Lightning Source


Lightning Source is a printer and distributor of
print-on-demand Print on demand (POD) is a printing Printing is a process for mass reproducing text and images An Synthetic aperture radar, SAR radar imaging, radar image acquired by the SIR-C/X-SAR radar on board the Space Shuttle Endeavour show ...
books. The company is a business unit of
Ingram Content Group Ingram Content Group is an American service provider to the book publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for free. Traditionally, the term ...
. Originally incorporated in 1996 as Lightning Print Inc., the company is headquartered in
La Vergne, Tennessee La Vergne ( ) is a city in Rutherford County, Tennessee, Rutherford County, Tennessee. The population was 32,588 at the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census and 35,716 in 2019. La Vergne lies within the Nashville metropolitan area, Nashville Met ...
. Its UK operations are based in
Milton Keynes Milton Keynes ( ) is the largest settlement in Buckinghamshire, England, north-west of London. At the 2011 Census, the population of Milton Keynes urban area, its urban area was almost . The River Great Ouse forms its northern boundary; a t ...
. They also have operations in Maurepas, France and Melbourne, Australia. IngramSpark is a service operated by Lightning Source to cater for the needs of independent publishers and authors. Since it launched in 2013, IngramSpark has registered more than 7 million books, with 4,000 new books added each day.

Espresso Book Machine

Espresso Book Machine The Espresso Book Machine (EBM) is a print on demand (POD) machine created by On Demand Books. It prints, collates, covers, and binds a single book in a few minutes. Introduced in 2007, EBM is small enough to fit in a retail bookstore or small l ...
2.0 is a compact ( wide by deep by high) book-printing kiosk that can be installed in a bookshop or public place to print, bind and cut books on demand while the customer waits. The EBM 2.0 can download encrypted book files from Lightning Source (LS). Publishers must specifically give permission in order for their titles to be included in the scheme. The EBM project can theoretically allow faster access to LS print-on-demand books in regions where there is no existing LS plant, and where shipping times would otherwise create significant supply delays. It also allows large bookshops to offer their customers almost immediate access to a wider range of titles than could be held onsite. However, to date, uptake of the Espresso Book Machine system has been low.

E-book services

Lightning Source has an e-book supply system that can serve up protected PDF copies of books from their library through a vendor's site, if a publisher chooses to participate. Although the scheme originally allowed electronic LS editions to be sold on Amazon alongside "conventional" print-on-demand editions, Amazon withdrew from the scheme. Lightning Source still offer their e-book on demand service to publishers who have a suitable vendor website, and supply eBooks to their retail partners,,,, and, but have no online retail outlet themselves to sell eBooks. In March 2010 Ingram Digital (a wholesaler part of the same group) warned its customers it might not be able to sell them e-books, as most large publishers were moving from the wholesale model (publishers offer wholesale discounts, and the final price is determined by retailers) to the agency model (publishers set the retail price and offer agents a commission, so retailers earn more by buying direct from the publisher rather than via a wholesaler). This was triggered by the eBook pricing dispute between Amazon and
Macmillan MacMillan, Macmillan, McMillen or McMillan may refer to: People * McMillan (surname) * Clan MacMillan, a Highland Scottish clan * Harold Macmillan, British statesman and politician * James MacMillan, Scottish composer Places Australia * Div ...
, and the imminent launch of the
iPad iPad is a line of tablet computer A tablet computer, commonly shortened to tablet, is a mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequenc ...

. However, in April 2012 the U.S. Department of Justice sued Apple, Macmillan, and others on the basis that the agency model was anti-competitive and a form of collusion used to fix the price of e-books. As of April 2012, Ingram Digital was still supplying e-books via its CoreSource programme.


External links

Official Website
{{Self-publishing Book publishing companies based in Tennessee Digital press E-book suppliers Ingram family Publishing companies established in 1996 Self-publishing companies