Continuing advances in digital printing and finishing technologies have made it practical and affordable for more authors to publish hard-copy versions of their books. At the 2104 Graph Expo show for commercial printing companies, independent authors Ainsley Shay and Miranda Hardy watched their books being printed on the Océ ColorStream® 3900 high-speed production inkjet printing system in Canon U.S.A. booth.
Shay’s book, “After the Curtain Falls,” is an entry in the red-hot young adult fantasy/paranormal category, while Hardy’s book, “Wacky Waddles,” is geared toward younger children.
“Wacky Waddles” was finished onsite by Standard Finishing Systems which unwound preprinted rolls into a Hunkeler CS6 cutter where they were cut into 12 x 18-inch sheets. The sheets were accumulated in the Horizon StitchLiner 6000 Digital where they were stitched, folded, and three-knife trimmed.
Shay and Hardy spent some time in the Canon U.S.A. booth at Graph Expo signing preprinted books finished in advance by Gasch Printing, a leader in short-run book printing based in Odenton, Maryland.
“We met a lot of wonderful people and signed so many books that day,” said Miranda Hardy. She adds that, “It was amazing to see our books printed right before our eyes. This was our first time seeing the process, and we hope it won’t be the last.”
The Role of Technology
According to Jeremy Hess, director of sales and marketing for Gasch Printing, the self-publishing trend is growing “bigger by the day.” It has become a major focus for the company that uses robust Canon and Océ printing technology.
Advances in digital printing technology are responsible for the boom, says Hess: “Digital printing provides independent authors and publishers flexibility and affordability they didn’t have before. They can do test runs and find out how the book is going to be received before they commit to printing 500 or 1,000 or more copies of their book. It’s really placed their destiny in their own hands.”
Canon Solutions America is committed to developing the technology that paves the way for writers to publish their own work, according to Francis A. McMahon, vice president, marketing, Production Print Solutions division of Canon Solutions America: “There are countless great writers creating phenomenal works that would never see the light of day were it not for self-publishing. We are thrilled that our technology is empowering these talented individuals—and the printers they utilize—to unleash their creativity and bring their work to the masses.”
Shay and Hardy can attest to the freedom that digital printing technologies have given writers like them. They founded their own publishing company, Quixotic Publishing, and revel in the joys of controlling the entire process—from writing and editing to formatting and choosing the cover. “It’s absolutely wonderful,” says Hardy. “It gives writers a creative edge and motivation to do something they always wanted to do, but never dared because they thought it would be too difficult.”
Shay and Hardy have been publishing books for two years now and plan to continue doing so now that things have become so much easier for self-published authors. Hardy believes “Modern technology is a true gift to creative individuals.”