wasted resources.

Beyond cost savings, POD offers a significant environmental advantage. By printing only what’s ordered, POD drastically reduces paper waste associated with overproduction. As an added bonus, POD printing typically uses shorter print runs, which often translates to lower energy consumption and a smaller carbon footprint compared to large-scale printing.

POD enables scalability and flexibility

The traditional print model is often prohibitive to small publishers because it necessitates large minimum-order quantities to be cost-effective. This can also be a barrier for publishers testing new ideas or printing limited runs. Here, POD offers incredible scalability and flexibility, allowing publishers to print smaller batches without penalty. This empowers them to experiment with new titles, designs, or formats without the risk of overstocking.

POD also allows for effortless scaling up or down of production based on actual demand. If a title experiences unexpected popularity, publishers can quickly reprint copies to meet demand. Conversely, if sales are lower than anticipated, there’s no need to worry about leftover inventory. This agility allows publishers to react swiftly to market trends and optimize their print runs.

digital strategies

Integrating print and digital strategies

POD isn’t just about printing books or magazines. It can be a powerful tool for integrated marketing campaigns.  Publishers can leverage POD to create custom marketing materials like flyers, brochures, sell sheets, or even magazine inserts as needed. This allows for targeted campaigns and personalized print products, thanks to the incorporation of variable print data.

POD also accommodates interactive experiences. By incorporating QR codes or other digital elements into POD-printed materials — or traditional print materials, for that matter — publishers can bridge the gap between print and digital. Readers can scan the code to access exclusive content, online resources, or social media channels, creating a richer and more engaging experience.

Industry-Leading POD? Look No Further Than Sheridan and Sheridan Select™

For decades, Sheridan has been one of the leading names in print-on-demand production for publications and books. We’ve taken our offering to new heights by providing our customers with a dedicated publisher portal — Sheridan Select™ — giving publishers the power to streamline the ordering process through an automated central print-management system. POD with Sheridan Select not only means shorter schedules via automation, but the ability to order, manage, and track each job from a single point of entry.

With Sheridan Select and POD, easily handle:

  • First printings of publications and books
  • Global distribute and print
  • Back issue management
  • Licensed print management
  • Zero inventory print-on-demand
  • E-commerce print-on-demand
  • Print for online-only titles

POD empowers success at scale

While print-on-demand production might have slightly higher per-unit costs compared to traditional bulk printing for large orders, the overall advantages are undeniable. By minimizing waste, maximizing flexibility, and offering a more sustainable printing solution, POD empowers publishers to adapt to the ever-changing needs of their audience and the publishing industry. This innovative approach allows publishers to experiment with new ideas, personalize products for niche markets, and thrive in a dynamic and competitive environment.

Contact your Sheridan representative or visit our contact page to ask how we can help you streamline your publishing processes, reduce costs, and keep up with changes in print and publishing strategies.

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