Friday, December 07, 2012

Open Road Pairs with Ingram to Offer Full-Service Digital and POD Distribution

Starting in January, Open Road will offer a broad digital distribution service to individual authors, agents "with large catalogs of backlist books, and independent publishers who need help digitizing, formatting, and distributing their content digitally, putting them in direct competition with such players as Constellation and INScribe Digital. Open Road's service is "powered by Ingram Content Group," using the CoreSource platform for broad digital distribution and Lightning Source and Ingram Publisher Services for print-on-demand production and distribution. (Open Road has already been working with Ingram for manufacturing and distribution of their print titles). Open Road founder Jane Friedman says they will "manage the distribution with major retailers" directly while working with CoreSource to provide "what we think will be the broadest distribution" on the market, including libraries and international outlets.

As Friedman notes, "I love the distribution business; I've been involved in it all my life." With over 3,000 Open Road published titles on the market now, Friedman says "we have honed our skills in workflow" and are ready to expand the company's capabilities. At the same time, she says "it became obvious that there were people out there who would use these services."

Ingram chief content officer Phil Ollila says the new relationship is "complementary" to Ingram's other digital service offerings, which focus on publishers with converted, market-ready content, and expands to include a segment Ingram was not otherwise serving. "Ingram is really the backend distribution for Open Road's work with agents, authors and independent publishers" who "need someone with the publishing chops to develop the content to get it into the next-generation distribution network."

Open Road will take 25 percent of sales as their distribution service fee, providing digitization, covers, broad digital distribution, print-on-demand, and "Open Road expertise and management" of the process. As with Open Road's published titles, they will sell ebooks on a wholesale basis to account. Friedman says they have not finalized the term for which rights will be committed under the new offering but says it will provide for a "relatively easy-in, easy-out." They do not have any announced clients for the new service yet, which begins in earnest next month when they move to larger space at 345 Hudson Street, where they will be hiring additional people to work on the new initiative.

In the official release, Friedman says, "Open Road is committed to helping authors, agents, and publishers join the digital revolution. We produce hundreds of ebooks each week. Now we will offer access to our leading digital services to others." John Ingram adds in that announcement, "We are pleased to be expanding our relationship with Open Road as they launch their distribution service. Ingram's growing digital and print-on-demand businesses have global reach and complement Open Road's expertise in digital publishing, distribution, and marketing."

No comments: