Time Inc.

The Doers and the Out-Dones
May 1, 2006

“Like it or not, we have to embrace complexity,” said Merriam-Webster President and Publisher John Morse, during the 2006 Book Business Conference and Expo (story on page 10), addressing “Book Publishing: the New Business Model.” I don’t know about you, but when something I am working on seems too complex, my first inclination is to stifle the pain that has begun to fester around my eyes and move on to something I can get done quickly. Complexity means time. Time I just don’t have. But when it comes to today’s publishing environment, the complexities can seem so mammoth that the festering, behind-the-eyes pain and inclination

What's Up Doc? Globalization.
August 1, 2005

Talk of globalization is everywhere, even at the doctor's office—or mine, at least. A simple visit to the doctor last night turned into a discussion about offshoring. The doc had heard about the new book by New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, called "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). He was quite affected by the reports he had heard about it, and he is not alone. Despite the fact that almost every industry is individually trying to harness the impact that offshoring will have in the long run, and that offshoring has been a

New Revenue Opportunities and Efficiencies for Publishers
February 1, 2005

We are in a time when book publishers are being squeezed from nearly every direction. The rising costs of paper, printing, shipping and warehousing are driving up manufacturing costs, which the already-compressed bottom line cannot absorb. Beyond this, an increasingly inefficient traditional supply chain that accounts for most of the industry's revenue is gradually becoming its Achilles' heel. Given these circumstances, and without a best-selling title or two, a publisher's only real option for handling profit pressures is to wring out costs. Opportunities exist, but it is challenging to change the processes that are so entrenched in how the publishing business is run.

Will Your Sustainability Efforts Stack Up?
August 1, 2004

Most publishers are relatively tone deaf to adversarial activist campaigns. And so far, large, mainstream publishers have been only lukewarm in their response to voluntary multi-stakeholder collations like the Green Press Initiative/EPA Resource Conservation Challenge, which is calling on publishers to improve their ecological footprint. But, it will be increasingly difficult to ignore the growing number of institutional investors that are calling for big business to address the sustainability challenge. Socially responsible investment funds and indexes that employ sustainability performance ratings now represent in excess of $2 trillion in holdings. The influence of these funds is rising as they are rapidly moving from

CtP's Progeny
June 1, 2004

In an age of on-demand cable, print-on-demand and instant messaging, it's no wonder publishers say the most important aspect of computer-to-plate technology is faster turnaround times. Over its 10-year life span, CtP technology has brought the industry as close to on-demand turnaround times as possible, shortening production time and streamlining the manufacturing process. It means publishers can drop pages in their printers' laps knowing they'll be turned around quicker than Barry Bonds swinging at an 0-2 fastball. Time-sensitive subjects are now brought to market faster. What Martha Stewart knew or didn't know about the stock price of Imclone, or what President Bush knew

A 'World's First' for 'World's Oldest' Bookbinder
February 1, 2004

Acme Bookbinding's newest worker can't get injured on the job when doing back-breaking work. The reason: It's a robot. One of the most labor-intensive and expensive tasks in our industry is the chore of cutting cover materials for hardcover bindings. Generally, cutting cover materials is not a problem for large edition bindings. Kolbus and Crawley have furnished the industry with equipment where cover materials cut from rolls are de-curled, and are either sheeted or cut to size, with remarkable efficiency. Still, lifting a 54" roll of covering material, and mounting it into a cloth cutting machine, is hard, back-breaking work. These days, with larger edition runs increasingly

Antarctica Bound
October 1, 2003

With an emphasis on computerized design and workflow; increased use of digital, on-demand and cross-media output; and populist—indeed, personal editorial standards, modern book publishing bears little resemblance to the craft practiced a generation ago. Some in the industry worry that the joined-at-the-hip crafts of publishing and printing are epochs approaching an end. In the future, anyone with an Internet connection and digital cash will be able to publish a nice looking (and, hopefully, nice reading) hardbound, softbound, or e-book. One, some, or all three. Readers will buy them online, for an e-pittance, in numbers unthinkable today, along with the classics, pop titles, textbooks,

Hands Across the Water
May 1, 2003

Integrated Book Technologies Inc. (IBT Global), a leading U.S. digital book manufacturer, is partnering with Biddles Ltd., one of Great Britain's top book manufacturers. The companies hope pairing their organizations will provide multinational marketing advantages. The cost of manufacturing and shipping short-run books overseas is around $2.50 per unit, decimating a title's earning potential. And the costs of managing unsold overseas copies make expenses even more onerous, says Mark Tracten, director of American operations for Crown House Publishing Ltd., in the U.K. Tracten was IBT Global's first customer, when he owned and operated publishing company Brunner/Mazel Inc., in the U.K., a decade ago. Tracten

Time Machine
May 1, 2003

There's only one way a print shop makes money: When the presses are running. When presses are idle, jobs are delayed, worker productivity plummets, and customers start screaming. Excluding system failures, the biggest culprit behind downtime is the make-ready process. That's when operators shut presses down to adjust paper size, ink settings, and feeders. Make-ready limits how many jobs printers can fit in an eight-hour shift. But some press manufacturers offer technology that cuts make-ready time to zero. They're called, appropriately enough, zero-make-ready (ZMR) presses. "The time it takes from form to form, plus how many signatures of waste you create form

Pedal to the Metal
July 1, 2002

For publishers that want to roll out new titles with thunder, fronting them with a heavy metal paper could be the answer. Used primarily to manufacture jackets and paperback bookcovers, metallized papers possess characteristics that more readily attract customer attention in the bookstore. Metallized paper is often specified by the publisher in order to create a dramatic, livelier affect. "We use it occasionally on a lot of sci-fi type books," says John Carbone, chief operating officer of Phoenix Color (www.phoenixcolor.com). "Word Publishing, a religious group, also uses it quite a bit to enhance its crosses." Carbone says publishers may also choose the metal