Keel Hunt

News Release
04 Jun 2008
PublicAffairs fills orders for McClellan memoir via print on demand from Lightning Source Inc.

LA VERGNE, TN – To help meet an extraordinary volume of bookseller orders for Scott McClellan’s book What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception (ISBN 978-1-58648-556), the publisher PublicAffairs, a member of the Perseus Books Group, has selected Lightning Source Inc. to bring to market thousands more copies of the book produced with print on demand technology.

The spike in orders was driven by the intense media interest in the new title which resulted in PublicAffairs’ initial printings rapidly selling out. To supplement further off-set printings, PublicAffairs turned to Lighting Source Inc. for immediate supplies being shipped to accounts in an unprecedented use of print on demand.

“When facing this kind of extraordinary demand, the key to success is speed to market,” said Susan Weinberg, the Publisher at PublicAffairs. “Lightning Source's print-on-demand capability helped us reduce our turnaround time and ship more books to booksellers as quickly as possible.” John R. Ingram, Chairman of the Ingram Content Companies, said “only Ingram and Lightning could have pulled this off.”

“I spoke with Peter Osnos at BookExpo on Friday,” Mr. Ingram explained. “Over the weekend, it became apparent to the publisher that there was going to be a short period of time when there would be not enough copies of this title available to satisfy demand. We immediately offered to bring out a print on demand book to cover this period and ensure that sales were not missed. “Within hours of receiving the file mid-morning on Monday, we were printing the first of 4,000 jacketed hardcover copies of the book at our facility in LaVergne, and on Tuesday morning they were being shipped by Ingram Book Group,” he said. “Our team at Lightning worked seamlessly with colleagues at Ingram Book and our customer at PublicAffairs and Perseus Books to help satisfy the many thousands of unfulfilled orders that had built up over the previous couple of days. We are in constant touch with the publisher to determine how many more books they would have us make.

“Other publishers ought to consider setting up all their frontlist at Lightning as both a risk mitigation and sales maximization tool,” Mr. Ingram said. “We are a good solution to fill in the gaps in case offset units get delayed. Also, we should be considered instead of that often, ill-advised last print run that is sometimes a mistake.”

PublicAffairs’ experience with this title demonstrates how POD can be used to supplement offset printings in specific cases in which demand exceeds supply for a short term. In this instance, the POD copies of the book will supplement large scale conventional offset reprints, which are underway. The price of the jacketed hardcover book to consumers is $27.95, the same as before.

Mr. Ingram added: “This is a wonderful example of how print on demand can be used to supplement offset printings where a sudden and unpredictable leap in demand exhausts the original print run. Order loss was minimized, sales were maximized. Our teams at Lightning and Ingram Book continue to work closely with Perseus on a daily basis as the demand pattern of this particular title evolves.”

Lightning Source Inc., a subsidiary of Ingram Industries Inc., provides a comprehensive suite of demand-driven publishing solutions for publishers. The company is revolutionizing the options available to the industry in the storage, management, and distribution of digital content. Lightning Source stores books and other information electronically and delivers them “on demand” in printed format in response to orders from booksellers, librarians, and publishers. Lightning Source has printed over 40,000,000 books for over 4,500 publishers around the world. For more information, visit our website at
The Lightning Source name, corresponding logos, taglines and other service marks identifying Lightning Source and its services are the proprietary marks of Lightning Source Inc. and must be represented accordingly. Other products and company names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.