Prometheus Books has created a new print-on-demand division that will be located at the publisher's headquarters in Amherst, N.Y. "We've been looking at this for a long time and we can now make the economics work," said Jon Kurtz, company v-p. The publisher was scheduled to complete the installation of the DocuTech and finishing equipment last week.

Prometheus, which considers itself a cross between a trade house and university press, will use POD to print its higher-priced scholarly titles as well as to keep its backlist titles alive. "None of our titles will go out of print," Kurtz promised. POD will be used to print one copy of a backlist title up to as many as 500 copies of a trade paperback edition of its academic frontlist titles, Kurtz said. All hardcover titles, at least for the time being, will be printed by traditional printers.

Prometheus publishes 100 to 120 new titles annually and has a backlist of about 2,000. Kurtz, whose father, Paul, founded Prometheus in 1969, said 2002 was "a growth year," although the increase was in the single digits. The company's popular science and current event segments had the strongest year, led by Dr. Henry Lee's Cracking Cases.