Publisher Perspective - Book Manufacturing Turnaround Times
Grossman just took her first foray into computer-to-plate production with a cover handled by Phoenix Color. "They did a beautiful job," says Grossman. However, because of the careful attention to each step of the new workflow pattern for a first CTP job, she did not see it compressing her schedule. She plans on moving forward with more computer-to-plate jobs for both covers and interiors.
So far, says Grossman, she sees more overall impact on production schedules from changes in other production stages. Compositors seem able to work faster, and authors are also taking on more composition tasks--like use of FrameMaker and LaTex to lay out pages. In some cases, her company provides the authors with templates to work from.
Author involvement in composition "takes about four weeks out of our production cycle," she says. But she's noticed something else happening too: "They are looking to us for more technical support. I need to learn a little more about these programs myself."
Vice President of Production and Manufacturing
John Wiley & Sons
Print schedules have been "getting faster and faster all along," says Ann Berlin, vice president of production and manufacturing at John Wiley & Sons.
Over several years, Berlin has watched her average film- or camera-copy to bound-book turnaround times shrink from six weeks to three to four. Times vary depending on the printer, and tend to be a few days longer when she sends computer files instead of film or camera copy.
Lately, she's been routinely receiving even faster turnarounds from some printers--even for case-bound books, she says.
Though she's obtained ten-day turnarounds even on four-color work, she still judges two weeks to be a very fast schedule in the industry at large, even more so if the print run is large. "It's still a favor--but we're definitely asking for it," says Berlin.