Serious about CTP
* Could the printer open up a file and input a type correction? Can a proof then be sent?
* Could the printer scan an image?
* If the publisher executes the correction, should a new page file be sent alone, or should an entire chapter be resent?
* If a third-party prepress supplier is involved, how fast could this party execute a last-minute change or correction? How would the change be preflighted and proofed?
File delivery options are numerous and depend on schedules, transmission technologies available and whether hard-copy proofs accompany files.
* How will files be sent to the printer?
TIP : Options include dropping files to the printer's FTP site, sending physical media (often with proofs) via overnight mail, courier delivery on physical media, or sending files by WAM!NET. If sending physical media, confirm what's acceptable: i.e., SyQuest, optical, DAT, etc.
* How will receipt of files be confirmed?
* Does printer want back-up application files (such as Quark) in addition to the files that will be used for production (typically the PostScript or PDF output files)?
TIP: Having those files on hand might help the printer make a last-minute correction if needed, but means tracking and storing duplicate sets of files. Also, careful versioning control is required.
* When are pages preflighted and by whom?
TIP: Are pages preflighted by provider only? By printer upon receipt? By printer within three days? By customer service rep or by technical staff?
* What preflight software is being used by the printer and by the publisher?
* How thorough is preflighting?
TIP: You might ask: Does the printer spot check for overall document appearance? Is an automated program used to check for technical problems such as missing fonts? Are book-industry specific human errors checked like inconsistent margins, pages not matching supplied dummy, registration marks not included?