It is my very great pleasure to be able to announce that our Print-on-Demand service is now live for all of our website customers. That is right, it is finally here and ready for you to use, bringing close to 1000 books back into stock across a range of series. For the last six months or so a large group of people here at Osprey towers have been working really hard to get the service up and running, and now that it is here there are quite a few rather foolish grins (and relieved faces) walking around the office.
Now to what I am sure is your next question - "Which books are in the POD list?" Well - over the next week or so we will be posting up daily blogs revealing which books are available in each series. We are partly drip feeding this information out to you to protect our website from being hit by too many orders... but really the truth is that it takes a long time to put a hyperlinked list of 1000 odd book titles into a blog, and as dedicated as we are it is not the most exciting of jobs. In fact, I can hear Sam, our web guru gently sobbing right now, and he is only halfway through the Campaign list!
Now, before you charge off searching for the books you have been looking for to fill those gaps in your library, there are still some important bits and pieces that we need to explain:
1) There are two different systems of Print-On-Demand. If you live outside of North America your system is what we call a "True-POD" solution. Essentially, when you order your book the order is automatically sent to our printers and a single copy is printed and sent out to you.
This works a bit differently in the US and Canada, where we have implemented a stock-managed POD system. This is a clever bit of tech which automatically generates stock orders on a weekly basis - which are then sent to our warehouse. BUT - where this system and the UK system differ is that from time to time in the US and Canada these titles will show as being out of stock. They should never be out of stock for more than 14 days (which is the worst case scenario) - and the longer the system runs and the more data our stock management systems gathers the less likely this is to happen, but in the early days there will be some delays. Just keep checking back - the book will become available again shortly.
2) Shipping. In North America your order will be shipped out of our Random House warehouses, just like your regular orders. From time to time you may find that your orders have been split into multiple packages, but by and large you should expect your books to be delivered in the same way and over the usual amount of time as you currently experience.
In the UK and Rest of World your Print-on-Demand order will be fulfilled directly by the printer. If you have ordered non-POD books, those will be dispatched from our usual warehouse. All POD books will be sent out separately by our printers. Dispatch will take longer - as the book needs to be printed and then posted, but within the UK you can expect these books to arrive in about a fortnight. They often actually arrive sooner, but it does depend on the quantity of books being printed - at busy periods there are greater delays. Rest-of-World customers should expect extended shipping times similar to those experienced when ordering from us normally (dependent on distance / customs etc)
3) Print-on-Demand: The Future. We have about 1100 books in our current Print-on-Demand list. But as many of you will notice, this is not all of our books. In total we have about 2400 books on our store page. Over time we will add more books to the POD system, but this can be quite a challenging and time consuming task. In particular, with the older books in our library, the only way to get them onto the POD system is by scanning the books page by page, because we don't hold digital files for the books and quite often no longer hold the retro film that we used to create the books back then. But we are looking to add books to this list continuously, it will take a while and a lot of sweat from our production team, but do keep an eye out for updates to the POD lists, which we will post up on the blog.
Last of all - a quick thank you to everyone out there for all of the patience you have shown waiting for Print-on-Demand. We know it has taken longer than we thought - but we wanted to make sure that we got it right. Now stay tuned for the first list of POD titles... which will be posted up here in 10...9....8...
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