Ricoh Americas Corporation hosted its second next chapter event, with the discussion and debate of the future of the printed book. Preliminary results from a major new study on the future of book publishing were revealed. Edwards Brothers Malloy announced that they have installed a new InfoPrint 5000 digital printer to be used for book publishing and short print runs.

During the summit, thought leaders, disruptors and analysts examined the evolution of the book industry and its most pressing topics– including trends in educational printing, independent publishing, and the overarching evolution of the book industry. As the industry faces unprecedented changes in how books are consumed, the Next Chapter aimed to define the path forward for publishers and book manufacturing through exploration of today’s reading behaviours, recent technology innovations, and current business models for book publishers and printers. 

Keynote speaker Nicholas Carr, author of The Shallows, opened the event with an examination of how the internet is fundamentally changing the way we think, and within that context, what the role of the printed word might be in the future of our collective thought processes.

The event also included hallmark sessions discussing the latest trends shaping the higher education and K-12 market, Judith Briles, Author, Publishing Expert, & Founder of The Book Shepard shared how book manufacturers can benefit from independent authors and publishers; and J. Kirby Best, Chairman of ColdLogic delivered a captivating examination of what he would do differently as a book manufacturer based on his current knowledge of the market. A panel of publishing thought leaders, including executives from Pearson Publishing and Penguin Books, engaged the audience with a lively debate on how they’re pushing for innovation in order to not only survive, but thrive.

Part of the summit included the disclosure of the key findings from a new study commissioned by Ricoh regarding the future of printed books. Marco Boer of IT Strategies and Dr. Phil Fernbach of the University of Colorado-Boulder delivered preliminary results from The Evolution of the Book Industry: Implications for U.S. Book Manufacturers and Printers. The full report will be announced on November 19th. 

Also announced during the course of the event was the purchase of a Ricoh InfoPrint 5000 digital printer by book manufacturer Edwards Brothers Malloy. In a press release, Edwards noted that the company has invested significantly in its digital manufacturing operation in the last year. The moves are part of a multi-year plan to cement the company’s lead in short-run book and journal manufacturing, and reflect the larger industry shift towards digital printing. 

More than 500 years after the invention of the printing press, book manufacturers and publishers are playing a pivotal role in the next renaissance in books that is happening now, said George Promis, Vice President, Continuous Forms Production Solutions & Technology Alliances, Ricoh. This gathering was a unique opportunity for an open and productive dialogue about how various stakeholders in the industry can take advantage of the latest trends as well as the disruptions they’re encountering.