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Gene Therapy
May 1, 2008

The publishing industry’s intensified movement toward going “green” was highlighted by recent reports from three major trade groups—the Book Industry Study Group (BISG), the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and the Printing Industries of America/Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF). In this column, I summarize the major features of each of these reports, as well as note a bit of contention on some of the findings, that point to the why and how of going “green” for publishers and book printers. (For an extensive and very useful backgrounder, check out the article “The Green Team,” by James Sturdivant, in Book Business, February 2008, also

PMA Speaks Out Against Amazon’s POD Policy
April 11, 2008

PMA, The Independent Publishers Association, which represents more than 4,000 independent publishers, has issued a statement denouncing Amazon’s recent policy aimed at publishers who use print-on-demand (POD) technology to sell directly on Amazon.com. The online retailer has directed that these publishers must either print their POD titles exclusively through Amazon’s BookSurge subsidiary for fulfillment of orders placed through its Web site, or incur additional cost to print elsewhere and maintain inventory with Amazon. “This policy imposes a significant financial burden on tens of thousands of small and independent publishers who can least afford it,” says Terry Nathan, PMA executive director. “Without the opportunity to

New Book Printing Products Unveiled at On Demand Conference
March 14, 2008

Nearly 25,000 publishers, printing industry professionals and others congregated at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center last week for the On Demand Conference & Exposition and AIIM International Exposition & Conference. The event featured product launches and announcements from a variety of companies, including those impacting the book publishing industry. Among those of interest to book printing professionals: Ultimate Technographics Montreal-based Ultimate Technographics unveiled its new Impostrip Book Stacker 2.0 at the conference and garnered a Best of Show Award in the Workflow Solutions category. According to the company, the product won “for its unique concept of automating and optimizing the production of

The ‘Green’ TEAM
February 1, 2008

According to one of the better-known accounts in the compendium of humankind’s greatest achievements, it was in the year 105 that a Chinese man named Ts’ai Lun invented paper, mashing up wood from a mulberry tree with fiber from bamboo. Thus was born a technology that would literally change the world, making possible artistic, scientific and religious revolutions, democratizing literacy and learning, and ushering humanity into the modern age. In recent times, paper production has played a role in changing the world in other ways. The book industry alone required 3 million to 4 million tons of paper over just the last three years,

Solutions Showcase: Covering All the Possibilities
January 16, 2008

The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” may be sage advice, but the publishing community knows better—that it is an intriguing cover that catches the potential reader’s eye. Indeed, a title’s cover is its most valuable marketing tool—an integral part of the publisher’s and author’s brand. So it makes sense that great thought typically goes into a book’s cover design and production. So was the experience for Walter T. Shaw, a first-time author whose nonfiction book, “A License to Steal,” is being published this year by Omega Publishing Group and manufactured by HCI’s print services division in Deerfield Beach, Fla. The

An Eco-Friendly Resource: Pinnacle Press’ new director of publishing is set to promote environmental initiatives
January 4, 2008

When book-component printer Pinnacle Press hired Deborah Bruner as its new director of publishing in late December, she also assumed an additional role: director of eco-friendly initiatives. Bruner says she will not only work with publishers in regard to their print needs, but she also will help them incorporate eco-friendly papers into their business without “blowing their bottom line.” She spoke with Book Business Extra about the growing trend of printers focusing on eco-friendly business practices and how she will support publishers who are considering using more recycled stock. Book Business Extra: What is your role going to be with Pinnacle Press? Deborah

34 Cost-Cutting and Time-Saving Production Tips
December 1, 2007

Publishers looking to cut costs and production time face a wealth of challenges, not the least of which is shaking off old conceptions. Putting the focus on content, rather than on books as manufactured objects, can paradoxically help to uncover new ways to speed up the workflow (or, more accurately, customize the workflow to meet the needs of individual projects), and do so in as cost-effective a manner as possible. Common themes among those who shared with Book Business their cost- and time-saving production tips are planning and adaptability, which depend on effective communication. Despite all the technological advances of recent years (and

22 Tips for Healthier Offshore Manufacturing Relationships
December 1, 2007

When the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) hosted its annual Publishing University conference in Chicago in early November, publishers, printers and vendors who attended the “Offshoring” session were provided with tips, advice and a few fair warnings about partnering with offshore manufacturers. Jennifer Butenschoen, director of production at Harvest House Publishers, which publishes Bibles, self-help titles and gift books, presented a 90-minute crash course on the topic, during which she offered tips that Book Business readers should find useful in evaluating their own offshore manufacturing strategy. More than 100 million Harvest House books have been sold worldwide since the company’s conception in 1974. Now

18 Tips for Environmentally Conscious Publishing
December 1, 2007

1. Make “green” publishing company policy. That may sound daunting, but it can be done. Tyson Miller, director of the nonprofit Green Press Initiative (GPI), which helps publishers make informed environmental choices, suggests publishers make a commitment that demonstrates to printers, suppliers and mills that the market is shifting, and they will need to invest in developing new papers to meet the growing need. “Publisher commitments have been instrumental in the development of 24 new environmental sheets in North America within the last four years. The policy or commitment also serves to reinforce environmental responsibility as a priority in addition to creating cohesion within

12 Profitable Book-Production Tips for Publishers and Printers
December 1, 2007

Book-production management is, in many respects, an act of faith. For some, faith in the universality of Murphy’s Law—if something can go wrong, it will. Or, faith that virtue is its own reward—if you do everything right, things will always come out right. Old hands come to realize that “trust but verify” is probably the most prudent maxim to apply in managing workflow. Without systems in place and proven procedures, we’d have to reinvent the wheel every time. But without an occasional revisit to the last batch of XBIT transactions or Job Definition Format (JDF) specifications sent through, that error in the PMS color