I have noticed that with the increasing switch to digital workflow among printers and publishers that the ability to properly reproduce B&W is diminishing. Clearly the bigger market for printers today is color. When digital methodology hit the printing world all of the calibration methods were heavily weighted towards color. It seems that if you want good large scale publishing of B&W you need to find a niche printer still utilizing the older technologies or a small boutique printer specializing in very high quality, small run, and therefore very expensive, B&W printing.
Originally Posted by RAP
Poorly reproduced B&W art does not sell well. B&W imagery suffers more from poor printing than does color printing. With the inability to consistently reproduce B&W well, and the subsequent drop in the sales of B&W posters or calendars, it is easy to see why many publishers are leaving B&W all together.