While a number of companies are retreating from print books, Tantor Media will begin using the format for the first time this fall and will also expand its e-book business (Tantor did a soft e-book launch about a year ago). The large independent audiobook publisher will do 12 to 15 print books a year, using Ingram’s Lightning Source print-on-demand service. Kevin Colebank, Tantor CEO, said the decision to enter the print field and to expand its e-book capabilities is part of a strategy to offer authors the opportunity to be published by Tantor in all three formats.

Tantor will also slightly alter its acquisition strategy to put more of an emphasis on looking for titles where it can acquire rights to all three formats. Colebank said that will be especially true in genres where titles sell best in downloadable audio and e-books. Tantor’s first print title is Flu, by U.K. author Wayne Simmons that will be released September 18. Colebank said he expects the zombie horror story to sell best in e-book and downloadable audio, and will do a modest first printing. However, for its first nonfiction books, Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years by Tony Consiglio, set for a November release, the print run will likely be around 10,000, Colebank said.

The print titles will be sold and distributed the same way its physical audiobooks are: Ingram Publisher Services will handle independent bookstores and fulfill orders to large account that Tantor will call on, and Tantor’s library sales force will add print books to its audio offerings. Tantor’s acquisition editor, Ron Formica, will add print books to his duties. Tantor is accepting agent submissions to the print program, Colebank noted.