Perhaps it's just me, but when I saw this story earlier this week I yawned. Ingram Lightening Source has been a pioneer in POD and deserves huge credit for sticking with POD through some tough times early on, but this new initiative to go into color printing to support the photo market left me a little flat. What tipped the balance was that the news was reported in PW Daily and Publishers Lunch today (possibly because the news was on Joe Wikert's blog the day before...?) with nary a comment about the fact that there are many newcomers that are already doing color photo books.
I have mentioned my own experience with Blurb.com, but there are others including Shutterfly, Picaboo, Sharedink, Ipagz and Ourstory who are probably just as good. Each of these has established printing relationships with printers other than Ingram and are delivering thousands of units per week to happy customers. They are PUBLISHING. And more importantly they have already tapped into a massive (apparently $1.0bill market) which might not be readily apparent at least as the Ingram news was reported. The curious aspect of the Ingram publicity is that we seem to focus on the fact that it is Ingram and that this must be somehow revolutionary. Wags might ask why color wasn't already something Ingram were doing and why do they want to draw attention to the fact they don't. But that wouldn't be fair (or nice) since they are printing over a 1mm books a month in b/w which is just a phenomenal number.
Publishing is changing (if that isn't obvious) and I recently suggested to one of the traditional organs of the industry that they conduct a case study using several of the 'photo-book' printers (in quotes because they expand their capabilities all the time) and report on the experience in the magazine (ooops that gives it away). Evidently advice not taken. Like I said, perhaps it's just me.