Toto I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore
--Insure anything that is worth over $100 (including transparencies) and mark the envelopes properly while they are traveling from country to country. Some storage devices may not survive the X-rays at the customs, warned Clark, so choose the ones least susceptible to damage.
--Don't be baffled by delays--any delays--panelists advised the audience: Be prepared to not get the answer to the question you've e-mailed until the next day because of the time difference; also, get used to extended schedules during holidays, some of which are not celebrated in the States as widely (like Chinese New Year) or at all.
--Know for sure in what country the book was printed--you may need to specify it when printing abroad. Also, for customs purposes, it matters whether the book was printed, for example, in China or Hong Kong, or Mexico, so, if this information isn't "immediately obvious on the copyright page or the back flap, you may experience delays," said Barnett. You may even have to restamp each book individually, she added.
--Be aware of the fact that while books are duty-free, book-plus products that may contain puzzles, toys, stationery and other items are not. According to Clark, the final duty determination may depend on whether the non-book items are being treated as separate items. For example, if the books were printed in Hong Kong and the book-plus items were assembled in China, it would be necessary to provide this information, i.e. "printed in Hong Kong, assembled in China," to make sure that the retail buyer would be aware of the origins of all parts of the products--or risk delays at customs.
--Finally, all panelists stressed repeatedly, always allow extra time for shipping. For example, standard "overnight" delivery service to Hong Kong is four days, Clark pointed out. While on average it takes 12 to 16 weeks to print a book overseas (depending on the prepress and proofing requirements), it takes more time during the peak season (in the summer) and the holidays. For your first book, he suggested, allow 16 weeks for its completion. Shipping from Asia to the West Coast usually takes 21 days, but it takes longer for other regions of the United States.