15 Ways to Save Time and Money in Book Production
The press benefited from this system when presented with the opportunity to publish Judge Richard A. Posner’s “A Failure of Capitalism.” With a competing offer to publish the book from a commercial publishing house in New York, Posner needed assurances from Harvard that the book would get to the marketplace quickly. “We said, ‘Well, we have a plan to do that,’” says Walsh. “[Using this system], we went from manuscript to PDF files in something like 23 days.
“The question we have now is, ‘Is this something we want to do strictly with this typesetter, or do we want to bring this in on our own server?” he continues.
A Time for Innovation
While these strategies, and many others, have saved production and manufacturing departments significant time and money, revamping or even eliminating traditional book-production methods is not easy. “The hard part is for the people who have been in the business a long time. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, are you sure you really want to do this?’” says Walsh. “But once it happens, everybody says, ‘Why did we wait so long?’
“We’re not going back to the old way,” he adds. “We simply can’t afford to do it that way.”
It also is important to involve your staff in workflow-modification decisions, both to ease the transition to new methods and to generate additional cost- and time-saving ideas. “In production and manufacturing, there is a lot of opportunity for innovation in your processes,” says Brooks, who suggests periodically asking your staff to come up with, say, 10 new cost- and time-saving ideas. “That’s where your production folks can really shine.”