15 Ways to Save Time and Money in Book Production
“We’re doing fewer initial print runs and reprinting more often on new books and front list,” echoes Walsh.
In order to have the flexibility to reprint quickly, Harvard University Press has ceased making routine reprint corrections. “[Making these corrections was] so time-consuming and wasteful,” he says, noting that it was costing $100-$150 an hour to make reprint corrections. “We can’t afford it in terms of schedule, and we can’t afford it in terms of dollars.
“Unless it’s what we call an egregious error, we don’t make it,” Walsh continues. “An egregious error generally means, [for example], we spelled the author’s name wrong on the title page.” Instead, Harvard corrects any non-egregious errors in a book when it goes to paperback.
According to Aneiro, in addition to “exploring additional uses of digital printing to reduce order quantities and help manage inventory,” Scholastic also has reduced quantities on printed promotional pieces, which has lowered manufacturing costs.
Experimenting With New Systems
While still in the testing stages, a new remote-server application in place at Harvard University Press already has proven successful. According to Walsh, one of the press’ typesetters established the system, which facilitates collaboration between the typesetter and the press’ authors, editors, project managers and others. “The idea is that you work off of [the typesetter’s] server,” explains Walsh. “So you don’t have to have Microsoft Word, you don’t have to have InDesign; all of that [software] is on his server.” Anyone with broadband access can log in with a user name and password; once logged in, users have varying levels of access within the system.
An author’s manuscript is added to the system and converted into a Word editing template, which the typesetter designed. Then, the author, editor and anyone else involved with the manuscript—from its initial stages to the final PDFs—may log in and work on the manuscript and leave comments, even simultaneously.