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Signalling a landmark achievement for the UAE publishing sector, the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and Ingram’s Lightning Source have signed an agreement to bring the world’s best print-on-demand (POD) service to Sharjah Publishing City Free Zone (SPCFZ).

The agreement was signed by HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, and Shawn Morin, President and CEO of Ingram Content Group, in the presence of John Ingram, Chairman of Ingram Industries, at the Book Expo America 2019.

HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, pointed out that the key objective of this agreement and partnership is for Sharjah to provide inclusive publishing services to the market in the UAE and region, in addition to providing tools and solutions that would enable publishers to start their businesses in Sharjah and expand internationally.

“Attracting this leading company from the USA to establish its business in Sharjah is the first step towards many agreements that will help in building a professional system of services in the publishing industry. This system will play a pivotal role in elevating the publishing industry which is witnessing a rapid development in Sharjah and the UAE. It will stimulate finding solutions to reduce the cost of storing, distribution, marketing and other challenges that face publishers,” he added.

Shawn Morin, President & CEO of Ingram Content Group, said: “We are pleased to have reached a terms agreement with the Sharjah Book Authority to open a print on demand facility in Sharjah. The addition of a Lighting Source location in Sharjah expands our global network of print on demand plants and will help publishers from all over the world reach their readers more quickly and efficiently in this important, and growing, market.”

Print-on-demand services have been a game changer for the publishing business, worldwide. Traditional printing methods had publishers print large quantities of titles pre-empting sales demand, which often incurred huge shipping and storage costs. The print-on-demand service eliminates these costs by offering publishers published materials in as less as 24 hours, which offers them the advantage of deciding print runs according to sales demand.