Education Publishing and the Inkjet Web

Education Content Developers get excited. On a national level, there are different standards for every state that need to end in the achievement of the same goals.

Did that make sense?

Well I'm willing to bet that if you develop content for the education world, you know exactly what I mean. Heck if you are in the education world at any level you probably know what I mean.

I'm a former teacher, granted I was an art teacher, but you better believe I was paying attention to the Maryland State Assessment tests, and the VSC when writing lesson plans. I couldn't imagine attempting to write content that could be used on a national level, much less the idea of producing one textbook, program, disk or SMART board application that could keep all the standards happy.

While digital alleviates many of these issues by simply hiding some content or selecting a version that is specific to your state, there is still the textbook. Those of us with good enough jobs to afford the luxury of internet, a computer, and a never ending supply of digital information might forget that most schools still don't have a computer for each student in every single classroom. So what is a curriculum director to do but order textbooks.

This is where Inkjet Web Technology will change the game. When it comes time for the content developers to sell to all 50 states in the union, they can rest assured that they will be able to custom print only the number of textbooks needed for each state or set of standards required. Furthermore this is not Print on Demand (POD) publishing, this is digital short run, with a price point much lower than POD, infact, it is much closer to offset, and from what I can tell, very close to the same print quality.

That will be my rant for the day. I recommend to all that you get your flu shots, I didn't and boy does this stink.




Quick photos of the Prosper 5000XL and part of of the finishing

Kodak Prosper 5000XL

Paper flips between units to Inkjet 4/4.
 Unwind, cut and stack below.
 This is the unwinder above and the finished 4 color book blocks that come out the other end.
The next piece of finishing will be a binder that the book blocks will feed into, bind and trim. Ending in a finished book. 


Printed Books: Can they be high end and forward thinking?

We all want our information as current as technology will allow, right?

Well as of late, the world seems to think that online and digital are the only ways to make this happen. For the most part, I agree. Reading sports news online is without a doubt faster than waiting for the morning edition of the newspaper, and when you need to know who moved on to the next round of American Idol, twitter probably has a post that has leaked it before the show even airs.

The other side of the spectrum is when there isn't full access to an online source, or that the information simply isn't relevant to pop culture or the rest of the human population. More specifically, I'm referring to academic research from kindergarten on up. Not every library has sufficient resources to keep each person it serves connected to the most trustworthy online information. Most of us remember looking something up in an encyclopedia, copying as much of the information down as we could tolerate, and rewriting it in our own words so as not to be accused of plagiarism. Though because it was from the encyclopedia, at least we knew it was correct information.

I was lucky I guess, that our library had the newest set of encyclopedias each year. But as a former teacher, I know what school budgets look like. 

~Side note, I was a middle school art teacher with a $200 budget per year. No surprise we did a very long life drawing unit on newsprint with crayons.~

Most schools can't afford a computer for every kid in every classroom. Furthermore, I know that there are schools with such a limited budget that the books haven't been replaced in 5 or more years.

Here is the main point of an e-mail I recently sent to a Media Specialist (School Librarian for those who have missed the title change in public schools):

The idea that I'd like to pitch to some companies is to do monthly or quarterly updates, ship them to current customers and include a sticker that the set owner can stick on the page referencing the updated material in a separate book.
Eventually it would become necessary to replace the entire set, but at least the ability to stay current doesn't depend on buying another $600-1400 set each year. If for 2 or 3 years you subscribe to the quarterly update, I feel like everyone wins and the likelihood of continuing to buy the same brand becomes valuable to you based on your quarterly contact with the update. Not to mention, how cool would it be to get a bound publication that simply has encyclopedia changes from the last 3 months.
Am I making sense? 
Let me know what you think and I'll be happy to share it in a future post. 


Full Color Fits for Inkjet Web

Just a quick list of the non-variable printing that would fit the Digital Inkjet Web:

Science Textbooks

Medical Textbooks

Technology Textbooks

Graphic Novels - Novel length comics, not the kind of graphic your mom thinks inappropriate.

Cook Books

History Textbooks

Art History Textbooks

School Assessment Test Books - Gotta keep the kiddies interested in that test. Teacher careers depend on it!

These are just a few, but I expect there to be more fits as we learn the press better.


Quick Post Today

Nothing new to report today, but there is rumor that the press will start kicking up the speed in the next week or so. I might even be able to get some video out of it.

Still looking for those full color publishers. I'm thinking that Graphic Novels could be a good fit. Every artist writing and illustrating them would love to find out if their novel will sell. This press will allow for a short run to print and hit targeted markets before sending it to press in the thousands. Publishers pay attention, more lines in the water means a higher chance to catch fish. Sort of like the old line about eggs in a basket, but who carries eggs in a basket anymore?


Learning about the business end of the beast

Sales meetings are a lot more fun when you have something brand new to talk about. Some of the key points coming up in reference to Digital Inkjet Web Technology are:

-Shorter runs at similar price points when compared to offset.
-The ability to keep a books content alive as trends and technology change. (If you are into instruction manuals and medical books with color illustrations and photos, this is for you)
-A cash flow that leaves money available for other projects, payroll, or paying off that other company you owe money to.
-My personal favorite is versioning (apparently not a word in spell check) Think the same basic sweater with zippers on some, buttons on another and the choice of a variety of different colors. This is what you can do the guts and cover of a book by just submitting another set of files with the same specs (or basic sweater). There are no plates and no hard repetitive content because the ink is JETTED onto the paper at 650 feet per minute.

I know that this is only the second post, and I hope to pick things up a bit as the sales process of this printer picks up and as I start watching jobs fire out of it back into the rolls.

Talk to you soon. In the mean time, please shoot me a message if you have anything to add. This is new stuff and I'm hoping to create some dialog.