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CEO of Finishing Resources, Inc

The Finish Line

By Don Piontek

About Don

Don has worked in technical support, sales, engineering, and management during a career in both the commercial offset and digital finishing sectors. He is the North American representative for IBIS Bindery Systems, Ltd. of The United Kingdom.

Children’s Books May Be One Market to Grow On

Printers have never been more eager to find new opportunities than they are now. One of the possibilities is children’s books. Even better, personalized children’s books. Digital presses have made it possible to create a personalized book template that can be printed on a heavy stock that will stand up to the punishment a toddler can dish out.

There are now many firms on the Web offing dozens of beautifully illustrated soft- and hard-cover books that can be printed with your child’s name woven into the text of the story. Birthday books, Christmas (and Hanukkah) books, and more.

For birthday parties, guests’ names can also be incorporated into the text, or each child can receive his/her own book. And these are not “throw-away” editions, but well-made books that carry a lifetime guarantee.

Higher end, cut-sheet digital presses can print on stock that is heavy enough for this application—and they offer excellent color reproduction. It’s the finishing that can be the challenging part. The majority of childrens’ books incorporating board stock are assembled by hand in China. But personalized books are truly an “on-demand” product, with sales peaking around the holidays and quick turnarounds a must.

Conventional hard-cover finishing equipment is not well-suited for creating a board case, so specialized systems are needed to glue the multiple-imposition board forms back-to-back to create a book block. These machines can turn out a few hundred books per hour, or more.

This is a very profitable market segment, with finished books retailing in the $25 to $35 per copy range. And the capital investment for the equipment in not a huge expense (compared to many other finishing operations). So if you’re a printer looking for new opportunities, this may be one you should check out.

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