A Publisher’s Perspective
Steve Akins, publisher of Petfood Industry Magazine, has only been with Watt Publishing for four months, but already has plans to become more involved in the decision-making when it comes to choosing a printer:
The decision of choosing a printer for the magazine itself is made, in many cases, by top management, but it’s done differently everywhere.
But I personally like to be involved when situations come up so that I have some knowledge of production and how much things might cost.
In the past, I’ve been involved in managing media kits, reprints and custom media projects. But in the future, I want to be very involved in picking the printer in order to control cost and maximize profits for the company.
Quality is always important, but so is turnaround time. Clients can be pretty demanding;they’ll delay constantly, then approve something and say “I need it to tomorrow,” so printers need to be flexible.
The printer should be willing to work with you and treat you like a customer. I want them to treat me like I treat my customers.
I think it’s easy when you make a lot of little adjustments here and there to get nickel-and-dimed. Printers should realize that in order for us to fulfill our obligations, we need them to be flexible and help us control costs. I’ve had printers verbally they tell me that they’ll work with us, but when I get the bill, I find that I’ve been nickel-and-dimed.
When it comes to asking specific questions, look for quality, quick turnaround, flexibility and cost structure. But when it all comes down to it, you should feel comfortable with the printer you’ve partnered with.