Search Results

Prepress Bloopers
May 1, 2003

Digital prepress, the conversion of electronic information about text and graphics into output-ready form, is a crucial aspect of book manufacturing. But it takes more than looking good on a computer screen for titles to translate from bytes to ink on paper. When things go well, prepress production reflects modern technology at its best. But incorrectly prepared electronic files wreak production havoc, and are the top cause of production delays, surcharges, and missed delivery dates. Here are the most common causes of prepress problems, as nominated by a team of technical experts at R.R. Donnelley, in New York. If your organization hasn't been tripped

TV Host Puts Supply Chain to the Test
May 1, 2003

Book editors, publicists, and marketers sent a collective "thank you" to media queen Oprah Winfrey, when the Association of American Publishers presented her with its AAP Honors award. The reason for the award: Oprah's Book Club, a wildly popular segment of The Oprah Winfrey Show. The segment routinely turned titles into bestsellers. But while publishers love the show's impact on revenues, dealing with massive, often unexpected surges in demand can vex even the most efficient supply chain. The format of Oprah's Book Club was simple and effective. Winfrey chose a novel, then broadcast a reader discussion and author interview. The first book featured: The

Inventor Promotes New Book Design
January 1, 2003

Children's books are not designed for storytelling. Just ask Jehan Clements, professional storyteller and inventor. He's the brains behind a new book design that could make storytelling more fun and effective. That is, if he can find a publisher willing to take on the unusual format. After 10 years persuing patents and publishers, Clements has little to show for his invention. He has a pile of rejection letters, a patent (issued in 1998), and a few interested but still uncommitted book makers. But he's not giving up. A professional storyteller for some 30 years, Clements became increasingly frustrated with storytelling, and he blames

Scholastic to Prune Computer Systems
January 1, 2003

The world's largest children's book publisher has decided to slice the fat out of its computer systems. Leading the charge is Reg Maton, who signed on as senior VP and CIO of Scholastic Inc. in December. Topping Maton's agenda: a complete evaluation of Scholastic's information systems, to look for overlaps. Redundant systems will be eliminated, allowing Scholastic to trim expenses and boost productivity. "They're looking to use technology to enable the business to reduce costs, [and to] consolidate certain processes, where you get productivity improvement by going to common processes," Maton says. "There's opportunity to eliminate redundancy, to consolidate, to rationalize where we

Expressing Digital Technology
November 1, 2002

Judging from the number of exhibitors and show goers at this year's Graph Expo 2002, it appears that printers are willing to invest in new products and technologies more so than they have in previous years. Turnout at booths displaying short-run and digital imaging systems was especially high, with a number of vendors exceeding pre-show expectations. BTM provides a snapshot of what was available at the show, including products making their North American debut and those recently introduced into the marketplace. HP Indigo Among its offerings at the show, HP Indigo ( showcased the HP Indigo Press w3200, a web-fed, seven-color press that creates

Disorganized Publishing
May 1, 2002

Publishers have been developing new products—particularly new media products—at a furious pace, while trying to control or cut costs through increased efficiency. Often, they view the relationship as an interdependent one. Technology enables them to do more with less and the ability to create and deliver new media products is primarily about getting the technology right. Right? Maybe not. If an in-house composition group was consistently missing deadlines, would the software be blamed? Would it even think to solve the problem by evaluating new tools? Probably not. Instead, such questions would be asked, like: Are the manuscripts being received on time? Does

Bound To Last
May 1, 2002

For binding, it's not enough to be fast; it also has to be strong. That's why Muller Martini ( teamed-up with digital printing provider Océ Printing Systems ( For the first time this year, Muller's AmigoDigital perfect-binding system linked to an Océ DemandStream 8090CX digital printing system with Hunkeler paper handling equipment. The result: A workflow that will produce commercial-quality paperback books in a single pass. "We maintain that quality quotient by incorporating into the AmigoDigital the same perfect binding techniques we use in our high-volume equipment," says Andrew J. Fetherman, manager of Muller Martini's Digital Finishing Division. Based on Muller Martini's

Paperback Bound
March 1, 2002

Imagine going to the book store in search of a classic literary work, antiques guide or cookbook. To keep costs down, the search is narrowed to paperback titles only. Now, imagine the available selection is limited to poorly-produced detective stories. In today's bookselling climate, this scenario may seem unbelievable, but 60 years ago it was the norm. Back then, the paperback book market consisted mainly of cheaply made fiction books that sold for approximately a quarter. Not until Hayward Cirker, co-founder of Dover Publications (, decided to remedy this disservice to readers, did the market undergo a transformation. "Cirker had

Talking About Supply Chain Management
January 1, 2002

Ed Tenthoff, vice president of publishing Technology for Pearson Education; Fran Toolan, president of Quality Solutions; and David LaFauci, vice president and CIO of Courier Corporation, recently discussed the value of planning, information and time-saving initiatives with the editors of BookTech the Magazine. BTM: How would you define supply chain management (i.e., from the perspective of publisher, printer or technical services provider)? Tenthoff: A mutual understanding of requirements versus capabilities that then leads to the ability to maximize efficiencies and minimize conflicting goals. Toolan: From the perspective of a technical services provider, I would define supply chain management as the ability of

Reach Out and Read
November 1, 2001

The PRINT shows have long been a site for Timsons to showcase its presses. In 1991, the company showed the T32 horizontal web book press. Six years later, at PRINT 97, Timsons introduced the T48A arch press. So, when discussing how to present the new Zero Makeready Press (ZMR) at PRINT 01, the company decided it wanted to do something special. As Timsons has long supported literacy projects, a member of the sales team suggested they partner with Literacy Chicago. From there, the idea to publish the work of local school children was born. Paul Riportella, customer project manager, says, "We were really

Come Together
September 1, 2001

With a formal education in accounting and no previous publishing experience, Cheryl Horch began her career as a customer service representative for William C. Brown in 1990. The company's unique setup allowed Horch to learn the business from the ground up. Recently, her stellar career history was recognized by PrintMedia magazine (the North American Publishing sister publication to BookTech the Magazine), as Horch is slated to be inducted into the 2001 Production Executives' Hall of Fame. Although it was a publishing house, William C. Brown also had its own presses, and Horch worked for five years in manufacturing. After this stint in manufacturing,

Survival of the Fittest
July 12, 2001

It's understandable why Rebecca Churilla is preoccupied with strategy this late June morning. The creative conference coordinator for BookTech West, the hotly anticipated technology conference scheduled for July 30 through August 1 in San Francisco, is busy developing an unusual competition for her enthusiastic attendees. "Survival of the Fittest," she says, refers to a special game designed exclusively for the trade show. "In a market where technology and demand are consistently evolving, we wanted to reward the most industrious attendee with a cash prize for his or her efforts." Churilla explains that "Survival of the Fittest" will lead attendees through a treasure hunt

Diary of Gold Ink 2001
July 1, 2001

In sitting down to write about this year's Gold Ink judging process, the oft-quoted "out of the mouths of babes" came to mind. This marked my first year of involvement in the contest, and I believe the phrase would provide an appropriate backdrop for a behind-the-scenes account of the process—from start to finish. Many of BookTech the Magazine's readers write to inquire about the adjudication process, so, here's an overview, in anticipation of announcing the 2001 winners in the next issue, and to give credit where it's due—to our staff and tireless judges. 04.02.01-05.08.01 Good things come in all packages At first, the entries

Hands On
June 28, 2001

From its inception, BookTech West has been designed for attendees by industry experts, editors and inventive coordinators. This year, Conference Coordinator Rebecca Churilla invites participants to e-mail questions to her prior to the show to be included in "On the Cutting Edge" sessions listed below. According to Churilla, "BookTech West is founded on the ideal that one-to-one communication is a good business practice. That's why I'm inviting curious professionals to send their questions to me even before the show begins." Churilla explains that by opening up dialogue before the show begins, she'll compile and present the inquiries to each speaker to consider. "If the

A Customized Achievement
May 1, 2001

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.

The Seven Essentials
May 1, 2001

Publishers are indeed facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles to remain profitable in financially unstable times. Added pressures of evolving technology both hinder and help growth. Recently, VISTA International unveiled the results of several years of intensive studies on traditional publishing operations. VISTA Internationaldoesn't simply challenge publishers to "harness new skills to market new products through new channels," in the study, it offers seven essential strategies for ensuring success. No. 1 Information. Many publishers suffer from inefficient and insufficient exchange of information across department boundaries. Even though numerous disciplines within the corporation require access to common information, often that information is created and recreated numerous

Waiting for Darwin
April 30, 2001

In many ways, a marketplace is like a population of living organisms. With pressure, it evolves, and behavior changes. We've seen advances in communication technologies combine with a dynamic economy to alter consumer expectations. Services like on-demand, just-in-time and digital printing evolved to fill the niche provided by consumers' new-found need for speed. Players in the book space have been slow to adopt Internet print procurement solutions, but e-commerce companies are hopeful that the climate will change. E-procurement, in short, involves securing print services over the Internet via auction or other Web-enabled methodology. Companies like focus almost exclusively on online auctioning. Others,

Stow It
January 1, 2001

What to consider when shopping for a digital achive system Special to BookTech by Danny O. Snow Today's publishers need effective solutions for securely and efficiently storing the digital assets. Of course, there are many important factors to consider when selecting a digital asset management (DAM) system: cost, ease of use, security, scalability, available features and online capabilities. In addition, a DAM solution's ability to enhance cross-media publishing; provide both in-house and vendor access to the digital assets; and interpreting legacy files can play an important role in a publisher's success. Finally, a publisher must weigh in-house asset management against the out-sourcing alternative.

Meet Production Deadlines
November 1, 2000

Tips on Negotiating a Schedule That Works By Michael Washburn Your publishing house just signed a contract for the next book of pictures by a famous photojournalist. The publicity department wants to set up signings in bookstores in several cities, and requests for advance copies are already coming through the fax machine. As the production manager for this book, you hate to think of what will happen if any snags derail the project and set back the release date by days or weeks. You must make the job go smoothly. In order to do that, you need to be hyper-aware of the lurking

CTP for Four-Color
November 1, 2000

A review of the technology today, and a preview of trends for tomorrow By Danny O. Snow This article: * reviews computer-to-plate (CTP) technology; * discusses its use in four-color printing; * offers tips on how to get the best results using CTP; and * previews future developments. The methods printers use to put words and four-color images on paper have changed dramatically in the past few years. New digital methods have largely replaced traditional processes that involved art boards, cameras and film. Computer-to-plate (CTP) technology allows the transfer of digital files from computers directly to printing plates. Most CTP systems