Xerox Installation Enables Self-Publishing Service

Xerox Installation Enables Self-Publishing Service
Yusuf Patel, Fathima Paruk and Mahmood Vawda, Digniti.

A combination of Xerox printing solutions, which includes the Xerox Primelink B9100, has helped a Durban-based printing company start a self-publishing service by the name of Digniti.

The Xerox Primelink B9100 is a production-ready monochrome printer, copier and scanner that features Xerox-developed 32-laser VCSEL print technology to produce true high-definition (2400 x 2400 dpi) text and images, consistent print densities, and neutral greys.

It includes monitoring and automated toner density adjustments with SIQA for defect-free output, and automated technologies that keeps sheets on track at high speeds, even with heavier, lighter, or longer stocks, reducing jams and ensuring output accuracy.

Durban-based DIPCO (Digital Imaging Processing Company), an established digital printing company and Xerox partner, has launched a new self-publishing service called Digniti to encourage local authors and individuals to share their stories and passions in print.

DIPCO was founded in 1990 as an X-ray digitising service and architectural software supplier before focusing on digital printing with some of the first Xerox machines in the country. Co-founder and owner architect Yusuf Patel was introduced to digital printing by Cassim Khan, an authorised Xerox Dealer in Durban with the purchase of their first DocuColor 250 printer and upgrading later to the Xerox Colour 560. Patel said the digital printing industry has undergone a meandering transformation in recent years, and the Covid crisis forced many smaller businesses to re-evaluate their operating models.

DIPCO further upgraded its colour press to the Xerox Colour C70 from Altron Document Solutions three years ago, and more recently installed a Xerox Primelink B9100 to support its newest service offering: self-publishing. Patel said the recent acquisition has been a game changer, ‘Even a few years ago we realised that low-volume on-demand book printing was going to be too expensive using a colour press, and so we needed a solution to significantly reduce the click cost to make self-publishing a commercially viable service,’ said Patel.

‘Our company has always been about offering a service,’ said Patel. ‘Anyone can go to a copy bureau to make prints, but there aren’t too many companies offering bespoke design-to-print services for individuals and smaller companies, and that’s a latent market for us.’

‘With the combination of Xerox’s outstanding Xerox Colour C70 Press and the addition of the Xerox Primelink B9100, we can now offer short-run books to independent authors for far less than the cost of litho printing, with a turnaround of days rather than weeks.’

Mahmood Vawda who runs the print room and has been in the print business since the 1970s appreciates the change to digital print. Fathima Paruk, who is currently studying for her Master of Arts in the field of Publishing Studies through Wits University, joined the company to launch the Digniti self-publishing service.

‘People sitting at home or finding themselves out of work have so many interesting stories to tell, and self-publishing is not only an exciting way for them to get their stories out to a broader audience, but also to generate some income from a low start-up cost,’ said Paruk.

‘Think of all the unwritten and unpublished recipe books out there, all the family histories, all the company histories, the list is virtually endless,’ she said. ‘Not only that. There’s a much larger untapped market in this country – indigenous language books – that we haven’t even started exploring properly because the incentive to invest and produce these types of books hasn’t really been there.’

‘This is just the tip of the iceberg of what we feel we can offer through Digniti – and it’s not just printing, it’s all the other services involved in publishing a successful book, from the proofreading, layout, cover design and marketing. We’re offering all of these options in one holistic service, along with Xerox’s industry-standard printing technology that creates professional end products.’

Patel said that aside from Digniti, the company has also branched out into personalised gifting.

‘When was the last time you walked into a print shop and were able to create your own personally-labelled bottle of olive oil? With the technology we now have along with our design and finishing team, that’s exactly what we offer. The profit is not in printing labels, it’s in creating a unique, personal product and experience that customers can’t get anywhere else. This is the future of printing, and that’s exactly where we’re heading.’

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