Print-on-Demand Publishers Answer Al Gore's Plea for Conservation

In the wake of the Academy Awards, print-on-demand publishers follow Al Gore’s lead to protect and conserve Earth’s natural resources by featuring no-waste, no-inventory printing with post-consumer, recycled paper options.

Denver, CO, March 01, 2007 --( Small Press Month runs from March 1 through 31 and is an annual celebration of the innovative spirit of small, independent, and alternative publishers. Their spirit soars in the face of controversy and stigma exaggerated by conglomerate, traditional publishers in New York who do not like what small presses, independent publishers, and print-on-demand companies represent for the more traditional publishing business model. One thing print-on-demand publishers do represent is conservationism.

Unlike traditional publishers who print 50,000 copies of a book only to destroy 40%-60% of them on average, print-on-demand publishing companies use technological advances in digital printing and electronic distribution to produce one book at a time. Books are printed only after they are purchased, only after there is a need. 

“The magnitude of waste within the traditional publishing business is astronomical,” says on-demand publisher Brent Sampson, president and CEO of Outskirts Press, Inc. “It is no longer an inconvenient truth but rather an out-and-out fact. Earth cannot continue to weather this storm. All industries must find ways to conserve and recycle. For the publishing industry, the best way to do that is to not print books that have not already been bought.”

While there are no hard and accurate numbers to determine the number of trees involved in an average publisher's print-run, it can be roughly estimated that 500 sheets of 8.5x11 paper requires about 5% of an average tree. With the common hardback page count in the 500-700 page range, 5% of a tree doesn’t last long within a 50,000 print-run. Books that are not quickly sold at full retail prices are remaindered and discounted up to 75% off before being returned to the corporate publishers, who subsequently destroy them. Returns on some traditionally published books reach 70%.

On the other hand, print-on-demand publishers like Outskirts Press employ conservation tactics wherever possible. Books are printed when they are demanded by the consumer. Additionally, the most common book sizes feature recycled paper. 

“Our most popular sizes are 5x8, 5.5x8.5, and 6x9,” Brent Sampson states. “The paper used to print books in these common sizes are post-consumer, featuring 30% recycled materials. Not only do we avoid print-runs that may be unnecessarily high, we are cognizant of opportunities to conserve even within the normal course of business.”

It has been estimated that approximately 7 trees are conserved for every ton of 30% postconsumer paper used.


Located in Parker, Colorado on the outskirts of Denver and online at, Outskirts Press, Inc. publishes high-quality paperback and hardback books for individual writers as well as businesses on an as-needed, on-demand basis. Through its turn-key, customized book publishing services, Outskirts Press offers unprecedented power to the author, including creative control and pricing authority.


The figures within the press release are extrapolated from these statistics here:
Outskirts Press, Inc.
Jeanine Sampson
888.672.6657 ext. 704