9 Considerations for Your Next CD/DVD Companion Project
Some production managers have estimated that a unit cost of a DVD might run an average of about 60 cents, a CD 26 cents, and a sleeve about 23 cents, obviously with unit costs going up for small print runs and dropping for extremely large print runs. But those savvy in CD/DVD production stress that there are many factors that can cause unit costs to vary significantly.
Here are nine considerations to keep in mind as you begin work on your next CD/DVD companion project to help ensure you don’t get burned with unexpected costs or complications:
1. What features will you require the CD or DVD to have (such as audio, video, structured navigation, searchability, bookmarking, highlighting, ability to add notes, etc.), and therefore, which file format will you need?
2. Will you need file-conversion services to convert your text files into PDF or XML formats, for example? What costs are involved in outsourcing this or having in-house staff handle it?
3. What is the job size?
4. Will you package the CD or DVD separately, or bind or adhere it into your book? Or will you require shrink-wrapping to encase the CD/DVD on the exterior of the book?
5. What are your “ride-along” options and the related costs? Will the CD/DVD be able to be inserted into the book in-line or will it require manual insertion at the bindery? Will the book be too bulky with certain insertion types?
6. Will you incur additional costs for printing on the CD/DVD and the sleeve? Will you want a die-cut book cover through which the CD/DVD can show?
7. Will the CD/DVD case require tamper-evidence seals?
8. Will you be enclosing other printed materials with the CD or DVD?
9. Will your book be large enough and sturdy enough to handle your intended insert format, or will you need to pursue a more lightweight CD/DVD insertion option?
Rely on any potential production service that you work with to act as a partner in your project, asking them to help guide you through your options and related costs. Several experts suggest evaluating all of the above considerations and then the overall costs associated with the project, as well as the customer service you will be getting from your “partner,” as opposed to evaluating just the cost of replication or duplication.