The program, which has been 18 months in the planning, is in partnership with Sydney-based SOS Print+Media and will cover out-of-print in-copyright Random House titles that sell nine or less copies per year. (Books which sell in small quantities of 10 or more fall into the publisher's short-run program.)
Random House sales director Gavin Schwarcz told WBN the program would ensure the publisher's books stayed in print, but that it was as much about meeting customer expectations as making a profit.
‘It's a reduced margin for us,' he admitted. ‘The author will make the same [royalties on these books], but it's all about service. I think with the world the way it is, the consumer nowadays just thinks if they want something they don't understand why they can't get it.'
Schwarcz said the POD initiative would mean booksellers could satisfy customer requests and added that such a program could even help to promote some out-of-print titles.