How do you say print-on-demand in French? It might sound something like Lightning Source. The leading print-on-demand (POD) provider has partnered with the second largest publisher of trade books, Hachette Livre, to offer POD services to the French book market. C'est bon!

The partnership will operate out of Hachette Livre’s distribution facility in Maurepas, near Paris, and is expected to be operational by 2010. In its two-part plan Hachette has agreed to extend its range of services so that publishing houses it operates as well as other third-party customers will benefit.

Next, Lightning Source will begin providing independent publishers the option to participate in the POD program, regardless of ownership or distribution contracts.

Are you POD Worthy?

Not all books are inherently POD worthy, of course, so both companies have identified titles from their catalogs that would make good candidates for print-on-demand, selected for both their look and profitability. However, should the partnership meet expectations, there is hope that more older titles, that may have been lost to the market for years, could make their way to print-on-demand.

In a country whose books reach back thousands of years, that's a lot of books.

The partnership is both strategic and familial. Lightning Source will help Hachette become more of a digital force in the industry as well as improving the financial and cultural benefits of the French book market.