A Customized Achievement
When Junior Achieve-ment hosted its 1999 annual golf tournament in sunny California, participants walked away with more than just a sunburn and a pleasant memory. Instead of the status quo (and often forgettable) t-shirts, key chains and mugs, personalized books were given as tee prizes to commemorate the event. The Golf Gods Are Laughing: The Confessions, Obsessions and Insights of a Golf Addict by Robert Bruce Woodcut was the chosen book, and De-Hart's Printing Services was the chosen maufacturer.
Woodcox's book was originally published by Seven Locks Press in Santa Ana, CA, a small publisher and distributor of approximately 38 titles a year. When the publisher asked DeHart's to knock off a short-run of 100 copies for publicity samples, the idea to customize the book was born.
"I thought the title was great, and I though it would be a unique item to personalize," says Don DeHart, president of DeHart's Printing Services. DeHart proposed the idea to the local Junior Achievement chapter, and the project got underway.
Before DeHart's could begin the customization project, they needed to obtain printing rights from both Seven Locks and Woodcox—a process that took a matter of minutes.
"We drew up a very short, one-page contract," recalls Jim Rior-dan, publisher, Seven Locks Press. "I called the author and got his okay. It was easy, and it was something I was happy to do for DeHart's. We've worked with them for a while. Whenever I've been in trouble and needed a few books fast, I've called on them, like when I needed a couple copies of a book for the Frankfort World Book Fair, DeHart's did the project for me in two days. I mean, you just don't do books in two days!"
The 160 books DeHart's produced for Junior Ach-ievement's event, all of which took a mere day to print, each featured a custom title page with the name, location and date of the golf event. Three pages contained the organization's mission statement, a list of its programs and a list of event sponsors.
The book's interior pages were printed on Unisource's 10pt. C1S Starbrite Opaque stock on a Xerox DocuTech, while the cover was produced on DeHart's Heidelberg Quickmaster. The printer also keeps an IBM Infoprint on hand for on-demand projects in its 20,000-sq.-ft. facility.
"It was really a cute book," says Barbara Buss, vice president of development, Junior Achieve-ment, "and the fact that it was personalized, well, that made it a special prize. The attendees thought it was wonderful. And the price was
right; we ended up spending about $45 on each golfer, for [a momento] they will actually hang on to for a while"
DeHart's has since relicensed and customized Woodcox's book for several company golf outings hosted by companies like Xerox, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the PGA Seniors tour.
From college textbooks, to trade publications to technical manuals, the Silicon Valley-based printer has found its spot in the popular print-on-demand industry. But customization is a service the printer has only begun to explore.
"Large textbook publishers are already using customization," DeHart explains. In such cases, a professor may wish to include related articles or bibliographies within a textbook, specific to the class.
"We're learning that there are many different applications for this type of thing," DeHart adds. "And as digital technologies continueto grow, publishers will see more uses and more demands for customization. A decade ago people didn't think print on demand was possible. … I believe customized books have a bright future," DeHart continues. "It'll take people out there in the market—publishers—to really focus on development. I came up with the idea for [this golf book project that] sold 1,500 copies. That may not seem like a lot, but I know quite a few authors who would appreciate selling 1,500 books."