Ingram Lightning Source installation in Sharjah now in place

Long in the making, the joint venture between Ingram Content Group and Shajah Book Authority is now operational in Publishing City.

The Lightning Source Sharjah facility at Sharjah Publishing City in the United Arab Emirates. Image: Sharjah Book Authority

By Porter Anderson, Editor | @Porter_Anderson

Al Ameri: “Support global investment”

As Publication prospects As readers know, Ingram Content Group’s new Lightning Source Sharjah print-on-demand facility is the anchor tenant of the Sharjah Publishing City Free Trade Zone project in the United Arab Emirates, the centerpiece of the outreach program International Sharjah Book Authority led by Ahmed Al Ameri at the request of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi.

You can find more information on the logic behind the installation in our coverage of a conversation that Publication prospects conducted with Al Ameri and David Taylor of Ingram on the main stage of the London Book Fair.

This week’s news from the Arab world and North Africa – the hub of the global publishing region which the third-largest emirate in the United Arab Emirates hopes to influence with its new printing and distribution capacity – confirms that the machinery is now in place and working.

Publishing on demand on the scale envisioned by this new joint venture, of course, goes far beyond the scope of the Espresso Book Machine you may have encountered in forward-looking bookstores. The Lightning Source capability set up at Sharjah Publishing City is capable of producing large and small print runs, and can process print-on-demand orders within 24 hours and ship them to key destinations within 48 hours.

Sharjah lightning source

This shipping agility is expected to be an undeniable attraction for the printing business proper, as the lack of effective retail book distribution in the Middle East has long been a major impediment to the progress the region needed to make. , both in its ability to serve its own consumer bases in so many countries and also to efficiently and quickly obtain more distant orders out of the region and en route to distant international destinations quickly and reliably.

In turn, UAE-based retailers now have the ability to order books from international publishers and sell them quickly in the region, with no time-consuming and difficult shipping required from distant markets.

John Ingram: “A strong partnership”

A first run of the newly installed Lightning Source Sharjah installation produces a finished, packaged copy of one of the books by Sheikh Sultan, the author-sovereign of Sharjah. Image: Sharjah Book Authority

The Ingram Lightning Source service has access to millions of titles in over 170 languages, and publishers outside the MENA region sign up to offer their own books to local retailers and distributors in the region.

John Ingram

John Ingram, Chairman of Ingram Content Group, when announcing the opening of the service in Publishing City, is quoted as saying, “We have long enjoyed a strong partnership with the Sharjah Book Authority and are delighted to the opportunity this new venture brings for Sharjah, Ingram and the wider Middle East and Gulf region.

“I would also like to personally thank Sheikh Sultan… for allowing us to be part of this important initiative in Sharjah.

“This new facility will bring these world-class innovations across the Middle East in a way that will benefit the publishing world and consumers alike.”

Ahmed Al-Ameri

Al Ameri said, “We are keen to forge international partnerships to further advance the publishing industry locally and regionally, in addition to providing access to knowledge sources to all segments of the community, in accordance with the guidelines and Sheikh’s vision. Sultan to help build knowledge-based societies.

“The launch of Lightning Source Sharjah services offers significant opportunities for publishers, distributors and those operating in the industry to expand their access to books and content, as well as their reach in regional markets.

“This one-of-a-kind project in the region strategically strengthens Sharjah’s infrastructure to support global investment in the book market and creative industries, while serving to enhance the emirate’s status on the global cultural map. “

David Taylor

And David Taylor, Ingram’s senior vice president of international content acquisition, said, “Ingram works with tens of thousands of publishers around the world and is entrusted with many millions of their titles in our sourcing model. Lightning Source print-on-demand.

“This joint venture is important for the book trade in this region.

“It will bring pioneering technology and innovation to the forefront to meet consumer demands in a large and rapidly growing part of the world.”

International publishing professionals applying to attend the 2022 Publishers Conference (October 30-31 and November 1), which precedes the Sharjah International Book Fair (November 2-13) will most likely have the opportunity to see elements of the new Lightning Source Sharjah system at work at Publishing City.

Operators monitor a first run of the new Lightning Source Sharjah system at Publishing City. Image: Sharjah Book Authority

More about Publishing Perspectives on Sharjah is here, more about Sharjah Publishing City is here, more about Ingram Content Group is here, more about Sharjah Book Authority is here, more about Sharjah International Book Fair is here, more about London Book Fair is here, and more about publishing trade shows, book fairs and festivals is here.

Publishing Perspectives is the global media partner of the International Publishers Association.

To learn more about the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and its impact on international book publishing, click here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident member of Trends Research & Advisory, and was named International Business Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is editor of Publishing Perspectives. He was previously associate editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson was a senior producer and anchor for, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Critics Institute), he has collaborated with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which is now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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