5. Devise a rapid replenishment strategy. How you choose to fulfill a backorder can have a widely differing impact on your fulfillment and distribution costs. For instance, some publishers choose to ship the available titles and then follow up with a single shipment of the out of stock items when all are ready for shipment. Others choose to ship available titles immediately followed by separate shipments of backorder books as they become available. Still another approach is the integration of digital print into a backorder strategy. Each strategy has a different impact on costs and often customer satisfaction. Work with your partners to devise response alternatives and weigh the cost impact of each.
6. Integrate digital print into your backorder strategy. This enables you to minimize inventories while often allowing quick replenishment that avoids multiple shipments and the associated higher costs. This is a good example of where you need to abandon a per-thousand printing mentality and look at total costs.
7. Make fulfillment someone else’s problem. Small to medium-size publishers especially can avoid the capital investment and distraction from core publishing activities by outsourcing book fulfillment to service providers that specialize in that area.
8. Look under your printer’s sustainability hood. If you are serious about reducing your carbon footprint (and you should be), you need to do some due diligence about your print provider’s environmental commitment and performance record. Form a team that will explore and execute sustainability strategies from end-to-end in the production and distribution process.
9. Enhance your covers on the cheap. Everyone knows that covers sell, and you’ll get the most bang for your buck with ink and coating techniques performed in-line during the normal printing process. New ink techniques, like MetalFX technology, print standard CMYK inks on top of specially modified silver ink to enable the creation of up to 104 million metallic colors—all on a five-unit press.