UK: Mensch Publishing and Ingram in Print-on-Demand Partnership

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Looking for a more sustainable process, Richard Charkin partners with Ingram for an all-print-on-demand list for Mensch Publishing.

Books from Mensch Publishing’s list. Image: Mensch Publishing

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Lower Environmental Impact’
In London, Richard Charkin, a regular columnist exclusively with Publishing Perspectives, has announced that his Mensch Publishing has begun using print-on-demand (PoD) for all the press’ titles—a list of some 27 developed works since the 2018 beginning of the Mensch project.

The list-wide use of print-on-demand and decentralized distribution began on Friday (December 1) in a partnership with Ingram Content Group. The first new release under the project is to be produced Thursday (December 7). The press’ backlist is being issued in paperback, some titles having originally been available only in hardcover.

Charkin says that Mensch titles are also to be supported in digital advertising by Nadim Sadek’s program, which uses a data-driven analysis of texts to develop a potential audience profile for a book.

The announcement relates Charkin’s interest in the PoD approach to the climate crisis, seeing the “lower environmental impact” of print-on-demand as the key attraction, “as well as high-quality production values” and international availability. He is a past president of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and now co-chair of the IPA’s “Publishing 2030 Accelerator,” which was opened after COP26. That program is related to the IPA-UN SDG Publishers Compact initiative.

Richard Charkin

In a statement on the news, Charkin says, “In four years, Mensch has grown with a roster of authors and books to be proud of and has developed a number of innovations in the speed and processes of the book industry. I  couldn’t be happier with the unstinting and brilliant support from Bloomsbury worldwide without which we could never have achieved our and our authors’ goals.

“Now we are starting a new chapter in keeping with the necessity to build a more environmentally sustainable business while growing sales.

“We have been working with IngramSpark in parallel with Bloomsbury and now is the time to take the plunge and use Ingram’s international comprehensive distribution and production infrastructure for all our titles, past and  future. In addition, we’ll be using state-of-the-art automated advertising in conjunction with Shimmr, enhancing discoverability and sales.”

David Taylor

And David Taylor, Ingram’s London-based senior vice-president for content acquisition, says, “We’ve enjoyed a great relationship with Mensch and it’s exciting to be able to help it even further as it grows its publishing program.

“Ingram’s  growing international network of wholesale distribution points linked to state-of-the-art print-on-demand allows publishers to get books to their readers in ever more effective and innovative ways.

“Simultaneous international publishing in multiple markets and formats is a powerful tool for publishers to use, and they’re increasingly doing so. Mensch is in the vanguard of this trend.”

The first book that Mensch is to publish under this new partnership with Ingram is to be released Thursday (December 7). Guy Kennaway’s Good Scammer will be accompanied by the release of Kennaway’s other three titles with Mensch in paperback.

As Publishing Perspectives readers will remember, Kennaway is the 2021 winner of the Bollinger Prize for one of those three titles, The Accidental Collector (Mensch Publishing, March 2021).

Charkin says that he sees print-on-demand and the kind of data-driven marketing that Shimmr is doing as “the norm” for the future “in publishing worldwide. Doubtless there will be bumps in the road and unanticipated consequences,” he says, “but we will never learn until we try. I’ll try to share whatever I learn.”

More from Publishing Perspectives on the United Kingdom’s market is here, more on Mensch Publishing is here, more on Ingram Content Group is here, more on print-on-demand is here, more on the climate crisis is here, more on publishing issues in sustainability is here, more on the International Publishers Association is here, and Richard Charkin’s columns for Publishing Perspectives can be found here.

Publishing Perspectives is the International Publishers Association’s world media partner.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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