34 Cost-Cutting and Time-Saving Production Tips
6. Be mindful of changing demand.
Academic publishers have long recognized that online content is becoming increasingly more important as university libraries trim budgets. “It’s also affecting our preprint process,” Weinstein says. “It’s inevitable that more about this business is going to be online than it is now, and again, customers are beginning to demand that.”
TIPS FROM … Marcy Hawley, Publisher, Orange Frazer Press Inc.
Orange Frazer Press is a Wilmington, Ohio-based publisher of Ohio-related sports, history, nature and travel books. This smaller publisher has faced the challenge of maintaining a high level of quality that customers expect while keeping costs in line.
7. Check the specs.
“One thing we’ve learned is, once you’ve gotten a quote, to go over all the specs very carefully,” Hawley says. “Look over the quote from the printer … very, very carefully. We’ve gotten incorrect quotes several times, and that has held us up.”
Don’t just look at the big things, like page count, she notes, especially if your book project involves intricate design features such as front-cover flaps.
8. Pick your press carefully.
“Make sure you know whether you want it to go on web press or sheetfed press,” she says. “Some projects are more economical on a web press—books without many images can save you money [if printed on a web press]; it depends on dimensions and print run.”
9. Choose printers carefully.
Hawley’s broker recently switched from a Canadian printer because of the falling U.S. dollar, and a serious problem arose with the new printer, who trimmed off some text (including page numbers). Because they had to reprint, the publisher will lose four or five weeks of sales time during the critical holiday season.
To avoid this type of situation, Hawley suggests, “Research your printer carefully and work up to more important, time-related projects with them. Start with a small project and a long lead time. Learn the personality of your representative, and their commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. (Some printers may not care if you come back, especially if they deem you less important than the large presses.)”