Gretchen A. Peck

Printers generally like to talk about investments they’ve made in print technologies—offset or digital. Perhaps that’s because it suggests they’re doing well and that they’re investing in their customers’ businesses. Besides, talking about a slick, new machine that requires little to no makeready time and gets up to color with minimal effort is sexy. Well, comparatively speaking. The clunkier “back-office” equipment found in the typical finishing department is perhaps not as provocative, but talk to most any book printer or trade binder, and they’ll likely confide that the bindery machines are the real workhorses. Indeed, investing in the bindery is just as important

With the U.S. economy on shaky ground, book publishers, like so many others, are honing in on ways to cut costs while growing their businesses. This often means tapping the resources of thirdparty partners to manage the aspects of the publishing business that fall outside the publisher’s core competencies (creating and marketing great content)—things like physically managing inventory and fulfilling orders from retail partners and consumers. For fulfillment help, publishers may turn to their book printers, which often have warehousing and fulfillment operations to complement their manufacturing services, or to a third-party fulfillment specialist. Location, Location, Location Direct-mailers will tell you that minimizing mail

The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” may be sage advice, but the publishing community knows better—that it is an intriguing cover that catches the potential reader’s eye. Indeed, a title’s cover is its most valuable marketing tool—an integral part of the publisher’s and author’s brand. So it makes sense that great thought typically goes into a book’s cover design and production. So was the experience for Walter T. Shaw, a first-time author whose nonfiction book, “A License to Steal,” is being published this year by Omega Publishing Group and manufactured by HCI’s print services division in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The

Publishers of all sizes have to manage detailed and vital information about the rights they own, the rights they have sold, and the royalties they either owe or are owed. It can be a significant accounting undertaking. Especially with the burgeoning digital marketplace, book publishers are increasingly redistributing their content in any number of ways and thus, generating additional revenue––as well as the need to manage additional rights and royalties. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions on the market today, from services that help publishers license their content to those that help automate the tracking and payments process to save time and

Patti Ward is the director of product management for Wolters Kluwer Health, a $900 million division of international publisher Wolters Kluwer. She joined the company in 1996 as a production assistant, but new responsibilities found her re-engineering business processes for the past five years. “We were no longer responsible for putting ink on paper, and paper in the mail. As the industry demands have shifted, so have our production technologies,” Ward explains. As has been the case with most publishers, the impact of digital media has been profound for Wolters Kluwer Health (, which serves professionals and students in medicine, nursing, allied health,

Content is still king in book publishing. The challenge to publishers today is to move, manage, exchange and manipulate that content in the most efficient and profitable ways. In the age of new media, publishers must be able to accept content from external sources, traffic it through all the pre-publishing phases and then be agile in the way they output it, so that it’s cost-effective but also meaningful to readers. As with any new technology, publishers should evaluate software solutions with these basic considerations in mind: Functionality: What solutions out there have the types of capabilities your company needs? Once the field has

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