Publisher Perspective - Book Manufacturing Turnaround Times
Parachute Publishing is the producer and creator of numerous books and book-related products for kids--from board books through early chapter books to middle-grade and young adult books and book-plus projects as well. The company's original book series include the familiar R.L. Stine Goosebumps and Fear Street books as well as The New Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley; Full House: Stephanie; Full House: Michelle and Life with Louie.
The result is an intense production schedule: "We produce many, many paperback titles each year--some with photo or other types of inserts, some with foiled/embossed covers. We also produce full-color hardcover books, full-color paperbacks, large-size and book-plus packages," Knopf explains.
Throughout the industry, Knopf observes, "distributors and publishers are making their inventory decisions later and later, which puts real pressure on the entire process. We have less time to print a title than ever before.
"This is especially true with reprints, where publishers are ordering frequently, and only taking in a short-term supply at any one time," she notes.
Because of this, Knopf notes, scheduling press time was especially challenging last year. "I suspect the types of crunches we experienced last year were shared by many," she says.
With two new series in the works, Knopf does not expect that her scheduling will be any simpler this year.
Knopf expresses another concern: "The consolidation of printers threatens to limit our options. Customer service becomes almost as important as pricing in making a decision where to print a book or series." Her company may be forced to give more thought to off-shore options when appropriate.