Toto I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore
by Tatyana Sinioukov
Sending your books overseas to be printed? Use a little courage, a gentle heart and a lot of brains to bring your books home successfully
When sending books overseas to be printed, what does the publisher expect as the outcome? Just as Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz expected a solution to their problems at the end of the yellow brick road, print buyers expect their forays into overseas printing to yield a positive outcome, in this case, high quality, committed service at a reasonable price and an opportunity to establish a trusting relationship with a print partner.
Like the Wizard of Oz characters, most buyers will find that challenges that face them on the way-- those unique to buying services abroad, plus the usual suspects (those that are true for printing anywhere), can be surmounted. Unlike the Wizard of Oz crew, however, print buyers who read this article can start out armed with advice from peers who have been there before.
An Informed Beginning
Before taking your first steps on your overseas printing journey, overseas printing session panelists at BookTech West agreed, it's vital to collect all the information you can about
--payment terms and method
--measurements (grams v. pounds, millimeters v. inches, etc.)
--political and economic perspectives
This list was created by Liz Walker, sales, production and customer service director at Milano Stampa/New Interlitho USA, and Abram Hall, production manager, ESL Department, Oxford University Press. It was initially created for "Overseas Manufacturing: Buying Tactics" at BookTech '99.
Check out the lay of the land
Most U.S. print buyers don't find it necessary to learn the language of the country they are buying printing from, noted panelists at the "Printing Overseas" session at BookTech West 1999 held last December in San Francisco. The panelists included Charlie Clark, director and executive vice president of Hong Kong-based C&C Offset Printing; Anne Barnett, vice president of sales at the U.K. division of R.R. Donnelley in London (she oversees printing at RRD's Shenzhen, China, plant); Nancy Duncan-Cashman, production manager, Watershed Books, Edmonds, WA (the company mainly serves niche publishers); and Christine Taylor, president of Wilsted & Taylor, Oakland, CA.