Best Practices to Follow When Choosing a Digital Book Printer
I had the pleasure of attending a fantastic webinar last week on the subject of choosing a vendor for digital book printing. Titled “Best Practices in Choosing Your Digital Book Printing Partner,” the webinar featured Jeremy Hess, director of sales and marketing at Gasch Printing, and Manrico Caglioni, president of Book Automation, in conversation with moderator Matt Steinmetz, publisher and brand director for Book Business, who fielded questions from the audience.
This was the Part Two of a three-part series of webinars leading up to the Digital Book Printing Conference, which will take place Tuesday, Oct. 27 in New York City. Hosted by Book Business and Printing Impressions, this conference is the industry’s only event on digital book printing.
Last week’s webinar explored the relationship between publisher and digital book manufacturer, which can make or break an on-demand digital printing strategy. Hess and Caglioni offered their advice to both publishers and printers on what to look for in a digital partner, their best practices for bidding out jobs, and considerations for choosing a digital printing partner that go beyond price and unit costs per unit. In addition, they discussed binding and finishing options, the implications of digital printing and its subsequent reductions in warehousing and returns, and quality misconceptions that persist about digital book printing.
For those who missed it, or for anyone wanting a review, I thought I’d share a couple of tips I learned on how publishers and printers should be evaluating their vendor partners. I encourage you to watch the full 40-minute presentation to hear more. It will be archived on the Book Business website, and you can view it here at any time for 90 days at no cost. (If you missed Part One, you can watch that here.)
- Find a partner, not just a provider. There is a lot more involved than just putting ink on paper, Hess contends. For instance, find someone who can integrate fulfillment services. Having things all under one roof eliminates the cost of having products shipped twice.
- Not all books are created equally. Hess encourages publishers to get to know their print service provider and its equipment. In the end, it makes a dramatic difference for the quality of the product your customer will receive. Look beyond the spec sheet and ask what kinds of equipment the printer has.
- Consider the benefits of binding. Many people believe PUR adhesive is a magic bullet, Caglioni says, but curing sometimes takes so long that it may defeat the purpose of choosing digital printing in the first place. However, processes like PUR are done as a single task, versus sewing, which adds an extra process to the mix, so the workflow will need to be redesigned to include the sewing.
- Digital technology has advanced. There are a lot of misconceptions about digital book printing quality, but nowadays it is not really a part of the equation, Hess notes. In some cases, compared to offset, the quality of digital may even be better.
- Solutions are born by recognizing problems. Most people who are moving to digital are doing so because they have recognized a problem. They may recognize they are holding onto inventory, or they realize they need to cut costs. A true partner will sit down and discuss problems with you, and jointly find the best solution.
There are so many more insights packed into this presentation that I’m sure you won’t want to miss. Check out the complete webinar here.
We hope to see you on Oct. 27 in New York City for the Digital Book Printing Conference!