Ann Arbor-based Edwards Brothers has teamed with printers in Europe, Australia and Asia to form a network that offers publishers a one-stop printing service to meet their global printing requirements. The goal of gps Global Print Solutions is it “help publishers handle their small order worldwide runs cost effectively," said Edwards Brothers CEO John Edwards. Joining Edwards Brothers, which will cover North and South America, are CPI, covering Europe and Africa; Markono Print Media, covering Asia; and Griffin Press, covering Australia.

Through the partnership, publishers work with their current local supplier, who will serve as the sales and service contact for the partnership. Orders will be passed to the closest partner for production and distribution and will receive one invoice from their local vendor. Edwards said he began exploring the possibility about setting up a short-run network with CPI about 10 years ago, but now advances in digital printing have made it economically feasible. He argued that while unit costs of print-on-demand titles may be higher, the total cost of delivering a book to a customer is lower using a local printer. Freight bills to overseas markets can be higher than the printing costs, he said.

Edward said while he expects the service to initially be focused in print-on-demand orders, he believes it will migrate to larger runs where publishers can simultaneously print books that will be used in the U.S., U.K. , Asia and Australia. GPS, Edwards added, is an extension of its domestic strategy to establish printing centers closer to customers. By the end of the month, Edwards will have 10 centers in different parts of the U.S. and Canada