Sharjah : Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and Ingram Content Group’s Lightning Source LLC have launched a joint venture called ‘Lightning Source Sharjah’, bringing the world’s first large-scale print-on-demand operations to the Middle East and North Africa. This collaboration will enable publishers to meet growing consumer demand in the region significantly faster and more efficiently through access to Ingram’s robust global distribution network of 40,000-plus retailers as well as to libraries, schools and universities.
Located at the Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) Free Zone, Lightning Source Sharjah is currently enabling UAE retailers the option of ordering books directly from international publishers to quickly meet the demands of the market. Ingram Content Group’s market-leading print-on-demand service has access to millions of titles in ore than 170 different languages and many publishers have already signed up to make their books available to retailers and distributors in the UAE and the immediate region.
Printing exact quantities
The Lightning Source Sharjah facility, equipped with first-rate technology and digital publishing innovations, has the capacity to quickly process and ship print-on-demand orders, reducing waste and lowering the overall carbon footprint while strengthening the supply chain by printing exact quantities closer to the consumer. The Sharjah facility has the capacity to process print-on-demand orders within 24 hours and can ship to select destinations within 48 hours.
Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of SBA, said: “We are keen on forging international partnerships to drive greater advances in the publishing sector on a local and regional level, in addition to offering access to knowledge sources to all segments of the community, aligning with the directives and vision of His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to help build knowledge-based societies.”
‘Support global investment in the book market’
He added: “The launch of Lightning Source Sharjah services provides publishers, distributors and those who operate in the sector significant opportunities to expand their access to books and content, as well as their outreach into regional markets. This first-of-its-kind project in the region reinforces Sharjah’s infrastructure strategically to support global investment in the book market and creative industries, while serving to boost the emirate’s status on the global cultural map.”
“We have long enjoyed a strong partnership with Sharjah Book Authority and are excited about the opportunity this new venture brings to Sharjah, Ingram and the broader Middle East and Gulf region,” said John Ingram, chairman of Ingram Content Group. “I would also like to personally thank His Highness for allowing us to be part of this important initiative in Sharjah. Print-on-demand is fuelling the modern-day publishing industry, making the digital and physical distribution of diverse content across different languages and regions seamless. This new facility will bring these world-class innovations to scale in the Middle East in a way that will benefit the publishing world and consumers alike.”
‘Technology and innovation’
“Ingram works with tens of thousands of publishers from around the world and is trusted with many millions of their titles in our Lightning Source print-on-demand supply model. This joint venture is significant for the book trade within this region. It will bring pioneering technology and innovation to the forefront of meeting consumer demands in a rapidly growing and important part of the world,” said David Taylor, Ingram senior vice-president for Content Acquisition International.
Lightning Source is part of the Ingram Content Group of companies, a world leader in POD that connects publishers with the world’s largest distribution channel of book wholesalers and retailers. In addition to distributing books through Ingram Book Company, Lightning Source is associated with the most comprehensive portfolio of booksellers.