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Book Printing for the Trade: Follow this Simple Checklist to Boost Profits

Checklist
Outsourcing printed books is very profitable. It is also incredibly easy. If you're in a print-related trade, just follow this simple 3-step checklist…

[ ] Step One - Let everyone (especially existing clients) know that you offer books and would like to be considered when book projects come up. These include bound manuals, directories, catalogs, brochures, and any other multi-page documents.

[ ] Step Two - Once you have a book quote opportunity, gather the following list of specifications. These specs will be used to determine the cost…

  1. Quantity - How many books does your customer want to order?
  2. Size - What is the finished size of the book? Like most printed items, it is preferred that you give the width dimension first and then the height dimension (e.g. 6" W x 9" H or 8.5" W x 11" H).
  3. Page Count - This sounds simple but can easily be miscommunicated. For example, your customer may refer to each sheet (leaf) within the book as one page, but in actuality each side of the sheet counts as one page. So, there will always be twice as many pages as there are sheets within a book. (e.g. 100 sheets = 200 pages).
  4. Bindery Method - This refers to how the cover and pages will be joined together. Popular binding methods include Perfect Binding, Saddle Stitch, Spiral Coil, Wire-O, and Ringed Binder Sets.
  5. Paper Type and Thickness - In most cases, smooth white paper will be the default stock so be sure to state if you are after a particular texture, color, or other effect.
  6. Ink Color and Placement - Will the books be produced using 4-color process (full color), with one or two PMS colors, black ink only, or a combination? Is the cover printed in color but the interior pages are not? It also helps to know if the cover and/or interior pages bleed, which means the ink extends all the way to the edge of the paper.
  7. Coating - The cover of a book is often coated with a clear UV coating, aqueous coating, or laminate to help protect against scuffs and abrasions as well as to make the ink colors more vivid. If the interior pages contain color photographs, such as in a product catalog, they might also receive a clear coat to enhance the colors. Otherwise, interior pages do not generally receive a clear coat.
  8. Finishing and Delivery - Are there any additional features required, such as 3-hole drilling, shrink-wrapping, or special packaging requirements? Also, if you'd like a quote for shipping be sure to specify where the order is to be delivered. The order can either be sent to you for distribution, or sent directly to your customer. If sent directly to your customer, you can request that it be marked with your company name as the shipper.

[ ] Step Three - Once you have the cost back from your outsource partner, apply your mark up and create a quote for your customer. After providing your quote, it helps to follow-up with the customer a few days later to answer any questions and see where you stand in the bid process.

That is pretty much it! Pretty simple, wouldn't you agree?

The Bottom Line

Outsourcing your book orders provides a steady stream of additional income without investing in more equipment, people, space, etc. Book orders are generally nice-sized orders and will add up quickly. Plus, printed books are extremely profitable and often become repeat business.

If you don't have the resources to produce books in-house, we urge you to consider partnering up to sell books. After all, your customers have to get their custom-printed books from somewhere…why not from you?

We've prepared a FREE Guide to Book Outsourcing. It explains how to properly spec out book projects as well as which types of organizations are good prospects for printed books. Just give us a call at 866-367-6221 and we will email you this informative 16-page report.

Let's talk! Keith

About the Author

Keith Beaty is the owner of Formax Printing Solutions in St. Louis, MO. Formax provides a complete array of offset and digital printing services. Specialty areas include book printing, full-color printing, laminated printing, map printing, plus mailing services. If you ever have a printing question or project you would like to discuss, Keith is always happy to help. He can be reached at 866-367-6221. Keith and Formax have been providing worry-free printing and related services since 1985.

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