12 Profitable Book-Production Tips for Publishers and Printers
J. Kirby Best, president and CEO, advises three strategic priorities:
4. “By far the most important, pick a proven supplier that has complete end-to-end solutions and the horsepower to back it up.”
5. “Aggressively monitor your books in the supply chain: It’s not the cost per unit, it’s the unit cost.” Minimize distribution costs and cash tied up in inventory.
6. “Go for speed in delivery as well as quality in selecting printers.” The ability of a printer to respond quickly to the publisher’s marketing demands cuts down on inventory investment and provides drop-ship flexibility, suggests Best.
He advocates for a demand-printing strategy as the optimum profitable benefit for both printer and publisher.
Lightning Source offers 24-hour shipping turnaround and seamless distribution to the bookstore market through Ingram wholesalers. Ingram Publisher Services provides a distribution service as well for independent publishers that links to its manufacturing and wholesaling services.
Malloy (www.Malloy.com) is a family-owned and -managed independent book manufacturer located in Ann Arbor, Mich. Founded by Jim Malloy in 1960, it is now owned by the Upton family, with Herb Upton as chairman, and his sons Bill and Joe Upton as president and vice president of sales and marketing, respectively. Today, it is a $45 million company employing 325 people.
Bill and Joe Upton stress the importance of planning and preparation, offering the following advice for mutual profitability:
7. “The production manager should try to partner with a relatively small number of printers.” This is especially true for the smaller publisher with standard formats who can build a strong relationship with its manufacturer.
8. “Meet with your vendor to map a strategy for your entire list.” In this way, the vendor can anticipate your needs, and you can plan your production so as to take the best advantage of equipment and scheduling.
Eugene G. Schwartz is editor at large for ForeWord Reviews, an industry observer and an occasional columnist for Book Business magazine. In an earlier career, he was in the printing business and held production management positions at Random House, Prentice-Hall/Goodyear and CRM Books/Psychology Today. A former PMA (IBPA) board member, he has headed his own publishing consultancy, Consortium House. He is also Co-Founder of Worthy Shorts Inc., a development stage online private press and publication service for professionals as well as an online back office publication service for publishers and associations. He is on the Publishing Business Conference and Expo Advisory Board.