Q&A with McNaughton & Gunn President Julie A. McFarland
The December Issue Book Business featured the re-launch of the Top 20 Book Manufacturers, a ranking that lists the largest book manufacturers in the U.S. and Canada by revenue. To accompany that ranking, we interviewed top printing executives to find out how the printing industry has changed and the issues they think publishers should be most mindful of in the future. Printing experts shared insights on digital printing, minimizing supply chain costs, and integrating publisher and printer systems. The Q&As we published in the December issue were just snapshots, but following you'll find the full-length interview with Julie A. McFarland, president of McNaughton & Gunn.
What are some of the changes or trends you've seen emerge in the book printing market over the past year?
We have seen customers investing more in the printed product, creating showpieces. Some customers are adding more color into their projects and investing more in design. One of the most common things people cite about the printed book is the feel of holding it. Customers are playing that up by investing in tactile cover treatments and materials that further enhance the reader experience.
How do the services you offer to publishers differ from what you were doing five years ago?
As the barriers for self-publishing have diminished, we have become more of a consultant, sharing our knowledge and expertise in book manufacturing. We are providing assistance with design, typesetting, file setup, material selection, specifications, and packing and shipping. We have resources and skills to provide technical assistance with their books.
Have you been impressed by any specific strategies your customers have employed to grow their print revenues?
We have customers that have found success by focusing on their connection to their readers, researching and then directing their message to the places where their readers visit both online and in real life. Publishers recognize that readers have to be aware of their titles first and then they are providing added value through the opportunities to interact with authors or to access content that builds on the book. Some are providing ancillary services such as seminars or products such as workbooks to further support their story. Others have worked in conjunction with their local bookstores to promote commerce within their communities.