German ebook distributor Bookwire has for over a year now been offering POD distribution in Spanish Latin America via PodiPrint, and has now taken the step of introducing the service at home in Europe.
Bookwire has contracted with Amazon’s Kindle Enterprise Publishing to offer Bookwire titles as paperbacks in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The deal means Bookwire clients can send their files through Bookwire direct to Amazon KEP and the book will be printed to spec and sent out to the customer, possible the same day.
Bookwire MD John Ruhrmann said,
POD titles should be printed right where they are needed right away, this premise is already grounded in the product name.We already offer practicable solutions for our publishing customers by placing their titles in stationary bookstores and online retailing New cooperation with Kindle Enterprise Publishing is now expanding The option of direct availability in the Amazon logistics center when ordering is an efficient offering that we now offer to our publishing customers in collaboration with Amazon.
At which point some readers here from the self-publishing community may be wondering if there’s a muddle here. KEP? Kindle Enterprise Publishing? Surely you mean KDP Print, the print arm of Kindle Direct Publishing?
In fact Kindle Enterprise Publishing is the successor to Amazon Print On Demand, the “CreateSpace Pro” version of the CreateSpace indie authors knew and loved before Amazon began merging CreateSpace into KDP Print.
Kindle Enterprise Publishing (KEP hereafter, now it’s clear we’re not mistyping KDP) is the professional POD arm for what Amazon deems to be “real” publishers, and comes with a raft of benefits not available to regular CreateSpace / KDP Print users.
At which point it’s worth looking at what Thomas Lillge, Director of Management of EU POD Content Providers at Amazon, had to say about the Bookwire deal.
The delivery of the best catalog and service to Amazon customers is the goal of all our efforts, and through the print centers with direct storage and shipping links, we offer efficiency throughout the order process, from manufacturing to delivery to the client in the shortest possible time.
For customers buying online from Amazon, that is.
Amazon’s CreateSpace and successor KDP print offer so-called “expanded distribution” which in theory allows bookstores and libraries to order titles, but of course few are willing to stock books published directly or indirectly by Amazon.
Presumably KEP titles will meet the same resistance from booksellers if they were delivered direct to a bookstore in an Amazon box, but savvy small publishers may find it expedient to order from KEP to themselves and then forward the printed titles to the bookseller, which is how some of the bigger-selling indie authors get around this problem.
That said, a second issue with deliveries from Amazon is that the company does not offer the same deal as mainstream wholesalers and POD suppliers (Ingram, for example) in terms of discounts and returns. Bookwire may find it expedient to extend the POD service it offers to include Ingram or other like services to give publishers the full benefits of print distribution.