Amazon buys on-demand book printer

Online retail giant snaps up privately held BookSurge, which specializes mainly in out-of-print titles.

CNET News staff
Online retailing giant Amazon.com has stepped into on-demand book printing, acquiring privately held BookSurge, a South Carolina-based company that specializes mainly in out-of-print titles. Amazon did not release financial details of the acquisition.

BookSurge keeps a catalog of thousands of titles, mostly out-of-print or in low demand, including several foreign-language books, and lets consumers print them out. Some major titles that BookSurge maintains include the Arabic-language version of international bestseller "The Da Vinci Code," titles by New York Times bestselling author Robert Morgan, and Pura Belpre's "Perez and Martina: A Puerto Rican Folktale." The titles are now available for sale on Amazon.com. "Print-on-demand has changed the economics of small-quantity printing, making it possible for books with low and uncertain demand to be profitably produced," Greg Greeley, Amazon's vice president for media products, said in a statement.