34 Cost-Cutting and Time-Saving Production Tips
Publishers looking to cut costs and production time face a wealth of challenges, not the least of which is shaking off old conceptions. Putting the focus on content, rather than on books as manufactured objects, can paradoxically help to uncover new ways to speed up the workflow (or, more accurately, customize the workflow to meet the needs of individual projects), and do so in as cost-effective a manner as possible.
Common themes among those who shared with Book Business their cost- and time-saving production tips are planning and adaptability, which depend on effective communication. Despite all the technological advances of recent years (and hype over supply chain innovations such as The Espresso Book Machine), book manufacturing is, and for the foreseeable future will continue to be, a multileveled process dependent on deft coordination.
TIPS FROM … Michael Weinstein, Vice President, EDP and Manufacturing, Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press (OUP), a publisher of academic and educational books and journals, had to adjust in recent years to the lessening of demand from university libraries and the challenge posed by the proliferation of electronic content.
1. Think macro.
“One of the things I’ve tried to do is have everyone understand the whole process,” Weinstein says. “Make sure they are doing things that will positively impact the next vendor in the chain that touches something. Designers should be thinking about standardizing templates so that the page makeup can go faster, so that the comp can create PDFs faster for the printer—that sort of thing.”
2. Start at the beginning.
At Pearson, where Weinstein worked before joining OUP, speed and efficiency were achieved by utilizing templates at the beginning of the process. “Authors were writing in templates, which enabled us to use their codes … and enabled faster page makeup,” he says.