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The 6th Book Of Great Printing Tips From A Printing Pro


Copyright 2013 Printing By Design


This book is the sixth collection of blogs I have written since the last booklet and having done so over a period of the past months in order to help keep my clients informed and provide them with an understanding on how to get the most out of your printing jobs and at the same time reducing your costs. I hope you too find this helpful. ϮͲϮϮͲϭϯ Ira Blacker

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How Do You Determine A Quality Book Printer?

Whether you are self publishing or are a professional publishing company and seek quality printing for your books you will at some point be asking yourself the question of how you can determine a quality book printer from a lesser one. The answer most definitely is not to simply go with the one who supplies you with the lowest quote as in the long run the cost of printing books with the lowest bidder may inflate to more than your quote then if you went with a company of quality which possess skills and services that you will hope to count on.

Here are some of the things that you should be reviewing in order to choose a quality book printer for the best book printing company for your requisites. Book Printing Quote: Let’s face it; no one is suggesting that if you have two quotes and they are extremely far apart that you should go with the most expensive in that scenario. You still want reasonable book printing prices. However in most cases the pricing will be in a fairly narrow range. If the highest is way out of sorts from the rest, then you can toss that one, but if the lowest is too low on a comparative bases as compared to another book printer then ask the low bidder why and what they may be doing that is different in order to supply you with such a low book printing quote. In today’s economy you want to make sure the machines are being maintained, the specs are apples to apples and you are getting what you expect. Book Printing Services: Services are crucial in two respects; the first in that everything you need is in house and available to you. Should you need help with an ISBN number, bar code or QR code can they advise you on where to get it done (see http://www.pbdink.com/publishing-and-printing.html ). If you need design help or marketing suggestions do they understand and can they make suggestions for these things? Are you being oversold on the specifications? Do you really need all of the bells and whistles in order to sell your book? The second service that is crucial is that the company first understands your requisites then advising you on money saving ideas that still preserve the essence of what you seek. Many a book printer as most print shops will simply go with the specifications you provide to them or even try to up-sell you. A quality printing company will show you how you can save money by changing a specification or two without the loss of providing your readers with a quality product. Do They Provide Helpful Information? Does the company provide helpful information to you in order to make you better understand the road ahead and to feel more secure as you go down it? Another aspect of providing you with the best book printing information is that it also displays the level of knowledge and professionalism you would expect from a quality book printer. The simple fact is that customers want to know that they are doing business with experts. Does Your Book Printer Think Outside Of The Box? When you have a problem with your files is the print company there to help you with solutions? If you have a deadline to meet and you are late with your files can your service print a book for you by changing the methodology or equipment to help expedite your deadline? A quality printing company can help you in all of these areas.


In the long run the ultimate savings that a company can provide is with the overall relationship consisting of fair pricing, high quality service and a level of expertise that can meet all of your challenges: In essence someone that can think outside of the box when necessary and provide you with the backup that you would expect. The bottom line is that you benefit not only when you receive the quality services you require in the narrow sense but also benefit in a less specific way by receiving the type of quality services that in the long run also benefit you by saving you money. This is so because your book printer, when providing you with the best book printing services possible will also as a direct result of doing so save you money over the longer course of the production of your manuscript even though you did not go with the lowest quote at the time.


Nearing Year’s End So Plan 4 Calendar Printing To Promote Business, Book Or Magazine Yes, it is that time of year again when you should be thinking ahead on how to plan for your marketing strategy in the New Year. Economists are saying that 2013 will be worse than this year so how do you establish your niche and vault ahead of your competition? You can do so by printing calendars a promotional tool that keeps your message at a low cost in front of your customer’s eyes throughout the year. Every month your message is seen not just by your customer but by everyone who comes into that person’s office. In addition, every month you can have a new message, new product or service or both which serves as a reminder to your customer of the benefits of doing business with you, buying your product, utilizing your service, buying your book or reading your magazine. Calendar printing is one of the most cost effective ways that you can spend your hard earned marketing dollars promoting your business throughout the year. Calendars, when done well, can enhance the attractiveness of an office and display your product or services at their best. There are many styles of calendars from the old fashioned desk calendar on a ringed base, to the modern and more cost effective ones on an easel back. Wall calendars come in a variety of sizes, from 8.5 x 11”, 9 x 12”, 11 x 17” or larger. The larger you get though you may limit your bindery types to the more costly spiral or less appealing top staple rather than the usual saddle stitching. The average page counts of a self cover calendar are 28, or if separate cover 24 plus cover. This is so in order to allow for a calendar grid on the top or bottom page, usually bottom and an image page on the other so that when fully open as a “spread”, you see the image and the calendar grid. If your calendar printing venture is created as a self cover, the recommended stock is 100# gloss book so that it can be supported on a nail or tack and not rip. If a separate cover, then the minimum for the cover would be the same 100# gloss book for self cover calendar printing and no less than 80# for the inside as you would want paper that can last throughout the year for your calendar. Grids are easy to come by or to create. If you are graphically challenged you can create one in Excel. If not, then you can create a calendar grid in Illustrator. For those who simply do not want to bother, they are easily downloaded from many free sites on the internet. If you are not sure of the quality or DPI, dots per inch, of the calendar grid you are downloading than the safest thing is to download a calendar grid without screens and all solid line art. You also would be best served if you can find one that is not an image file but in software you can further work in or convert to software that you can, in order to add your own touches and information under many of the dates on the calendar. For images, you can use images of your own products, services, family, pets, books you’ve authored and snippets there from or from articles you have published. There are many images you can download for no or little coast but they will not serve you as well as personalized images of that which you are looking to promote. In any case you will want to be sure that your images are 300 DPI, dots per inch and if unsure, you will want to be using images that are several MB or larger and CMYK when you add to your print file and not RGB as many are on the internet. If still not sure, blow up to 400 percent and that view is a good approximation of how they will print. If the images you have chosen for printing calendars are fuzzy, or bit mapped (pointed square pixels are visible) than the image is of low quality and should not be used for your calendar printing. Copy, many times ignored is important if you want to convey a strong message about your product or service. Write compelling copy, first thanking the user for being a valued customer all year long and then moving on describing the benefits of your product and/or doing business with you. In any case never talk about what you offer as the customer only wants to hear about the benefits to him or herself. Use testimonials if you can garner some from your customers as that is a great way of attracting new ones.


We hope that we have incentivized you regarding the benefits of calendar printing for your business and we look forward to hearing from you should you consider doing one.


To Print Or Not To Print, That Is The Question? With today’s ever changing technologies and markets many businesses will be faced with the question of “do I call my printing company or my IT guy to get my message out”? The answer frankly is both! Due to tough economies, changing technology, including it being harder than ever to successfully be at the top of Google’s rankings as well as a population spreading their attention to all of the ways that you might get your message out you need to cover all of your basis. In some instances the digital world may suffice for you on its own and in others be useless and only the printed word will be of help to you in achieving your goals. Who will benefit best using a digital message? If your business is such, that your targeting market is youth, selling jeans or iPads as well as those who find themselves in front of a computer or hand held throughout the day. An example of generational examples would be Millenials or Generation 2001ers, born after 1980 and Baby Busters or Generation Xers born between 1965 and 1980. What grabs the attention of folks who are constantly in front of a glass screen, whether computer, tablet or smart phone, is a direct message, addressing their potential interests, to their device. You will also need to effectively address these people with a message that resonates with them specifically with one that will grab their attention. Like all niche marketing this is crucial. Since 2000 North American Internet usage growth is up by 153 percent with world growth by 566 percent, thus there is no denying that the digital world is a place where one must be to market their products and services.

Who will benefit best from the printed word? Despite the success of the digital world there is still a place for commercial printing in your marketing kit bag. Just to show you some numbers there is $90 Billion spent annually at various printing companies in North America. Therefore one may extrapolate that all of these businesses still visiting their local printing company are not just throwing money to the wind, but that they are actually enjoying a success with their marketing campaigns. Many times commercial printing is a local business, catering to such niche markets as the local dry cleaners or auto repair shops. These companies may benefit from flyers and brochures or they may be advertising in a local market magazine or even a coupon magazine getting their message out directly to the community they service. Many of these same companies across the country are dependent on the products they get in order to run and service their business. They may receive a catalog from a national company who supplies them with their tools of trade. Therefore the need arises for these local companies to have a quick and ready reference to order parts for their equipment or items for their customers without having to leave their post and/or boot up their computer. Therefore we can know from this that the catalog printing company is still serving a purpose.

In conclusion, most business benefit from using a combination of dealing with a quality IT Company as well as a first rate commercial printing company. As Google marketers and SEO specialists know, they can no longer depend on Google to rank a website high solely for on page content. One now is forced to enter the world of social networking and have commentary, quips and pitches on Face Book, Twitter and LinkedIn among dozens of others and with link backs to their URL. In that sense there is not only room for both commercial printing and the digital world, it is paramount to the success of a company’s marketing campaign to be utilizing the best of both worlds. Done successfully, such as using web marketing and advertising in conjunction with email marketing, direct mail marketing, magazine printing and catalog printing as well as all of the other printed entities that your commercial printing company can supply for you, it amounts to a great branding campaign. Getting your brand out there allows all of the instant recognition of it to help drive your sales. Even commercial printing is evolving with the advent of 3D printing which will greatly expand the role of printing


in our time due to the massive expansion of what can be printed as well as expanding the definition of the word printing.


Don’t Get In A Bind. Discover The Best Book Binding Style For Your Book There are many styles of binding to choose from when you are printing a book. The question to be asked is which style serves you best as well as what that style may allow for. When considering book printing and binding, the issues are one of cost as well as potential use. Some libraries will only stock a case bound book and some users, such as text books would benefit from a book that will lay flat or relatively so when reading on a table top. Let’s take a look at some of your choices for printing books and how they bind.

Perfect Bind Perfect bound books are most typified by the soft cover pocket book. They can be bound from either folded signatures or from individual collated shits if the book is printed digitally. The digitally printed books can be if necessary reinforced with top stitching but usually this is not required. Adhesive Case Bind This is a library edition hard covered book where the pages, either from printed and folded signatures or digitally produced during the book printing are bound together by the use of glue. In most cases the glue is PUR glue which is very strong. Adhesive bound books have an identifiable look with a rounded spine. Top Stitched This is a stitching along the binding edge on the horizontal and is sometimes used by the book printer to secure the pages together prior to using an adhesive for the bindery. Smythe Sewn Smythe sewing is the traditional way utilized to sew signatures into place at the spine further reinforced with a backer and adhesive. It is exceptionally strong and allows the book to lay reasonably flat. Lay Flat Bind Lay flat book binding allows a space where the signatures are sewn into the spine backing allowing the spine to rise as the book is laid flat. You will notice a hollow space between the pages and the exterior edge of the spine. This is ideal for text books or for those who prefer to read a book on a table top. Wire-O Bind Wire-O binding for books is a wire visually looks like the wire was inserted in rows of two. Like spiral binding for books, it is a continuous wire that feeds at the top in rows of two and hooks into the hole to meet itself on the bottom. It tends to lay a bit flatter than spiral, is more durable as it is made of metal and as spiral, come in many colors. In my own estimation it tends to look more up-market than spiral does. Spiral Bind Spiral book binding is generally made of plastic and simply threads into the wholes, winding from one into the next in a continuous fashion. Spiral bound books also lay flat and come in many colors. Comb Bind


Comb binding in book printing is the “ugly duckling” of all the book binding types. Therefore it is not used in book printing for its attractiveness and is generally used for low end production of manuals at copy shops. There is however one reason why a book printer would utilize comb binding and that is when the user requires the book to lay relatively flat and be able to have a printed spine, something that only case or perfect binding allows for. It is a one piece plastic mechanism with hooks thread through pre punched holes at the spine and folds into a bottom curled section of the comb. The one downfall of comb binding is that usage sometimes allows for it to come apart.

Hidden Wire-O Book printing companies also refer to this as concealed Wire-O and it is accomplished with a slightly wider cover printed, scored and folded back prior to inserting the wire so that after insertion and the cover, with spine folding forward, the front cover and spine have the appearance of a perfect bound book, allowing for writing on the spine with the wire only visible from the rear. This process can also be adjusted to have the wires show only on the front cover for effect as well. It is one of my favorite looks for an “imitation perfect bound book” that will also lay very flat as well as have a visible spine when displayed on the book shelf. Choose the binding type that serves your interests best as well as the page count and design of your book printing project. We look forward to hearing from you regarding the printing and binding of your book in order to discuss with you which book binding type suits your requirements best.


Why Page Counts Are So Important To Magazine Printing If you are planning to print a magazine then one of the factors you will want to consider is how many pages should comprise your issue. The answer to this is based upon the amount of signatures your magazine will require to be printed. There are several factors you will want to consider, each with its merits. While this may not be all of the considerations you will be required to make when magazine printing, they are some important ones that can decide whether your magazine will be the success or not that you had anticipated. As a magazine printer I will endeavor to help you here in the area of what constitutes a beneficial page count.

Magazine Printing Costs: When you are printing magazines, you are paying the magazine printing company on the basis of signatures produced. A signature is the press form running through the web printing press which can be 16, 32 and up to 48 depending upon the size of the press and the roll size it can accommodate. Let’s focus in on 16 pages as that is typical for many magazine printers and even those who run 32 page signatures are running “double 16’s” or twin rolls simultaneously of 16 pages each. When you run less on your final form than 16 pages your cost per page goes up. Many magazine printers will not even run a 12 page signature as it may cost more than running one of 16 pages due to extra bindery costs or the odd sized roll required. An additional 8 pages, can run as a “double 16” with the same form doubled up on the same roll, but there are still additional bindery costs and if a small run the set up for those 8 amortizes over the run as a greater magazine printing cost than any of the 16 page signatures. If your final signature has only 4 pages, there is no gain, but only cost pain therein. At that point you may as well just run a separate cover on heavier stock, dress it up with UV or whatever else that can help you market. Advertising Profit and Loss: Herein lies an ugly truth in magazine printing costs, in that if a given signature costs you X dollars on your magazine printing run, and a 12 page signature costs, as in many cases the same amount if not more, then the cost per page is costing you more when you print magazines than on any of those pages within the other 16 page signatures. If you have a posted advertising rate, and the rate for printing magazines is X dollars per page, and your cost per page is more for any odd, non 16 page signature, then you are receiving less income, possibly even losing money on any adds sold on a signature that is less than 16 pages. It may on this basis alone not be worth accepting the additional adverts depending on exactly how many odd pages other than the full signature your magazine will print. Less Is More: The marketing affect from selling out all adverts is huge as you move on to the next issue and once again contact your current advertisers as well as potential new ones. The greatest phrase your sales staff can utter is “our last issue was a sell out on advertising”! It is my opinion from having market experience over the years, that the sell out allows you more millage in your marketing, advertising and public relations success than the few extra dollars earned by selling only a couple of more pages. Don’t let greed dictate when you can become a true capitalist and gain the upper hand for you magazine and benefit on future issues from this wise decision.


Paper Choices Can Make Or Break Your Budget And Quality In Commercial Printing Choosing the right paper is essential to controlling your costs as well as the final outcome of your magazine, book or catalog. If you consider that on an average web printing press, paper can be fifty percent of your cost. With respect to impact choosing the right paper will also have an effect on the end user. Let’s take a look at how these all come into play and hopefully you will be able to make the wisest choices possible whether you are printing magazines or posters.

Magazine Printing: With magazine printing weight becomes a very important item. This is primarily due to the fact that magazine printing costs are very much driven by paper costs and as paper is approximately one half of the cost of printing magazines, this is a cost you would want to control. Paper weights at the biggest presses can run as low as 32# text weight, but you better be prepared to run huge quantities as your magazine printer will not be willing to buy truckloads of paper for anything less. Occasionally you may find some of the mid-sized web printers having access to 36-38#, but that still is not the norm. The lightest coated papers that web printing presses usually stock are 40# text, but more frequently 45#. Another reason for considering lighter stocks are the postage costs when you print a magazine for mailing, as the cost of postage will vary depending on the weight of the finished product. Also , if you desire a separate cover, which is not economical, but can be used for effect, such as perfect binding or adding UV, I usually recommend 100# text rather than going with the more costly cover weights. The other factor in deciding on which stock is the understanding your magazine readership. In other words if your niche is similar to Tiffany, you may want to appear more luxurious and utilize heavier weights, starting with 70# text. You may also want to consider dull coated vs. gloss for an effect, especially if you are “hitting” the images with a gloss varnish. Uncoated stocks are generally not used, unless again for effect, although I prefer dull coated due to the similar look yet the crisper images due to its coating which allows the ink to sit on top, for a richer magazine look. Book Printing: The paper stocks in book printing are somewhat limited in that if it is a standard commercial soft cover book, the usual is 50# or 60# uncoated offset. A nice money savings idea is the 45# alt offset, which is the highest grade of recycled newsprint in that it looks exceptionally similar to standard offset book printing paper stocks. Most of the better book printers will not use regular newsprint due to demand and the extra dust it causes on the book printing press. Text books may require a heavier stock due to the continual usage and 70# is fairly standard. When you move up to 80# you will find little if any available on rolls for web printing which is the printing press of choice and economics for printing books. Color book printing on the other hand, assuming it has a lot of image content, does better with the coated stocks as similar to magazines and the usual weights for usage and economics would be 60, 70 or 80# coated stock and the final choice will be based on usage and cost as you buy paper by the pound. Catalog Printing: Catalog printing produces a product that usually is utilized like a text book, over and over as a reference guide unless you are sending one out via direct mail marketing in order to prospect for new business, where you may want lighter weights due to postage, the repeated usage via thumbing through the catalog calls for paper stock that will hold up to the wear over time and the recommended stock would be 70 or 80# as opposed to a direct mail one where your catalog printer may recommend 60# due to the postage again. Another factor as with a magazine is how luxurious is your widget? You would go up in weight for that luxury feel, but if you are selling “tchotchkes”, as my grandmother would say


(cheap stuff), you may be better served with a 40 or 45# coated or even a 45# alt offset. I will add here that all coated stocks from 70# and up are usually a grade three and up, being brighter and more opaque, while the 40-45# usually come with ground wood, which would be grades 4 or 5 depending on more or less of it. Poster Printing: Most posters are usually done by a poster printer with a sheet fed press as very few web printers have a “sheeter”, which can trim the roll at its end in and not fold the poster inline as if it were a press signature for a book or magazine. This also can allow for heavier stocks as a sheet fed printing press can run heavier stocks and have more choices including the high end colored papers that do not come in rolls for web printing. The one thing about a poster is that it is large, so I never recommend thinner stocks as they can tear with handling or crease when rolling the posters. I suggest you always ask you poster printer for 100# gloss or dull text weight stock as it will allow you to handle the poster with less chance of damage. Calendar Printing: Calendar printers will offer you choices based on usage. Some calendars will be written on by the end user a lot so that a dull text is best for calendar printing for that type of use as it is easier to write on. Most calendar printing utilizes gloss text and what is important to know here is that if a self calendar, where all pages are printed as one 28 page form on the same paper stock, once hanging a single page needs to be able to support the weight of the entire calendar. Therefore it is considered standard to utilize 100# coated text and not anything lighter as it will rip through the nail that the calendar hangs on. If you require a heavier separate cover, you can use the 100# coated or heavier cover weights and then drop the inside weight for your calendar to 70 or 80# coated paper. Presentation Folders: Presentation folders will almost always run on a sheet fed press and you can choose from coated to offset uncoated stocks including many of the fancier custom papers from Neenah or Strathmore for whatever effect you seek. The one guiding factor in presentation folder printing is weight, as you will want something sturdy, especially if you are printing presentation folders with “capacity” pockets and spine. These are pocket folders that have a double die score and usually allow for a minimum of an eighth of an inch in the depth of the pocket rather than just being folded up and glued from the bottom as it allows you to stuff in more items. A good minimum for a regular folder is 12 pt, but if capacity I would recommend 14. To summarize, paper can make or break your commercial printing project. It can make it look luxurious or pedestrian. It can make your magazine printing costs excessive or affordable, so the knowledge of what are both appropriate for commercial printing, your wallet and the end user is an important issue to deal with. It can make all of the difference whether you have a successful project or not.


Why Spend On Print Ads? Create Your Own Magazine Instead! There are a myriad of valid reasons why people use print advertising in order to promote their business or services. Print is not dead it is just sharing the field with more media ever since online advertising moved in to join, radio, television, billboard advertising and more. The question remains for those of you who do choose print media, an old and true form of advertising, which presents its best returns and branding for your dollar. I include branding, as an advertisement may offer you immediate returns, but not necessarily long term, where branding offers you long term results doing to the familiarity of your brand. I think we can agree therefore that print advertising in all of its forms from newsprint adverts to flyers or posters that print will be around for quite some time. Therefore, which may offer you a better bang for your buck along with the ancillary benefits of branding and uniqueness of approach? I proffer that magazine printing may offer you the whole enchilada as it serves the immediate and it is a more unique and personal approach than many other forms of print advertising as well as offering you the additional benefit of branding due to its audience capture, repetitive release and the branding it offers your company and products. Should you succeed at creating a monthly or even quarterly issue when you print a magazine for your business or services, you build a readership that can look forward to receiving the next issue of your magazine. You do not have to limit yourself to articles and pictures when printing magazines. You can incorporate national or local items of interest to your readership, even syndicating some columns from the syndicators of other writers or even blogs or online articles. You can even benefit from printing a magazine, as you personalize it, informing customers about in house goings on and the staff you employ as your magazine may also become an important in house organ and increase employee participation with and also increase their loyalty to the company and potentially their output. Your magazine can become a great place to offer unique specials only available to your loyal customer subscribers to your magazine, where you encourage repeat business and they can look forward to your special sales promotions. In this way you lock in your audience who are always eagerly awaiting your next issue in order to see how your magazine can provide them with new benefits. Let’s face it, it is not about what you offer, it is about how your customer benefits from doing business with you. A great benefit about a well thought out and run magazine is that unlike other forms of print advertising, yours may pay for itself within the scope of the printing and marketing of the magazine on its own, especially if you open it up to advertising from non competing businesses or services that are similar to the buying demographics of your core audience. That said, repetition becomes your friend with every issue of the magazine you print as each successive time you print a magazine you are hammering home your sales pitch and reinforcing your products or services benefits to the consumer. The long term benefit of printing a magazine for your business is that it helps establish your brand. It is important to create a quality masthead and logo, which you should already have had for your business onto your magazine so that with each successive magazine you print you are further inculcating your brand into the minds of your readers as well as anyone else they pass it on to for a fresh read. The branding of your image and business creates a familiarity and instant recognition as you further market your brand over time. The more recognizable your brand is, with the help of your magazine, the easier it becomes for you to increase sales, penetrate new markets and grow your business. Magazine printing can offer you many roads to success and at the same time become an enjoyable enterprise on its own for you to discover and at the same time adding immeasurable value to your business and brand.


Book Printing And How You Can Keep Costs Down In A Rotten Economy

Like any form of printing or manufacturing, you are ultimately in charge of the costs of production. With book printing, the choices you make will affect what you pay. Paper weight, paper quality, book size, page count, signature count, ink colors all play into the final cost of printing your book. The net cost of printing books will be affected by how you make these decisions, so if you are self publishing your own book or just a thrifty book publishing company, then these decisions need to be well thought through by the time you request a book printing quote from your book printer. Book Text Ink Colors: Many people like to see a color other than black as a border or decorative item on the text pages. By doing so you are adding the following costs to your book when web printing it. You add an additional plate to the run, which can cost up to a couple of hundred dollars, an additional ink charge, which can cost about the same and possibly a bit more pre press time. Additionally there may be a larger set up fee for the run itself due to registration or other issues on press. With digital book printing for the shorter runs (we many times depending upon page size, page count etc. may choose to run on the digital printing press as it may be more cost effective) you have an even wider gap on costs between black only or adding a single color. This is due to the fact that most digital presses are either built to run black only or full process four color book printing. There is not an in-between choice, unless you count the two colors, poorly priced and with much less quality, the Rizzo press. Paper Weight: There are two basic papers utilized for the printing of most books and with a slight variance between web printing and digital print (see below). The standard stock for most books is either 50 or 60 pound offset, with 45 pound alt offset (highly refined newsprint) that is a better buy than 50 pound but only available for web printing presses and not digital printing. 70# is recommended for textbooks due to the higher usage by one or more students over time. Remember though, you buy paper buy the weight just as you buy meat at the butcher, by the pound. To keep pricing down keep your paper weight down. With digital book printing due to the fact that we do not buy paper in rolls as web printers do, and buy single sheets of either 8.5 x 11 or 11 x 17 inches, these paper prices are driven down by the heavy use and sale of copy bond of which the standard 20# bond is the exact same paper as 50# offset, unless you are buying Finch or Strathmore and want to see a watermark. Thus there is a 25% difference in the price of 50# vs. 60# for use on a digital press. Paper Quality and Finish: Digital must use smooth paper stock due to how the laser toner lays down, while web printers can use vellum or wove. Do not expect to find many varieties of finishes on a web press. While there are a few eclectic papers, your cost will rise dramatically. Remember that with web printers you always want to be “swimming downstream” and work with the press. Book Page Size: Size does matter! The reason for this is yield or how many pages can be culled from a sheet or roll of paper. Your standard size on a web press is 5 3/8 x 8 3/8” or even 6 x 9” with some book printing companies. The 5 3/8 x 8 3/8” page size allows for between 32 and 64 pages depending upon the web printer’s press size and roll size. Odd size pages that fall between these and an 8 3/8 x 10 7/8” size, such as a 7 x 10” or 8 x 8”, while all doable has a lot of waste causing you to in reality pay for the full size page.


Page and Signature Count: Page counts are important as the more pages the more in cost to you. They are also important if you want to perfect bind your book as the usually accepted minimum width of the spine in book printing is one eighth of an inch. Signatures are also very important to your cost of printing books as you are virtually paying for your book printing on the basis of how many signatures are required to print it. The reason you see extra blank pages at the back of the book is that it is easier to print a book with full signatures than to remove a few pages. Check with your book printer and find out what his full signature count is. If he is running a 32 page press, then adjust your font/borders/copy, etc. in order to not have to print a couple of extra pages as that could be costly and wasteful. Most digital book printing companies will not tell you this, but they print 2 or 4 of the same page up in order to get the best “click price� for themselves. If you size your book to fit on an 8.5 x 11 sheet as two if for the digital book printer, and tell him in front that you want two up pricing you too can benefit by having the cost of printing your text pages cut in almost half. I say almost as there is usually a moderate charge for the cutting of the two book sections. With PBD, we do this automatically.


What Is The Best Process To Print A Book With? There are a variety of book printing presses that can be utilized by a book printer and the question as to which printing press is answered by the nature of the specifications you require for the printing of books. The main thing you will need to appreciate is that you pick the right printing press for book printing as that is paramount. What you also should know is that if you pick the incorrect one it may drive up your cost to print a book and even affect the quality of it. Docutech Digital Press: This press can be ideal for printing books up to 2,000 copies if your size is up to 5.25 x 8.25� or 1,000 copies if your size is larger and up to 8.25 x 10.75�. This press can collate as it outputs which helps keeping the cost to print down as it does not have to be collated after the fact. Be sure that the printing press utilized by the book printer is in fact a Docutech and not a copy machine as the quality will be less if it is a copier. iGen or Canon imagePRESS: When printing on a digital book printing press such as the Docutech for the text pages, the covers must be done on a color press, which the Docutech is not. This press is cost effective and fit right in with the printing quantities of the Docutech as well as offering advantages that older digital printing presses did not: They can print on gloss cover stock and up to 14 point thickness, where the Docucolor could only print to 10 point and not on coated stock. Another advantage with a book printer using the iGen or Canon is that these machines can allow you to either laminate or UV coat the covers as well. Needless to say the quality is far superior to the Docucolor and hard to tell from book printing on an ink press. Sheet Fed Offset Printing: It only pays to utilize sheet fed offset presses when the page count is low and the volume is more than efficient on a digital printing press. I would venture to say that it is a small volume gap between the digital and web press between maybe 2-5,000 with no more than about 64 pages plus cover. It further goes to point that your interests are best served with a 40� press as that allows the book printer to print 16 page signatures on one form. Web Offset Printing: Web printing can be cost effective starting at as little as 1,000 books depending on the page count and size of the book. Web offset printing offers you high speed and lower cost paper as the stock comes on large rolls. However the start up costs for a web printer is far more, upwards of 30% of the job than the smaller book printing presses. Covers would usually be produced on the sheet fed press as they generally would be too thick and possibly depending on quantity, too low a run for web printing. These are your press choices for when you want to print a book and it is important to understand them based on your receiving the best price possible from your book printer.


Think You Can’t Design Your Own Book? Think Again! You can design your own layout for book printing providing you follow these few steps. The hardest part is the cover as that is in full color but we will get to that too. The important thing is to be consistent and understand the basics and you will be just fine. After all, nothing beats printing a book to tell your story or to establish you as an expert in your field as people always want to do business with an expert. Some of the pitfalls you may already have experienced are muddy images, cut off of copy on the page or simply an inability of the printer to output your print files. Further, you even find out at crunch time that in order to print what you have that the price just went up at your book printer due to them not coming to them as proscribed in your book printing quote. Well, here are some failsafe basics that if you adhere to them you will be able to design and print a book with ease. Let’s then take a look at some of the necessities that will help you complete your design that will be ready for the book printers. What Is A Standard Trade Size? The following sizes are based on the use of web printing in order to print a book to a standard size: 4.25 x 7”, 5 3/8 x 8 3/8”, 6 x 9”, 7 x 9”, 8 3/8 x 10 7/8” or 9 x 12”. 6 x 9” or the fractional sizes tend to be more press efficient thus providing better pricing as the book printer bases his costs on the yield of the press sheet, with the more pages coming out of press signature the better the yield and therefore the better the price. Odd sizes in book printing are generally accomplished by trimming and with waste and thus no price advantage. Which Font Should I Use? Use a font which is attractive and one that may fit with the narrative. However in all cases use a font that is easy to read. I would stay away with overly elaborate fonts such as scripts and if very small type face even seraph fonts such as Times can become a problem. I prefer to stick with simple a font such as Arial or Calibri as an example. Margins And Print Area: This is important to understand as if you do not set up your margins and print area you may wind up with copy that is too close to the spine and less readable or copy that may be cut off in the trimming process. If your book is 6 x 9” as a final finished trim size, then most web printers will prefer 3/8” all around as a safety area for your page copy. This would translate to an image or copy area of 5 ¼ x 8 ¼”. You would want to set this up under your document settings so that each page is also consistent across the board. With perfect binding you would


also want the page image/copy area shifting slightly away from the spine. I don’t think Word can accommodate that, but the more sophisticated graphics software such as Adobe InDesign I believe can. In any event your book printing company should be able to accomplish this during imposition of the pages for the web press. Additionally try and avoid broken words with hyphenations or cramped copy within the printable margins. You can do this by a process called “kerning” which allows you to adjust the spacing of the letters in InDesign and I believe Word may have a scaled down version of that feature. A simple way would be to use a smaller font size if you find this happening. Also remember that in professional writing only a single space is used between sentence ending and the one following. Can I Use Word? Sure if you want to go through the “heartache of psoriasis” when printing your book. The problem with Word or anything other than the major page layout software such as InDesign, Quark Express, Corel Draw or Illustrator is that the rest are all inaccurate and will cause problems for the book printing companies when they are submitted files from them. Most book printing companies will not accept Word or similar files. The exception is POD or any short run printing using digital presses such as the Docutech, but the cover will still be a problem if you design in Word, which generally will default to low resolution, RGB color and not the CMYK color for professional printing and most importantly will create a reflow of your copy much of the time due to a lack of stability that is so common that it may occur from computer to computer as well. If you must use Word then be sure to have a PDF creating software that saves your document as an image file, thus locking in place the copy and the way it flows from page to page. Also if using Word, try not to use any clip art or images with screens or gradations from the solid lines as Word defaults to low resolution and it will print badly. What About My Book’s Cover? Hopefully you are not using Word, but if you do not have the funds to step up to Adobe InDesign, then consider Microsoft Publisher as it at least allows you more control of what you are creating than Word. However you must learn the program, especially on choosing colors. You must choose the custom colors using CMYK. Publisher does not make this easy as unlike InDesign where you can chose a color mode with a drop down, you must drill down in Publisher to find it. Since your cover will have images more than likely you must be sure they are imported as 300 dpi, CMYK images. Photoshop can do this, while most other software


cannot. You will then have to make sure that you are happy with the result when making your PDF as you can convert to CMYK there where you may see a slight shift in color. You can ask your book printer how thick the spine will be, so that you can layout your cover as one piece called a “printer spread”. K.I.S.S. must be the motto for a designer especially a new one. It is a long time computer acronym for Keep It Simple Stupid. No intention of insulting anyone reading this, but you need to do this as it will give you less grief should you do so. Create one color for the background of your book that crosses over the front back and spine and set all the rest into it. This way if there must be some adjustment with trimming it will not be very noticeable. If you had sharp color breaks between the cover sections it will be. Keep the font on the spine small enough that if it rolls over to accommodate bindery it is not overlapping onto the front or rear cover. Test What You Create: Do not rely on your screen EVER unless you are a consummate book printing pro. Your screen is not accurate and in many cases neither are you if a beginner. Print out copy and covers at Kinko’s on their postscript printers as your desk top one will not be accurate. There you can trim the pages and cover and wrap the cover around the book to make sure that all fits and that your resolution on the cover is accurate. A quick way of checking on the resolution of your color cover is to blow it up on screen to 400% and if you see pixels and not clean and sharp images, you have used non printable low resolution ones.


Advantages Of Web Printing Over Short Run Book Printing With a myriad of digital options to choose from for printing books, offset web printing still cannot be beat in almost every instance. Unless you are looking to print a galley for proofing or a few books in to send to publishers, if self publishing, in the long run your web printer will save you money for book printing of the most reasonable quantities. In addition to saving money, even with iGen covers which will accept UV coating, the one thing you need to consider with most short run book printing digital shops is the binding. Unlike PBD, many of these shops depend on the utilization of a small book binder purchased for the hand binding of small runs. Unless they know what they are doing and are using appropriate glues, such as PUR glue or similar, you may experience binding problems with short run book printing that you would not with a web printing press. This becomes especially important the wider the spine with larger page counts. Let’s talk money! When costs are an issue and when are they not these days, and if you require a few hundred books in order to self publish, then the benefit of using a book printer with a web press will afford you some excellent pricing even at very small runs. Now this also varies with different book printers, as each will have differing press efficiency, but many as we, can print 500 books cost effectively on a web press, especially if a larger page count. One of the tenants of commercial printing that I try and pass on to clients is that they should print for the long haul requirement of that which they are printing. In other words if you want to print a book, then before you self publish, hopefully you have a marketing strategy down pat, otherwise why bother? If you cannot market it you cannot sell it. Therefore with that strategy in mind, knowing how many promotional you will need for reviews, distributors, sellers and more, along with having sufficient quantities for sale on your website or back of the room speaking engagements, you will know what your book printing requirements are. I don’t know about you, but one thing that usually stops me dead in the tracks is this phrase: “Allow six to eight weeks for delivery”. When a purchaser is ready to make a purchase, many times it is a spur of the moment decision and “they want it when they want it”, which means now. Therefore you would be wise to have sufficient stock on hand and not rely on POD to fulfill orders, which if you are capable of selling books may be well more expensive than if you produced yours on a web press. Another thing to consider is; are you a believer and hopefully with good reason that hour book is capable of significant sales? The downside of POD is that every book produced is hemmed in by a click charge to Xerox or Canon thus not allowing you any significant savings as the quantities rise, thereby keeping your unit price virtually constant. With an offset web printing press for books, the price drops like a brick for the unit cost per book as you increase your run. In other words, if your cash flow permits and you can sell them, once the press is running, it is cheap by comparison to digital book printing to let the press run. It is always wiser to print more than less on a web printing press, with the start up costs being about a third of the run. If you print too little and need more copies you are magnifying your unit costs by an unnecessary and large amount. The reason is that your start-up costs are once again factored into the printing.


Maybe Best Low Cost Business Start Up Ever: Coupon Magazines If you are looking to start a business, have limited capital, seek great upside potential and do not need a great deal of expertise beyond common sense, then coupon magazine printing may just be your ticket to the bank. One of the nicest things about printing coupons in a magazine form is that it is a self fulfilling franchise, where you can actually franchise it or simply expand your base once you find the formula that makes the first publication work for you. Let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to know or learn on how you can create an exciting new business with coupon printing in a magazine format. Here are some of the things you will need to know as well as what type of capitalization you will require in order to have a successful venture: 1-CAPITAL: As with any start up business you will be required to have a certain amount of capital in order to get started with coupon magazine printing. To keep things simple at first as well as costs at the low end, you will need to assume the role of sales person. Therefore the out of pocket expenses, other than printing a coupon magazine for overhead, would be your auto expenses, telephone and distribution expenses, which if you have a van or truck would be limited expenses. The only large expense would be that of funding the cost of the coupon magazine printing. With respect to this, here I will greatly caution the reader, be prepared to have the cash on hand for the total cost of the publication’s printing in advance as well as any mailing costs should you integrate any direct mail marketing of your magazine. The last thing you would want to do is to try and finance your venture on the back of pending advertising sales income. Do not do this as you will find some advertisers will consider not paying you until your issue hits the street. Some may even not pay you at all, as in most business ventures there are the bad players. 2-MAGAZINE FORMAT: As with any publication to be printed you would want to take advantage of standard page sizing and page counts that are the most cost effective for you and that will also maximize the best cost and consistency of your advertising rates for your coupon printing. I will not deal with this hear, as I have covered this many times over in my blog writing pointing these things out. You can reference such blogs with respect to standard sizing, page count, press signatures etc. as all will be important to understand in order to allow for your best cost per page and thus your most attractive ad rates for your customers. I will also caution you here, that unless you have unlimited money to invest, stick with standard formats, page counts etc. and do not try and reinvent the wheel as all you will be doing is to reinvent your costs in an upwardly fashion and possibly to the point where your coupon magazine will have ad rates that simply are not conducive to acquiring advertisers. 3-MAGAZINE PRINT QUANTITY With the advent of quality digital print technologies such as the iGen or Canon machines that rival ink, you now have three different print technologies to utilize in order to cover a quantity range that can be as little as a few hundred to hundreds of thousands. Let’s assume you start with a sixteen page edition at letter size. I state letter size, which will vary slightly between print technologies for your coupon magazine printing. Digital toner and sheet fed presses, which may take you upwards of a 10,000 copy run, would consist of an 8.5 x 11” page size, but as the quantity and/or page count increases you would desire web printing for best costing and your page size would be reduced to 8 3/8 x 10 7/8” at a minimum. Paper thickness is also dependent on quantity as the technology you print on will have limitations as to how thin the paper is that you can print on. With web printing for your coupon magazine your printer may have no trouble supplying you with 40 or 45# gloss book paper stock. As paper may be half the cost of your magazine, thinner is usually better in order to keep costs low. Sheet fed and digital presses cannot print on anything thinner than 60#.


4-CONTENT: Here is where many miss the boat as there may not be any content whatsoever. Remember the old adage; content is king. Content may serve several purposes. It may drive people to read your coupon magazine and as an afterthought utilize some of the coupons. Your content may also be used in order to reward some better advertisers as well as to generally explain in more detail how the reader may benefit from utilizing your coupon and visiting the advertisers business. Whatever copy you write, make it relevant to your advertisers and readers. Create content that is chock full of tips to buyers on the best deals, happenings in the neighborhood, asking locals to contribute stories, posts or details regarding the neighborhood, including any comments about the local businesses. These may not be advertisers yet, but reading an article favorable to their business may be a sure fire way to get them to become advertisers. 5-ONLINE VERSION Have an online version as well as it serves as one more location where your advertisers may see their adverts and this can be accomplished with something as simple as a one page website with links to flip book versions of the exact printed piece. You will be able to let your potential advertisers know that the same ad they have in the printed coupon magazine will appear online as well. With PBD, we supply the online version at no cost to our clients providing they meet certain minimum provisions as posted on our web. 6-WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED? If you choose to work from home, you will not at first be saddled with rents and such for overhead. However, should you care to set up your business in advance with all of the usual necessities, you would best be served making sure you have appropriate insurance, legal and accounting counsel, resale certificate, register your business name as a d/b/a at the very least. It also would pay to join the local chamber of commerce where you can meet local merchants who would be prospective coupon magazine clients as well as pitch the chamber at one of their luncheons extolling the virtues of advertising with you in your magazine. As copy can set you apart from the competition invite local writers to submit relevant articles. Many may do so on a speculative basis in order to help you launch your venture which would then become a steady vehicle for the writer. If you intend to mail your coupon magazine be sure to check with the local post office in order to make sure your coupon magazine is in compliance for the best mailing rates, as well as acquiring the best but yet most cost effective mailing lists. Again, as I have blogged extensively on direct mail marketing you will find further information in those blogs regarding mail marketing. Hopefully I have provided you with sufficient input and hopefully some incentive in order to venture forth into the world of coupon magazine printing. We would be happy to help you with your new venture and look forward to speaking with you about it.


Every Business Must Have Its Own Newspaper! You own your own business or work for a medium or large corporation. Like any business you have needs that must be fulfilled in order for your business to succeed. Part of every day that you go to work, other than fulfilling the daily routine of sales and production you spend on attempting to conceive of ever new ways to promote your business both externally with additional sales and branding as well as internally with hiring, employee relations and general harmony and information flow. What better way of inexpensively doing all of this than by the newspaper printing or a newsletter that can be utilized both as a promotional vehicle for your products or services as well as an in house organ to promote your company’s interests? There are many choices for you for printing a newspaper or printing a newsletter so let’s take a look at what they are and how each may benefit your company. Newspaper vs. Newsletter: The essential difference is based on the size and paper available and generally used for each. A newspaper printing company generally prints on newsprint which comes in several different shades and sizes. The Los Angeles or New York Times as most newspapers utilize the basic 27.7 newsprint as it is the most economical to purchase. If you are printing a newsletter the paper will generally be 50# offset, better known as 20# copy bond. Size also matters as newsletter printing services are generally produced by copy shops or “quick” printers who only possess small presses and are incapable of producing large size sheets or even running newsprint which can only be run by a large web press. Therefore this tells you that if you need short quantities in the hundreds, stick with a newsletter or if larger quantities in the thousands newspaper printing is ideal for you and it is not very expensive. Also newsprint, in my opinion, seems to carry a more substantial weight of authority as it simply looks more impressive should you be able to utilize that format over newsletters. Available Sizes: Generally speaking newsletter printing implies the small press which means that your most cost effective size would be the 8.5 x 11” folded sheet. Page counts can be 4, 8.12, 16 or more if on a small press and 6, with a fold out page if you are printing enough newsletters to warrant a larger commercial printing press. Newspaper printing, which utilizes roll sizes and is constricted to the actual size roll any given web press can run, generally is available in three sizes, with each being dependent on the roll size of the newspaper printing press. The smallest page size would be 8 1/8 x 10 3/8”, which is typical of many cold set newspaper printing presses, the half tabloid size, approximately 11 x 14” and the full tabloid printing size of approximately 11 x 17” or up to 23” in length. Usually you will find the full tabloid sizing arriving at the newsstand as a quarter fold which is folding once in half and then right angling to a second fold. Paper Stocks: Paper stock choices are dependent on two things: availability from the mill and the press you intend to run on. Newsletters can not only print on the standard 50# offset, but also use heavier weight papers as well as gloss or dull coated paper stocks. Newspaper printing relies on newsprint and if otherwise, you would then need to produce what is a very cost effective item to a heat set web press in order to accommodate the use of the coated paper stocks with the heaters necessary to dry the inks. Newsprint comes in a variety of grades and brightness. The lowest grade is the Times aforementioned 27.7 newsprint and is the thinnest paper stock available and if only printing one color ink, that is more than sufficient. From there the available newsprint varies from 32-35# stock and may be called E Brite or Hi Brite and the important thing to know when buying it is the brightness which generally ranges between 70-80 brightness. Some newspaper printing companies may offer a unique stock called alt. offset or alt news in that the refining while recycling


of this paper removes the most ink so that it looks “government close� to offset as well as being available in heavier weights ranging from 40-45# stocks. Ink Colors: As with all print companies, you will have at your disposal anywhere from 1-6 colors, with 4 representing the process CMYK rainbow of colors and above that the spot Pantone colors. What will determine ink availability is going to be the press you print on as well as your wallet. Content: Here is something you can not only have fun with but also use in the branding of your products and services while making your customer base more fully aware of what those products or services are. You additionally benefit by adding a friendly and personal face to your company as your customers can become aware of your company events and the employees who work there. The fun part is that it can at the same time serve as a house organ, promoting company policy with the newspaper as well as in house company events. It may even serve a purpose of spotlighting the employee of the month, serving to highlight the efforts of the employees as a reward for a job well done.


All Books Are Not Created Equal: Custom Book Printing May Be For You There are many factors that can differentiate your book from the next and depending on the book printer you are quoting with and the book printing presses they utilize they may offer some but not all of the varieties available for the custom book printing that you seek. Therefore the very first choice you will need to make is to verify that the capabilities you seek from your book printer are possible or if you will need to seek elsewhere for those capabilities. Choices overall vary in book printing from the standard to the eclectic and your choice will depend on both your wallet and as well as press capability in order to meet your requirements. Remember, standard configurations will be less cost, but if that is not the requisite and you want to differentiate, by all means but just be prepared to pay a bit more. Case Binds: Case binds come in several ways with respect to construction. The most common today is adhesive bind, with a rounded back which does not utilize any form of stitching. Generally speaking, if PUR glue, which is super strong, is used and the usage of the book is standard this will suffice. For heavier usage Smythe sewing (between and through each signature) or stitching along the spine if produced on a Docutech, which cannot produce signatures as a web press will add strength to the bind. There are also treatments such as edge staining of the text, gilding or scalloping of the text face edge that can also add to the look when you print a custom book. Cover materials can also be available in eclectic materials such as leather or imitation leather, or any other type of material that may be available. Laminated Label On Board: This is the same as case bind in all respects, but instead of a cloth or imitation cloth covering on the boards, a gloss text weight label is “laminated onto the boards and folded over onto the inside which is covered by the end sheets that glue from the inside cover and cross over to become a virtual first page. Here you can play with custom papers, be they recycled or colors of your choice in order to affect a more custom book printing look. The label is generally treated with a gloss film clear lamination or my simply have UV coating applied. This type of custom book printing and bindery type are generally associated with text books or children’s book printing. Pocket Books: The pocket book or soft cover perfect bind is generally what you find on the newsstand shelf but can be differentiated with custom paper stocks and treatments. Heavier covers can be utilized, such as 14 pt c1s from the standard 10 or 12 pt. Die cut windows offer a nice custom book printing touch to the cover, opening up to a nice design or special wording on the page behind it, and possibly on a gloss coated stock with full color inks. Foil stamping also may offer a nice effect on the cover of your custom book printing as well as metallic inks. French flaps, which is an extended front and/or back cover that folds in can also offer a nice touch as well as serve as an attached bookmark for the reader. Wire-O: I address Wire-O here and exclude spiral bind as they are almost synonymous other than I prefer Wire-O as it looks better and thus more professional. Additionally Wire-O is preferred by book binders as it costs the same to produce but is a quicker binding to implement thus speeding your job along at a faster pace. The nice thing about Wire-O bind is that you are not limited to simply the exposed wire material at the binding edge. With “Hidden Wire-O”, you can limit the exposure with a custom book printing and binding to only one edge, usually the rear of the book and if you like a more “industrial look” to the front cover only. The nice thing about the “hidden” version is that you have the “lay flat” advantage plus the custom book printing addition of the spine, so that your book can sit on a shelf and have copy on the spine without having to resort to the ugly comb bind with its huge chunk of plastic for a spine. Lay Flat Bind:


Lay flat bind is a custom addition to perfect or case bind as it uses a net glued on to the inner text spine that separates from the cover spine edge and allows the book to lay flatter than standard case or perfect binding but not as flat as hidden Wire-O. Any binding that lays flat is the preferred bindery type for cook books and coffee table art books. Paper Choices: Your paper choice can allow for some interesting looks in custom book printing. However, while you will have almost unlimited choice on a sheet fed press, your choice on a digital press will only allow for smooth surfaced papers due to the adhesion required by toner rather than inks and on web presses which are limited by paper stocks that are on rolls only for the text and cover stocks that may require the book printer to purchase a full truck load in order to produce a custom book printing for you with it. Other than press limitations, you may consider an industrial look with newsprint, bible stock or alt. offset which is also a great money saver as it is highly refined newsprint and can come in white or natural. It is also important to note here that quantity, size, paper, page count and other variables will dictate which type of press serves you best. Each type of printing press and the printing company that houses them will have capability limitations on paper, binding, inks and more depending upon the equipment used. Many times I have a client tell me that I want to produce one just like this sample, forgetting that due to the quantity produced of the sample book that prints on a very different type of press than the one required by the current customer makes it impossible to duplicate what the customer is requiring for their custom book printing run.


The Benefits of Online Printing Online printing offers you one stop shopping at your fingertips rather than driving to local printing shops in the hope that they can offer you the capability to cost effectively and with the quality you seek produce a print job for you. With Online printing services you are able to easily navigate the web until you first and foremost find an online printer who possesses the capability in order to produce a quality job based on your specifications and at a low cost. Another feature of working with an online printing company is that in many cases the pricing is low cost due to the already tight competition forced on the online printing company in order to successfully compete. Thus it is almost a given that you will receive better pricing searching for an online printer for your services than a local shop. Another benefit with an online printing service is that you are not geographically bound to what may be the limited services of a nearby shop. The online printing service you find may offer a wider variety of print services and in many cases you may not be able to locate a print shop locally that may even be able to produce your job. Even in the biggest cities, the larger commercial business printing shops are not located in the heart of town where your office may be located due to the higher rents than the printing company may find in an industrial park way on the outskirts of town. Needless to say, time is a major factor in today’s offices with respect to many employees who may find that they are doing the job of more than one person since the economic downturn. Thus it is more time expedient to do your shopping for printing services online. With today’s technology an online printing company can provide you with digital proofing, either in the form of emailed files or downloadable files as well as the online proofing systems available such as InSite. For the more critical eye, hard proofs can be sent overnight for approval. Even if you found a printer near your office, you probably would not be close enough geographically where the proofing would be handled any differently. Conclusion; in today’s busy world where time is money and cost is critical online printing services are the way to go. Allow PBD, the expert online printer to quote your next print job and provide you with the optimal in online printing services.


Update Your Printing Model And Win! You can win in a down economy by updating your commercial printing buying model with combining your publication, while still addressing your core needs, yet increasing the value to you and your reader. I remember as a child an album which I would love to listen to over and over again entitled “The Churkendoose: Part Chicken, Turkey, Duck, and Goose”. It probably was one of the earliest stories about diversity. http://wilderworld.podomatic.com/entry/2007-0206T00_40_05-08_00. The story also has commercial viability as if you can come up with your own amalgamated publication that is multi purposed and can offer more interest to your users than your original publication style. One thing is for sure, is that if you mix and match styles or utilize a style not normally seen in your sphere of business you will grab the attention of your users more than ever before. One does not need to be original you just need to be first in your market. The guy and I knew him who first brought Buster Crab Pools to England made a fortune from something that was quite common in America several years prior. Another is the successful TV show Shark Tank, which first had its start in England. Now it is time for you to reinvent your own publication’s commercial printing wheel. Catalog Printing: If you are printing catalogs for your business consider adding the following items in order to attract new customers and better please your old ones. Borrow from magazines and incorporate interesting stories about your products, services and even your customers and their businesses. You can also add bits about your staff so that you create a more personal image about your company for your customers. Ad in a die cut business card or even a pull out calendar or poster. Magazine Printing: Here you can borrow bindery styles from other types of commercial printing, such as hidden wire-o, case bind for custom editions and more. Utilize your magazine to secure the standard forms of adverts but also try adding in a section of coupon printing advertisements which the customer can tear out. As magazines have a somewhat long shelf life as they get passed around you can charge more for the advert and less for the coupon ad as that, once used is a onetime advert. Here too you can have special bind-ins such as posters or calendars which offer additional advertising revenue possibilities. Book Printing: When printing books include information about your other books and other services with a section devoted to that at the back of the book. Try unique binding concepts such as lay flat, hidden wire-o and unique sizing so long as there is not too much paper waste. Include a page at back with a tear out card to mail back to you so you can start gathering a mailing list for future book printing and other materials and or services you have. Offer discounts on your prior book printing releases only available with a mail in card acquired when purchasing your latest book. The Bottom line is to expand your horizons beyond what is possible and what is considered normal. Seek out what is new without being afraid to experiment. If you do you will you set yourself apart from all of the other companies sending out their printed materials to the same audience as you. So be bold and incorporate ideas from other forms of commercial printing in order to make your publication more interesting and giving your end user more “bang for the “cluck””, as the Churkendoose would say.


Did You Ever Wonder How We Got To Where We Are? Some of you reading this may be a bit overwhelmed when dealing with a book printing company with respect to all of the specifications required such as page count, paper, size and so forth and of course many reading this would not be. I just thought I would put it all into some historical perspective as to how it all came about. How did we get from writing on a single tablet or papyrus by one or a group of people in order to create a single copy of a book or a history to web offset printing with all of its modern bells and whistles? Actually, it took a few thousand years. Our earliest endeavors at putting our thoughts, histories, war stories, love tales and more on a document for future generations to read was a singular attempt without any form of mass production. If you wrote your store down it was a book of one issue and kind of like a first and ONLY printing. Our first attempts at mass produced printing of books or anything else to be so recorded was invented by the Chinese a few hundred years after they invented gunpowder with both being quite explosive inventions. It is felt that wood blocks, which were wood carvings similar to today’s linoleum carved art pieces, that when inked could stamp out an image, design or writing. This was how the first printing of books took place. The Chinese actually took book printing and other forms of print to the next level by inventing movable type which allowed them to set a page or design with movable pieces in order to tell a story as well as create multiple pages using the same blocks arranged as needed in order to do so. This was the precursor of letterpress printing which also used movable type and is the same process with the same materials for the type as hundreds of years ago. In the 11th century the Chinese were printing books and other items using this technique. Gutenberg brought us into the modern age with his invention of the printing press and with moveable type and a manual “sheet fed” approach, being the forerunner of the sheet fed printing press, was able to automate book printing with his first printed version of the Bible. Gutenberg not only gave rise to the printing press but to book publishing as well as his press could mass produce the printing of books and more thus bringing first the Bible and then much more to the masses. With the 1800’s the rotary press invented by Richard Hoe brought speed and efficiency to book printing and brought the process into the modern age. The rotary printing press produced high speed runs utilizing rolls of paper running over a curved cylinder and was the predecessor of today’s high speed web printing press. Following the invention of the rotary press, offset web printing became the next thing as it brought book and other printing into the modern age. Here another process was added, ergo the term offset, in that the ink is not directly applied to the paper as with the rotary press. The ink is first applied to a rubber blanket which then transfers the image or copy to the paper. If you enjoyed my little foray into the history of the printing of books and more than you could only benefit by reviewing some of my other blogs which get into the nitty-gritty on how to produce better files, save on hassles and learn how you can benefit from a more cost effective and quality printing experience.


Create A Better Image And Help Your Branding With A Presentation Folder You probably like most businesses sending out an assortment of materials from flyers to catalogs in order to promote your products and or services. It is just as important how you present them as to the individual quality of each especially if you have multiple sell sheets and other printed materials. The most professional way to present your materials is inside a presentation folder as it not only is a secure and tidy way to make your presentation but also offers you an additional methodology for company branding of your image.

What is a presentation folder? A presentation folder, also known as a pocket folder, is a “portfolio” of your printed pieces. It is constructed form usually 12 or 14 pt board stock as any less will be flimsy. It can also be manufactured from a myriad of custom uncoated high end papers should you so choose. Generally folders are printed only on one side, as when the pockets are folded it in and glued the appearance is of a two sided printing job. It is quite standard to have slits for a business card as well as a slit to house a CD or DVD of your company video or power point presentations. The pockets are fashioned at the outside with a glue flap to hold the edges in place so that once folded nothing can easily fall out. The standard size of a presentation folder is 9 x 12” with a four inch pocket. The business card slits are usually placed on the right pocket. What if I have lots of materials? Should you materials to insert be many and include thicker items such as a catalog or brochure, then a custom fabricated presentation folder is called for and that is called a “capacity” model for obvious reasons. The capacity folder is created by adding usually an eighth of an inch to the pocket depth, glue flaps and to the spine so that the die cutter can create a double score in order for the completed folder to have a greater internal width and for the folding to be such that the spine creates a clean fold as a result of its capacity double score. How can I avoid reprinting if we move? The smartest move one can make when printing folders is to not add the company contact info directly onto the presentation folder but to have all relevant information on the business card which would be inserted into the card slits on the right pocket. Business card slits can be accomplished so that two different cards can be housed on a single pocket as there is room to do so. By not printing your contact information on the folder itself you are creating a much longer “shelf life” for the pocket folder. Can I make a custom pocket folder? Yes you can. In addition to the capacity presentation folder as mentioned above, you can have a three panel folder where there is a center pocket. The center pocket does not need gluing as when folded the other panels hold the materials in place. Another style feature can be a vertical pocket where you slide the materials in from left to right if using the right side pocket. Pockets can also be cut on an angle for a unique approach or even have custom cuts such as scallops or anything you fancy. In addition to inks a somewhat common feature of presentation folders is embossing, which is the raising of an image or type face. The reverse is de-embossing where the image is sunken. The embossed image can also be registered to ink, so that an actual image on the page is raised. Foils used well can add to the look, but in my opinion are a bit dated. Custom die cuts of see through designs that can feature a printed sheet underneath or a fancy die cut design works well too. Another nice feature of any presentation folder is if you are inserting several sell sheets you could stagger cut them, so that each successive one is shorter than the one before, giving it a nice “indexed” look.


What about a self-mailer? If you generally mail out your materials a unique approach would be to create a folder with a flap that would extend from one side and fold over the back of the other and have a pull tab to open it. You would also be required by the post office to have tabs on the top and bottom as they would be open. The look would be one of an “under the arm type of portfolio” and you could use custom papers to create an additional uniqueness to it. If you have ever thought about the internet as the “great equalizer” where someone with a nice website can look as grand as the biggest competitors on the web, yet in reality is a small business or even a home based business? The same is true with the materials that you present to your potential customers and a presentation folders tells them that you too are in the game and ready to win and help them win with your products or services.


How Do You Determine A Quality Book Printer?

Whether you are self publishing or are a professional publishing company and seek quality printing for your books you will at some point be asking yourself the question of how you can determine a quality book printer from a lesser one. The answer most definitely is not to simply go with the one who supplies you with the lowest quote as in the long run the cost of printing books with the lowest bidder may inflate to more than your quote then if you went with a company of quality which possess skills and services that you will hope to count on.

Here are some of the things that you should be reviewing in order to choose a quality book printer for the best book printing company for your requisites. Book Printing Quote: Let’s face it; no one is suggesting that if you have two quotes and they are extremely far apart that you should go with the most expensive in that scenario. You still want reasonable book printing prices. However in most cases the pricing will be in a fairly narrow range. If the highest is way out of sorts from the rest, then you can toss that one, but if the lowest is too low on a comparative bases as compared to another book printer then ask the low bidder why and what they may be doing that is different in order to supply you with such a low book printing quote. In today’s economy you want to make sure the machines are being maintained, the specs are apples to apples and you are getting what you expect. Book Printing Services: Services are crucial in two respects; the first in that everything you need is in house and available to you. Should you need help with an ISBN number, bar code or QR code can they advise you on where to get it done (see http://www.pbdink.com/publishing-and-printing.html ). If you need design help or marketing suggestions do they understand and can they make suggestions for these things? Are you being oversold on the specifications? Do you really need all of the bells and whistles in order to sell your book? The second service that is crucial is that the company first understands your requisites then advising you on money saving ideas that still preserve the essence of what you seek. Many a book printer as most print shops will simply go with the specifications you provide to them or even try to up-sell you. A quality printing company will show you how you can save money by changing a specification or two without the loss of providing your readers with a quality product. Do They Provide Helpful Information? Does the company provide helpful information to you in order to make you better understand the road ahead and to feel more secure as you go down it? Another aspect of providing you with the best book printing information is that it also displays the level of knowledge and professionalism you would expect from a quality book printer. The simple fact is that customers want to know that they are doing business with experts. Does Your Book Printer Think Outside Of The Box? When you have a problem with your files is the print company there to help you with solutions? If you have a deadline to meet and you are late with your files can your service print a book for you by changing the methodology or equipment to help expedite your deadline? A quality printing company can help you in all of these areas.


In the long run the ultimate savings that a company can provide is with the overall relationship consisting of fair pricing, high quality service and a level of expertise that can meet all of your challenges: In essence someone that can think outside of the box when necessary and provide you with the backup that you would expect. The bottom line is that you benefit not only when you receive the quality services you require in the narrow sense but also benefit in a less specific way by receiving the type of quality services that in the long run also benefit you by saving you money. This is so because your book printer, when providing you with the best book printing services possible will also as a direct result of doing so save you money over the longer course of the production of your manuscript even though you did not go with the lowest quote at the time.


Printing A Poster: A Time Honored Way To Promote Your Business Color poster printing is an historical and proven methodology for promoting a business or service. Some may even think too old fashioned? I don’t think so, as if you look at the ROI on some of the latest online digital methodologies the costs have become prohibitive as well as the likely hood of success. Just look at how hard a time you are having with marketing your own website so that it comes up in the first 3 pages of Google. Look at the confusion at trying to market with social networking as who knows yet what is working and what is not. When it comes to ROI, Return On Investment, a simple color poster printing may give your business the jump start it is looking for. Creating One When you create your full color advert in order to print a poster you need to keep in mind the following things: 1- Use high resolution 300 dpi images 2- Do not use JPG images as when they blow up big the compression causes visual artifacts that may be seen. 3- K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid as the computer acronym goes. Do not crowd tons of images and copy into it. The posters you are printing should be simple, concise and to the point. 4- Use clean easy to read fonts such as Arial or Helvetica. Your banner copy should be clever and eye catching and approximately 90 pts on a large one with sub headings at about 60 pts, while general copy at around 25 pts. Do not mix and match fonts and sizes in your offset poster as that too makes it harder to read. Printing Them When you are providing your files to your poster printer, make sure that anything not needed in the file is removed as in any event it will be a big file so it does not become so big that it is unwieldy. Again, do not provide large format printers with jpg files as you are enlarging little bits of stuff in the jpg that will not be pretty. Consider the yield on the press. Most online poster printing is accomplished using a forty inch press. This means that if you choose the standard 24 x 36� version they will print one up. You can save money if you scale your printed size down to 18 x 24 or 9 x 25� as they can print two up on one press sheet at relatively half the cost. Use 100# gloss book paper with an aqueous coating. The coating will protect the surface and the weight of the paper stock will prevent damage in handling better than thinner stock. Best Services When you print something that is very large it is crucial that you utilize a quality offset color printer whose company maintains their equipment properly. If not the results will not be like eye candy. Another item of importance you should pay attention to is how helpful and knowledgeable is your printer so that you do not wind up with a large mess as opposed to a large and nicely designed finished product.


Where To Display Yours If your creation is designed to be attractive many will want to hang it. Contact your vendors or local neighborhood stores and see if they would be willing to do so. One way is to add a sale or discount to the viewer with instructions to use a code on it which you could stamp on each. Adjustable info hand stamping tools are available. Another method, should you not want to bother doing that yourself would be to have your poster printer print a small pad, with chipboard backer and glue it. This way folks can tear off a discount coupon. Whichever methodology you employ you would utilize a code for the vendor or store displaying yours so that for every sale you make that references that code you not only know where you received the new business from but the vendor displaying your full color poster printing has an incentive to do so; profit.


Essential Tips For Authors About Book Production Based on the daily questions or issues that I get to deal with on a daily basis as a book printer I have distilled the most common into the answers you may seek in order to provide some clarity in dealing with the necessities and choices while producing your finished draft prior to handing off to the book printer of your choice. These are some of the typical scenarios and the advice I provide to my clients regarding their book publication. What Are The Optimal Sizes? Essentially the size for printing books varies a bit press to press based on the size of the rolls they print from, but the basic sizes are 8.5 x 11” for manuals or text books, 6 x 9” standard novel size, 5.5 x 8.5” (5 3/8 x 8 3/8” on web press) digest size and 7 x 10” also text book size. There are two issues that authors should be concerned with: 1- what if any are the requisites of the seller, distributor or publisher? And 2- which size can save me more money? The first is only answerable by your distributer should it even be an issue and the second is answerable by your wallet. In book printing yield is a key word in that the amount of pages you can garner from a roll or press sheet determines the cost of your publication. For example on many presses, especially digital POD ones, 5.25 x 8.25” will allow you to print two books on a sheet so that the final cost is almost half of that of a 6 x 9”. 7 x 10” on a web press in most cases unless custom roll sizes are available, which is a problem in today’s paper industry, the size difference between that and an 8.5 x 11” (or 8 3/8 x 10 7/8” on a web press) is mainly attributable to waste and does not offer much if any cost savings. Why Do I Need Blank Pages At Rear? Blank pages are inserted at the rear of all book printing runs as it is more cost effective to round out the signatures to be printed than removing pages at bindery. Most print companies will print on the basis of a minimum 8 page signature if web run and you will find that it is more cost effective on a per page basis to print in rounded 16 or 32 page signatures. Thus in order to keep costs down, you may want to edit prior to the time when you print a book and round down your final page count into a complete signature. Those few extra pages may be costly. What If I Only Have An Office Word File? If you are working in Microsoft Word, Publisher or similar you will be required to convert your files to a PDF for your print company as book printing companies will generally not accept them. Also note that there is a variance from company to company in which type of PDF file they will accept, so be sure to find that out before turning in files. Before you get to your final PDF you will need to work within the confines of Word to make sure that it is error free. One problem with Word is re-flowing of copy so check your PDF against the Word version carefully. Another is the text and image boxes. If you must use them understand that the area you do not see is larger than the area you do see when creating with them and they can potentially overlap page copy, causing some to cut off or disappear. Also should you want to change the size of your book in order to take advantage of better pricing due to book printing sizes, and then you would best be served doing that in Word, as if done at press you would lose control of font sizes and if made smaller your text may become unreadable. The first thing is to simply go to the layout tab and reset the page size and then to the margin tab and reset the margins. Once done your text will reflow and you will then need to tweak that based on your page layout requirements. What Are The Appropriate Copy Margins? There are two reasons for appropriate margins: Firstly if type is too close to the edge it just plain looks bad. Secondly you risk cutting into the copy during trimming if the copy is too close to the edge. A rule of thumb for POD is a quarter inch all around and if web press three eighths of an inch all around (top, bottom, left, right).


I Am Producing My Own Cover The most important thing you need to know about producing covers, especially if in full color is Word generally allows for only low resolution images which will look fuzzy when printed as well as outputting to RGB (Red, Green, Blue) as your computer or home printer does while book printing relies on CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) and as these are two different systems RGB files will shift when defaulted to CMYK in the print RIP for plating. You may or may not be happy with any color changes and the only way to avoid that is not to use Word. In fact do not use any software other than standard book printing software that the print company will also possess as you will risk providing files that are impossible to output and print books with as well as any ability to have your print company “tweak” your files for any minor problems. What Software Can I Use To Produce A Book Cover? The acceptable software applications to print a book with are Adobe In Design, Adobe Illustrator, Quark Express and if you must Corel Draw. The problem with Corel is that it is in such limited demand your print company may not have it. Also verify in front which version your print company has as you may need to “dummy down” or “down save” your file. For example if you are working with In Design CS6 and your book printer only has CS5, these being quite expensive suites, just save your file to CS5 to present to the press. Also it is not a good idea to do your cover in Photoshop exclusively as that is not what it is built for. Create all of your images in Photoshop and then import as a single layer to In Design or Illustrator and add the type over it. If your Photoshop file is real big and thus potentially larger than necessary, save it as a vector file to reduce its size. Also remember the computer acronym, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) as odds are you may not be dead accurate in your design and you want the cover to “cover” the size of the book as intended and the spine to be where it belongs etc. You are best served by a uniform background color on the front, back and spine which allows for easier adjustment of the cover to the text if you are off. Do You Want To Know My Word Count For A Quote? The book printer does not need nor want to know your word count as it is not relevant to a quote or to the production of your product. Always provide the book printing company with an accurate page count inclusive of each side of the page as you turn it. Print On Demand vs. Ink Press Here is it is all about money and speed. If you need books yesterday utilize a POD book printing company as digital print will give you the speed necessary. However if it is cost that is important to you, then should your cash flow allow for it an offset web press at 1,000 to 2,000 books depending on size and or page count will be better priced. Where Do I Find ISBN, Barcode and QR Codes? Glad you asked! Our website has a help page with book printing information and links to directly click on so you can acquire these. Please visit us there at: http://www.pbdink.com/publishing-and-printing.html

Commercial Printing Tips  

All you ever wanted to know and need to know about commercial printing.

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