Their Winning Ways
We are just embarking on our first efforts with digital remote proofing of our dust jackets and paperback covers. We believe this method will enable us to receive color-accurate proofs over the Internet from our suppliers, thereby shortening the proof approval time and reducing our courier costs. The digital mechanical is sent on disk to the component printer, who outputs to our specifications and then transmits the color proof directly to our proofing machine, using a dedicated Mac G4 to handle the files. Our color monitor is color-calibrated to match the monitor at the supplier's plant, so if we make changes, we and our printer can both view the identical colors and discuss the changes in real time. The next step will be initial file transmission to the supplier.
When did you start to print on demand and why? What is the typical run length?
We do publish titles manufactured by on-demand technology, but we are not in the business of printing just one or two copies--at least not yet. We began to use on-demand manufacturing in a serious way about five years ago. We carry over 3,000 titles on our active backlist. If we mine our backlist, reprinting quantities of, say, 50 to 100 copies per year for 10 percent of our backlist titles, we can generate a significant amount of revenue that we would otherwise be deprived of. Many of these titles were out of stock when we initiated the program because, using traditional book manufacturing equipment, we could not reprint them in the quantities required to achieve an acceptable per-unit cost. For instance, we publish a number of multi-volume series. Even though some volumes outsell others, we want to keep all the series volumes in print. Print-on-demand presses have enabled us to keep entire series in print and to match the original materials and bindings.