updated 4/4/2005 8:58:21 PM ET 2005-04-05T00:58:21

Amazon.com Inc. has acquired a publishing company that prints books when they're ordered rather than relying on warehouses stocked with titles, the online retailer said Monday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

BookSurge LLC, based in Charleston, S.C., offers an inventory-free book fulfillment network to publishers and authors, and has a wholesale service for retailers, wholesalers and distributors.

Founded in 2000, BookSurge maintains a catalog with thousands of titles that are printed on-demand and 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," said Greg Greely, vice president of media products for Amazon.com. "BookSurge makes it possible to print books that appeal to targeted audiences, whether it's one copy or 1,000."

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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