Print circulation  

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impression, newspaper circulation, first edition

Each batch of copies printed is termed a print run, printing run, printing, impression, or press run. This is all of the copies produced by a single set-up of the production equipment. One edition can have any number of print runs. Poor-selling books may have only one. Very successful books may have 50 or more.

A publisher hopes to recoup a large amount of the book's initial costs from the sale of the book's first print run. A variety of commercial and logistic factors are thus considered in deciding the number of books in a print run, and their unit price.

Demand for additional print runs after the first is always hoped for, because they increase the book's overall profitability. Once the fixed costs of developing, editing, typesetting, etc., have been covered by the first sales revenue, any additional sales revenue tends to add to the profit margin (minus, of course, the costs of the additional materials, printing, binding, and distribution).

Sometimes a print run will be unsatisfactory for some reason, particularly with art and photography books where reproduction quality is paramount. It is usually destroyed by being pulped, but occasionally a defective print run may be shipped to a distant overseas market and sold there cheaply, depending on shipping costs.

If sales of the book do not meet expectations, the remaining stock of a print run will be remaindered.

Seconds are imperfect or damaged copies which are set aside from a print run. These will usually have their jacket clipped or marked in some way.

When a print run is sold out, the title is either reprinted or becomes out of print. With the advent of print on demand and e-book technologies, publishers can keep titles perpetually in print, and there are now few good reasons why any new book should ever become unavailable. As for old books, many are currently still out-of-print, but an era in which any book from any time can be downloaded or printed on demand, either for free or for the right price, is conceivable. Properly handling copyrights and sales will present a larger hindrance to arriving at this era than will technical limitations.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Print circulation" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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