Five Tips for Reducing Production Costs
Printers weigh in on how magazine publishers can save.
With postal, paper and distribution costs all on the rise, and no economic rebound in near sight, it’s more important now than ever for magazine publishers to save money where they can. Here, we’ve collected five tips—some tried and true, some less conventional—from printers Publishers Press and Transcontinental for how magazines can save on production costs.
■ Update your mail list: The U.S. Postal Service has started taking away discounts for Standard and First-Class mailers whose lists have not been updated. Maintaining a current list also reduces the number of over-prints and wasted copies.
■ Switch to a proofless workflow: Virtual press side proofing enables publishers to view and manage intricate color proofs online and increases the probability that the final output will mirror approved content. This is a big cost saver in terms of eliminating the need to ship proofs back and forth.
■ Use paper from your printer: Maybe it’s a shameless plug, but Publishers Press recommends that publishers find out if their printer offers a private label paper. If this option isn’t available, then perhaps switching to a lower grade weight will be more cost-effective.
■ Examine all co-mailing options: More printers are offering co-mailing, co-palletization and drop shipping services. Transcontinental and Publishers Press recommend asking your printer for an analysis of your list and determine a co-mailing strategy. “Remember that your goal is to get more of your mail onto pallets to qualify for additional drop shipping and postal worksharing discounts,” Transcontinental says.
■ Consider producing a specialty cover: Although the production process might cost more up front, the possibility for generating additional advertising revenue, especially for consumer magazines, are greater. The printer suggests options like stamping, embossing and reflective