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People Want Their Books Back: Can You Keep Up?

There’s been a cultural shift back to printed content — fueled by digital fatigue and rediscovery of print’s advantages. Students especially appreciate the tangibility of the content and ability to focus without distraction. Additionally, there have been pivotal changes in publishing technology through digital print — enabling nimble response to market needs, emerging trends and economic factors.

Chart trending upwards

Book publishing’s estimated to grow 2.8% 1

Line drawing of an open book

Physical books generate 74% of revenue. eBooks account for only 7%2

Line drawing of a stack of bills with the text $26B

Printed books account for $26 billion in sales revenue2

Infographic with 4 people. 3 people are colored in and the other is not.

Nearly 3 in 4 employees say working from home has increased their sense of “digital overload”3

Icon representing a sheet of paper, half filled in

50+% turn to paper to give their eyes a break and alleviate stress3

Key Segments Trending Up

While overall gains are exciting, publishing has made a big impact on educational markets. Ignited by a switch to hybrid learning, parents and educators turned to print to support learning and witnessed the positive impact. Despite a return to the classroom, early education, children’s books and juvenile literature have all continued to expand at a rapid pace.

Icon representing a mortarboard, with the number 31.6% on the top

The global education market is expected to grow 31.6% from 2021 to 20264

Icon of a book with the letter A on the first page and an apple on the second page

The children’s book publishing industry is $2B in 20215

Two icons of books side by side with the numbers 23% and 11% next to them

Juvenile nonfiction has grown 23%, and juvenile fiction has grown 11%6

Brains Prefer Books

Print delivers in ways that digital can’t. In fact, neuroscience research indicates that printed books and workbooks help our brains process and apply concepts better.7

Adding full color to printed material also plays a key role in how people process and retain information. After all, the human brain engages with printed color in a much different way than material viewed on a screen.

Color increases readers’ attention spans and recall by 82%8

  • Reading comprehension is up to 14% better with color than with bold text9

  • Studies show that complex ideas are best understood when read on a printed page versus a screen

  • Color can enhance the clarity of text by as much as 40%8

  • With color, reading speed can be increased by up to 35%8

Demand Is Straining Print Providers

The impact is being felt by educational content suppliers the most. Curriculum tracks like Common Core in the US require huge amounts of fresh content on-demand and at a faster pace — creating a lot of challenges for educational organizations:

  • Added cost, limited space, fast turnarounds and manageability make it hard for schools to keep up

  • Printed materials often need to be versioned for audiences: specific schools, grades, classes or even material specific to the individual

  • Older, low capacity, legacy equipment and mono-only devices stand in the way of educators printing more work in-house

The Tools Schools Need to Keep Up

As publishers push titles directly to primary and secondary schools rather than printing and shipping finished material, schools need the ability to:

  • Balance cost, quality and speed

  • Consolidate equipment, boost volume

  • Keep jobs in-house and insource work they normally wouldn’t

  • Complement current toner devices for time and cost savings

  • Print color and K-only on a single device

On-Demand Publishing — We Wrote the Book

We’re here to offer print providers the ultimate flexibility. Since books can take on many forms (workbooks, booklets, perfect bound books and more), printers need technology that has the flexibility to keep up and grow with future demand. They need a broad portfolio of offerings that can easily right-size book publishing, allowing them to:

  • Create a powerful color print solution that helps students thrive

  • Go Beyond CMYK to increase impact with metallic and neon inks, textured stock and other embellishments that help published content captivate growing minds

  • Improve workflow with personalization and the ability to manage versioning, production optimization, extensible inline and nearline finishing to marry blocks and covers

Xerox: Essential for educators With technology that offers vibrant color as well as sweet-spot economics, we help schools enhance learning while better controlling costs.

We Help Print and Digital Work Brilliantly

Xerox® digital presses adapt to how people work, think and communicate. Providing the flexibility to customize by school district, grade, class or even an individual all while maintaining emphasis on security, simplified workflows and overall efficiency with best-in-class total cost of ownership (TCO).

Automate your physical and digital workflow Optimize and automate physical and digital processes to be more efficient and productive.

Expand beyond commodity printing Take advantage of new growth opportunities and position yourself for the long term.

Invest with confidence Count on future-proof technology and support that lets you adapt to industry change while covering you every step of the way.

Ready For Your Next Chapter?

We’re here to help you with everything from solution consulting and maximizing ROI to scaling up smart and building new revenue centers. So, let’s get started.

Technology to help you succeed in book printing

Cut Sheet Inkjet

Transformative economics for book publishing with Xerox® Baltoro HF Inkjet Press

Beyond CMYK

Add high-value embellishments and more with class-leading technology thanks to Xerox® iGen® 5 Press, Xerox® Iridesse® Production Press and Xerox® Versant® 280 Press.


Automate engaging response-driven personalized book content with XMPie® Personalized Communications and Xerox® FreeFlow® Core.


Bring it all together with a wide breadth of in-line, near-line and off-line finishing capabilities.

Can color broaden the spectrum of learning in the classroom?


1. On demand printing and publishing roadmap 2021 – pdf


3. Paper & Packaging, The Workplace Productivity Report 2020







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