Lightning Source is one of the most popular on-demand book printing and distribution solutions in the publishing industry. Founded in 1997, and so far they have over 40,000 e-book titles and over 4500 publishers. The company's base is located in Tennessee (LaVergne) and has production facilities in USA and UK. Their average print production is about a million every month. Recently at Graph Expo 2006 in Chicago, Lightning Source made a contract with Oce for purchasing 15 of its VarioStream 9210 back and color capable digital printers. This digital printer along with its Oce PRISMA production software makes a good choice for print on demand. Lightning Source's CEO Kirby Best explained how their entire plant space in Tennessee was occupied, and the need to open a new production facility.
They have been using IBM digital printers for over 9 years, and they switched to Oce for a better quality (halftone dots). Regarding colors, he said, the new plant opening in Pennsylvania will have 10 web-fed color presses and five sheet-fed color presses (all digital of-course). The web press is going to be HP Indigo 3250, with finishing accessories. He added that color books are very difficult for a publisher to produce in short runs cost effectively, and our short-run capability opens tremendous new opportunity for them. The company is currently looking forward towards international expansion. There are many competitors for Lightning Source in the industry, out of which Amazon's BookSurge was a major one. Kirby Best concludes by saying that "No one likes competition, but in some aspects it is wonderful. It keeps us on our toes, and ensures that we continue to develop new ideas, new services, and products". The expansion of Lightning Source clearly explains the more demand for on-demand print books.