The Creative Printers Network will provide an online forum for professional labs and print service providers (PSPs) serving the creative segment and their customers. The association, open to HP Indigo PSPs addressing the creative market, will offer both marketing support and know-how training exclusively to the members.

The site also makes it possible for publishers, organisations and self-publishing end-users to find information on HP Indigo owners who produce six-colour premium quality digital printing and fine, sewn bindings for their books. Using a web-to-print interface, books created with standard professional graphic design software can be sent as PDF files to printers for production.

My Premium Book is the first business tool available for this new association and can be leveraged by members for marketing and selling high quality, digitally printed art books, catalogues, manuals and other books. With a new website, www.mypremiumbook.com, the My Premium Books resources enable professional customers and other printing houses to locate the most suitable services for their production requirements.

With book production runs falling at the same time that the number of published titles is rising, digital book printing is a fast and cost-effective way to bring books to market. The ability of HP Indigo digital presses to print on a wide variety of substrates means that publishers and book designers can specify coated and uncoated papers of their choice. Book durability is no longer a concern, either: tests carried out by Wilhelm Imaging Research have rated HP Indigo print on Felix Schöller E-Photo Paper to last for 200 years in Album/Dark storage conditions.

Beginning with the book publishing section of the network, HP is supporting its customers and helping them to leverage the growing demand in self-publishing. The self-publishing trend, already strong in the United States, is spreading to Europe. In France, lauto-edition services, websites and web-to-print facilities are now a part of the publishing scene. Helping printing houses and professional labs capture business from this trend is one of the goals of the network.

The network also offers facilities for sharing knowledge and best practice. Technical forums, joint communication tools, and the ability to work with others to develop new applications as well as to promote their businesses and successes will be features of the site.

HP understands the need to be able to enable and support creative PSPs and to help them grow their businesses, said, Raffael Kraus, photo segment manager, Indigo Division, HP. What the network members have in common is that they are driven by high levels of quality and service. Harnessing their collaborative expertise will widen opportunities for printers and their customers.

Visitors to the HP stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair will be able to see examples of art books printed and finished by HP customers, and learn for themselves what high quality digital book printing really means.