34 Cost-Cutting and Time-Saving Production Tips
TIPS FROM … Pam Weston, Vice President, Publishing, Research in Education Assoc.
The Research in Education Association (REA), a Piscataway, N.J.-based educational and test-prep book publisher, offers a full range of materials for the AP, SAT and teacher’s certification exams, among others. The company publishes frequently updated test editions, handbooks, study aides and reviews.
16. Templates help speed frequently updated series through production.
“Typically, books in a series are somewhat ‘templated’ in the sense that there’s a format we’re going to stick to,” making it easy to add or remove material, Weston says. “In many cases the changes are rather mild, and we’re able to deal with them without too much effort.”
17. Stay on top of developments.
REA pays attention to changes in testing, education law and scientific research, and reacts quickly in order to build these into publications as they are being produced or, when necessary, to create new editions. Editors constantly check for updates and maintain close contact with authors, who keep track of developments and are best able to seamlessly integrate changes and updates.
18. Build clear job descriptions into the workflow.
“Editors are assigned to certain titles, so we know who the go-to people are,” Weston says. Communication is facilitated by weekly production meetings, which, she says, keeps everyone on the same page.
19. Pay attention to page counts.
The most important means of cutting per-book unit costs involves controlling page count, Weston says. “In planning a book, be aware of that cost,” she notes. “Less paper means a less-expensive process.”
20. Look into changing your choice of paper.
Most REA materials are printed on groundwood stock, though a certain number have traditionally been printed on more expensive opaque paper. The company has switched some of the latter books to groundwood in recent years in order to save money.