Lantia, the innovative print-on-demand (POD) publisher, digital distributor, bookstore marketing and author crowd-funding platform, is re-writing the rules of publishing supported by a broad portfolio of Ricoh print production solutions.
With offices in Seville, Spain, and Houston, Texas (U.S.), the company, founded in 2013, now manages the catalogues of more than fifty publishers and self-publishers. It handles everything from cover design, layout and prepress to POD and e-distribution, and from sales reporting to royalty management.
Central to its operational ethos is flexibility in book production. "It was essential for us to improve the book printing process and considerably shorten the time to market, regardless of the number of books," states Lantia's Enrique Parrilla, General Manager. He is also the founder of crowdfunding publishing platform Pentian to allow new authors to gain funding for their books, launched by Lantia.
Originally Lantia intended to partner with a local book manufacturer for production of printed books. However, they could not find a partner who could offer the service they needed, so they decided to set up, from scratch, their own book production facility in-house. A full review of available options was undertaken before Ricoh became the partner of choice, explains Parrilla. "We looked at what manufacturers had to offer, but chose to invest with Ricoh for a number of reasons," he says. "The quality of theirpost-sale service was crucial, as was the reliability of their systems. We also evaluated their professional services as well as the unique colour and mono quality of the final print."
Their first solution, a Ricoh Pro™ C5110S was installed when the company was established. This provided entry level colour cut sheet printing. However, as the business grew rapidly, a Ricoh Pro™ C751, offering greater colour productivity and two Ricoh Pro™ 8120s mono presses with EFI Fiery RIPs were added within eight months.
Parrilla adds, "Ricoh also gave us professional training to help us determine how best to drive the systems in the most effective and productive way and improve the overall printing process."
This certainly paid off when the company was awarded the contract to produce two short-run print titles for Paulo Coelho. Coelho's literary agency, Sant Jordi Asociados, approached Lantia with novellas The Supreme Gift and Like the Flowing River. These had previously been available only as Kindle downloads and, although successful, were not set for a global release.
Mr. Parilla explains, "At short notice, we decided to produce a fully working online sales and management interface and a hard copy of the books. We worked over the weekend. On Monday, we added two versions of the sample book (The Supreme Gift) onto our system, and ordered the POD version. The copies were completed at our production centre in Seville, we collected them on Tuesday, and took a flight to Barcelona on Wednesday. The Ricoh systems enable us to offer truly profitable POD and give us the confidence that we can honour the most demanding service level agreements."
The Ricoh investment also supports Pentian, the initiative that enables authors to submit and bring work to market via Pentian.com's crowdfunding site. Pricing levels are suggested at $10 for an e-book, for instance, or $25 for a hardcover copy, and the price might be higher for a signed hardcover. Readers and investors contribute to financially cover the costs of the project's production and receive part of the profits from the sale of the book. The work is published in both paper and e-format.
Mr. Parrilla says the crowdfunding platform enables a 'disruptive' financial connection between authors and readers. He adds that in thirty days, a book can be sold worldwide. And Pentian has signed a host of worldwide distribution partners, including Ingram, Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Google, Apple and El Corte Inglés.
The model is working. Since launching its beta test model six months ago, Pentian has captured more than 6% of the self-publishing market in Spain, and it is growing exponentially as the company expands in the United States.
Mr. Parrilla concludes, "Thanks to our investments and approach to the market, Lantia can now deliver more books to more customers in less time. We are closer to publishers and are able to offer improved quality in a number of different formats. We are as flexible as we can be thanks to Ricoh's production solutions and, in turn, so are our customers."