Bookbinders' Guild of NY Examines Offshoring
More than 100 executives from the book publishing industry made their way across New York City on the eve of Jan. 11, through a particularly heavy downpour, to Café St. Barts to examine offshore printing at a monthly meeting of The Bookbinders' Guild of New York.
"With so much work moving offshore," as the meeting flyer had announced, the meeting organizers felt the subject was an essential one to address. And, despite the cold wind and rain, the topic lured in attendees.
"Attendance was about 120—larger than most of our meetings," says Marvin Dunkiel, program director for the guild and sales director for Cadmus Communications. "I was a little concerned starting off the New Year with the subject, but I believe we were pleasantly surprised."
Presenting at the dinner were Sue Cole, director of production for the Children's Book Group of Disney Publishing Worldwide, and Rick Willett, vice president of production for Sterling Publishing Co. Inc. (Stanley Redfern, vice president of production for Harry N. Abrams Inc., was also scheduled to present, but was unable to make it to the event.)
Sue Cole started off the presentations while guild members finished off their dinner and drinks. "There are good and bad points of doing offshore work. We'd like to manufacture in the U.S., but we can't afford to do it," she said. "I think there are also great, great things about [manufacturing] overseas. … You have to look at the big picture and position things where they're best-suited."
While many of Disney's children's books are produced overseas, including the Baby Einstein imprint, which will now be printed entirely offshore, Cole noted that 63 percent of Disney's books are manufactured in the United States.
Cole also outlined factors that would determine whether a book was a candidate for manufacturing. "If a book is more than 200 pages, or has more than a 75,000 print run, it's more cost-effective for you to do it here [in the U.S.] because of the weight of the book, the cost of shipping …" She added that she compares numbers side-by-side to determine a book's destination for production.