Volume 13 Issue 2

Table of Contents:

  1. Some Basics On Costs of Doing Four Color Inserts
  2. Nothing Much Dramatic Happening In Electronic Prepress at the Moment, But ...
  3. New Thomson-Shore Job Check List is Available
  4. Some Ideas on Individual Book Fulfillment
  5. Trivia
  6. Thomson-Shore Makes Giant Strides in Notch Bound Case Bound Book Production
  7. PreQualified Typesetter List
  8. Printer' Ink Information

Some Basics On Costs of Doing Four Color Inserts


Having recently installed two new, state-of-the-art Heidelberg computerized 4 color presses at Thomson-Shore, we have begun quoting on and printing more 4 color inserts than ever before. While those presses are primarily intended to print covers and jackets, as the printing load allows we are now doing some 4, 8 and 16 page color inserts in-house. We still, however, would not do a book that is 4 color throughout. At any rate here's some basic help on approximate costs for 4 color inserts done by

T-S ... either printed in our plant or outsourced by us if the presses are too busy.

For a 6 x 9" book with us making one separation per page, an 8 page color insert printed on 70lb. coated stock will cost approximately $2,000.00 for 1,000 copies with additional 1,000's being about $60.00. For 16 pages and 16 separations those prices would be about $3,000.00 with additional 1,000's at $110.00.

For 7 x 10" or 8 1/2 x 11" books those prices go up around $300.00 for 1,000 copies of 8 pages and the additional 1,000's about double. At 16 pages, the increase over 6 x 9" would be about $600.00 for 1,000 with additional 1,000's again doubling the 6 x 9" figure.

These figures will go up or down a bit depending on the number and size of the separations. If you're interested in 4 color inserts for any illustrated titles you are considering, give us a call. We'd be glad to discuss it with you and give you a quote if it sounds interesting to you.

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Nothing Much Dramatic Happening In Electronic Prepress at the Moment, But ...


When I start talking to T-S people every 3 months looking for ideas for Printer's Ink I can almost always count on some big new breakthroughs in electronic prepress to contribute the lead story. At the moment the potential big EP breakthroughs ... PDF, PostScript Level 3, direct to plate, and who knows what else ... are still a few months away at T-S so here's a host of smaller EP happenings that I hope you'll find interesting.

1- We are replacing our 18 month old Purup Magnum, full format imagesetter with the latest version of the same thing. This imagesetter creates full format negatives with 16 imposed pages for a 32 page signature in trim sizes up to 7 x 10". Our present Magnum imagesetter was the 2nd one installed in the U.S. and while it had some mechanical bugs that have since been corrected by Purup, we are replacing it with an all new one. The major difference that will affect a customer is that the new one will have improved image quality on fine line screens.

2- We will no longer be able to accept application files from PageMaker 4.2. We'll still accept PostScript files from that application but we'll now only be able to accept PageMaker application files from PageMaker versions 5.0, 6.0 or 6.5. If you want to keep using PageMaker 4.2 and are unclear about creating PostScript, we can supply guidelines or you could send us a test PostScript file which we'll check free of charge. As a general observation, if you have any software that is getting old (PageMaker 4.2 is 7 years old now) you could likely upgrade it at minimal cost and enjoy the benefits of much improved software performance. Give Laurie Briegel at T-S a call if you have questions or thoughts about this.

3- We now can support 3 new drives for removable media. They are the SyQuest EZ Flyer which reads 135 and 230 megabyte cartridges. SyQuest SyJet drive which reads 1.5 gigabyte cartridges and the Iomega Jaz drive which reads 1.0 gigabyte cartridges.

4- We have recently added 3 new Mac clone workstations to our EP department. They are Supermac S-900's with 250 which run at 250 Mz. They replace a couple old Mac's that had 120 megabytes. One of these new computers is used for covers and jackets, one is used for text output and one is for color trapping. They are all about 10 times faster than the machines they replaced and they also have many new innovations that weren't available before.

5- We have had over 80 typesetters apply to be on our PreQualified Typesetter List and we now have 23 on the list. The prequalified list is shown elsewhere in this Printer's Ink. The biggest hold up for a typesetter in getting on our list is that they need to send at least 2 jobs to T-S that go through our EP process with no problems. There are some other qualifying tests as well, like being willing to work directly with us if there is a problem rather than having us have to go back to the publisher and get them involved in straightening it out. The benefit to the publisher in using a typesetter on our prequalified list is that you automatically get the $0.30 per page prep discount.

6- If you send in a book with illustrations that you want done by the OPI process (there is a savings of $2 each for halftones we do using OPI illustrations that the customer positions) be sure you will use a typesetter that can support OPI ... specifically Helios OPI which is the version that T-S uses. If they can't, no savings will be recognized and T-S will have to do the final cropping and placement of the halftones. If your typesetter is unclear about any of this, have them give Laurie Briegel a call at T-S .

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New Thomson-Shore Job Check List is Available


A couple of our T-S people have developed a new "Incoming Job Check List" which we are sending to most of our new customers and prospects. This check list is designed to let you know the things we'd like to see when you send your job in. We've used it just long enough now that we find it does help speed up the initial order implementation at T-S because it helps insure that everything we need comes in with the order. It also helps reassure first time publishers that they haven't overlooked something important.

If you haven't received one of these in the mail (they are now included in our T-S information folders) and would like to see one, give us a call and we'll fax or mail it right to you.

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Some Ideas on Individual Book Fulfillment


Individual book fulfillment is not something we do much of but it is something our customers ask about. So, after some customer requests that we do an article on it I made some calls to a couple very small publishers who do their own individual book fulfillment, a mailing house that primarily does journal fulfillment and our own people who actually do some fulfillment. I think I now have enough knowledge to give you some useful thoughts about how these people handle individual book fulfillment. At any rate, here's what I learned.

Individual books are usually sent to purchasers in envelopes, polybags, padded mailers (Jiffy bags), corrugated sleeve type mailers, individual mailing cartons or bumper end cartons. The pro's and con's for these are, more or less, as follows:


Envelopes: They are used primarily for journal mailings. Envelopes are inexpensive, about $0.12 or so per envelope, with the price depending on the number you buy, and they offer little protection to the books. Envelopes are probably rarely ever used for a case bound book. If you use envelopes for your soft bound books you should get them with your return label printed on them and then either type or write the purchaser's address.


Polybags: These are also used primarily for journals, are a bit less expensive than envelopes but they need special equipment that a small publisher isn't going to have. The label used for polybag mailing goes inside the bag on a separate card or sheet that lies on top of the book. For journals, polybags are now more popular than envelopes but like envelopes, they offer relatively little protection against damage.


Padded Mailers: These are probably the mailer of choice for small publishers who do their own fulfillment of individual (or at least small quantities of) soft bound books. They are now available as self sealing bags (staples or tape are no longer needed to seal them) that require only 15 seconds or so for the inserting and sealing. One soft bound book publisher that I talked to had very high praise for this method. They usually cost from $0.15 to $0.25 each in cartons of 100 and you can apply a label directly on the outside. My publisher friend put on their return address label then hand wrote the addressee's address on the bag. They also said you can do this easily while watching TV. This mailer, however, may not be adequate for protecting hard bound books.


Corrugated Mailing Folders: This mailer would appear to be the mailer of choice for small publishers who publish and fulfill their own hard bound books. These mailers can be purchased from a catalog and they come in a wide variety of sizes. For 6 x 9" books, they cost about $0.25 to $0.30 each in quantities of 1000 or so, they come flat with several scores to accommodate different thickness' of books and the assembly, inserting and sealing process should require less than 30 seconds to complete. Corrugated mailers can be used for more than one book and they offer pretty adequate protection. They generally are used for packages up to about 1 1/4" thick and are usually sealed with tape.


Individual Cartons: These would generally be ordered made to size for a specific size of book ... or they can be ordered from a catalog if you can find a stock size that fits your book. When custom made in quantities of 500 to 1000 or so they will run about $0.65 each and they take about 1 minute to assemble, insert, seal and label. Corrugated mailers probably offer a bit more protection than a mailing folder, are not as popular, are more expensive to purchase and more labor intensive to use. However, they do a good job.

Bumper End Cartons: These offer about the best protection available. Because of the expense, they would likely only be used for hard bound books or a particularly valuable soft bound book. They will usually cost $1 each or more and may take up to 2 minutes to assemble, insert, seal (with tape) and label.


That's our summary of the mailing devices but there is some miscellaneous stuff I picked up that might also be of help. Most individual books are best sent book rate but as the weights get higher, the Post Office or UPS may have less expensive offerings. It's a good idea to find out your local Post Office's least busy time of day and then visit them that time each day.

My next door neighbor fulfilled over 40,000 soft bound books (in padded mailers) out of their house with every order being handled in less than 24 hours. They went to the Post Office 6 days a week at 7:30 am. They said they got many comments about the speed of their order fulfillment. And it was largely done in "spare time" while watching TV or while dinner was cooking.

While this information has covered a lot of mailing devices, there are probably a lot more systems out there that I didn't find out about. Necessity is the mother of invention and there may be as many fulfillment systems as there are publishers. If you have any ideas on fulfillment that you'd like to share with our Printer's Ink readers, tell us about them and we'll pass them on in an upcoming issue.

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T-S just completed a week long employee celebration of our 25th anniversary. We started out with about 225 of our people showing up on Saturday morning, meeting in our just completed "Auditorium" where we talked about some of the stories that make up the folklore of this company. That was an inspiring time and it brought both laughter and tears to many of our long term employees.

On the next night, Sunday, at 11:00 pm, Harry, Chuck, George, and I began our personal visits that eventually included every employee on all three shifts. The following day we had an "ice cream social" that again had us visiting each shift. This was followed by a day-long raffle then we concluded the week by the 4 of us putting on a barbecue for all 3 shifts, beginning at 3:00 am on Friday morning and ending that evening at 8:00.

All told, I rediscovered a long lost love for butterscotch-marshmallow sundaes (that's plural because I ate quite a few of them), I had enough hamburgers and hot dogs to gain several pounds and we all got reacquainted with virtually every employee on each shift. It was a week that I will probably always consider a highlight of my 25 years at T-S.

* * * * *

When we installed our new binding line (which is described in glowing detail on this issue's cover) we temporarily lost about 50% of our binding capacity for 2 weeks. However, I don't think a single order was shipped late because of this. The 90 some people in our binderies (both hard and soft binderies) somehow worked out a volunteer schedule where instead of working their normal shift, we were able to run the bindery 24 hours a day for 14 straight days, with practically no overtime, and they kept almost all of our shipments on time.

* * * * *

The University of Denver Publishing Institute suggests that attendees visit the T-S website (www.tshore.com) before they attend the institute classes. We have been getting a series of comments from those folk about book printing information that is included there. Whether you're attending the Denver Institute or not, we'd be happy to have you check out our website.

* * * * *

Lately we have had several problems involving confusion between "plastic coil binding" and "spiral wire binding." It seems it would be a good time to straighten out just what each of these terms mean.

Plastic coil binding is a solid plastic that comes in the form of a fairly heavy gauge wire. It will not permanently dent, it is available in many colors and it is probably now more popular than spiral wire binding, though it did not use to be. Plastic coil binding costs from $0.10 per copy for a 1/4" thick book to as much as $0.40 per copy for a 3/4" thick book more than spiral wire binding. It is also, in my opinion, a "classier" binding than spiral wire.

Spiral wire binding is a relatively thin gauge wire that can be coated in a white plastic or left uncoated. While it is less expensive than plastic coil binding it will still be from about $0.40 to $0.70 per copy more than perfect binding. Spiral wire can dent, permanently. In addition to these 2 bindings, there are 2 other lay flat, mechanical bindings available. These are plastic comb and wire-o (also known as double loop). These two are roughly the same price as plastic coil.

So, if you want to use one of these "lay flat" bindings, be very specific about which one you have in mind. It you're not sure, just ask and we'll send you samples so you can make an informed selection.

* * * * *

We consistently get questions about how to measure spine bulks for covers and jackets. In order to make this easy and accurate we have developed a "spine bulk program" which you can download directly from our website if you are in Windows. When you fill in the text stock, page count, trim size, and binding type, the program will print out the layout for your cover or jacket, complete with the correct dimensions for front and back cover, spine and flaps if it's a jacket. If you don't have access to the Internet, if you give us the information, we'll run the program here and fax you back the layout that same day. The program can be used for all of our floor sheets plus dozens of special order stocks but it you select a stock that isn't currently included in the program, we'll get that stock's specs and add it.

* * * * *

Another subject that gets quite a few customer questions at T-S is ... who should you ask for the first time you call T-S?

Basically, if you are unacquainted with us and you call with a question or a request for a quote ... or whatever ... and you don't ask specifically for a particular person, you will be given to one of our marketers. Like our estimators, these people cover different geographical regions with Christine Blanke handling the Eastern states, Maria Smith handling the Midwest and South and Kay Stevens handling the West. Christine, Maria and Kay will answer most any questions you have, take down specs for a quote, send out samples, etc.

The actual estimates will be done by Chris Shore, Bill Campbell, or Mark Livesay. Chris is in the East, Bill is in the Midwest and South, and Mark is in the West. They work very closely with the marketers.

When you send in a job it will be assigned to a customer rep team (a rep and an assistant) and they also cover specific regions though there are 5 teams rather than just 3 as for marketers and estimators. The customer rep team will handle the correspondence and calls about your job once it is in production.

You may also have an occasion to talk or ask about credit and our credit manager is Jeanne Trinkle.

If you are presently a customer and call with a questions and you already are familiar with the names you could ask for the marketer in your region or for your customer rep. Either one should be able to be able to help you.

Actually, you could ask for anyone you chose. We aren't particular who you talk with ... we just want to be sure you get an answer and get it promptly.

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Thomson-Shore Makes Giant Strides in Notch Bound Case Bound Book Production


By the time you read this, we will be binding our soft bound and our notch bound, case bound books on an all new Kolbus line. This state of the art binding machine, which was installed in our plant in August, will have a significant impact on our soft bound book production and a dramatic impact on our notch bound case bound production. There are only 6 of these lines in the U.S. and only one other one in the hands of a company doing short or medium run length book production.

Here are some of the facts on this nearly $2,000,000 investment. It was on order for over 6 months and it arrived here in July in 8 semi-truck loads. It utilizes 18 computerized pockets for gathering signatures, it has 580 feet of conveyors (mostly housed in 2 towers that include 17 spiral tiers of conveyors), the completed machine is 145' long and it took a 3 person team from Germany 3 weeks to complete the installation.

The machine has 2 glue pots which allow us to do a 2 shot hot melt bind if it is appropriate, it has an in-line crash feeder, 2 nipping stations, an in-line end sheeter and a counter stacker on the end of the 3 knife trimmer that will allow the machine to run close to top speed without killing the people taking bound or glued books off the end of the machine.

The machine can be set up on one job while the preceding job is still running. The set up is done utilizing 6 Hewlett Packard color monitors that cover all the working areas of the machine. The set up is done from a series of consoles that utilize the displays on the color monitors. There is virtually no set up procedure that has to be done by hand or with tools.

When the machine is running it will have a top speed of 10,000 books per hour and should yield over 5,000 on a day long basis. This is a 60% increase on the production we have aimed for in the past.

If a pocket misses a pick-up, the machine automatically diverts that unbound but collated book off the line (the machine never stops during this step) to a station that will allow you to reuse those signatures if they're needed to make up the final order count. In the past when a pocket missed a signature pick-up, the entire machine shut down until the bad book was removed by the operator and then the line had to be restarted. The books that were in the binding process with glue on the spine when the machine stopped had to be thrown out because the glue would set up before the machine started again.

Each of the machine's 18 gathering stations, or pockets, has an optical reader that alerts the operator if the wrong signature is inadvertently placed in a pocket. This is a new and unique feature that should end a problem that has plagued book binding since the days of the first gathering machine was used in the early 1900's.

When the set up, which is completely computerized, is done the entire machine is set up simultaneously ... instead of section by section as binding line set ups are traditionally done.

A couple of additional features that the machine can be utilized for ... but which we will probably not add until sometime in '98 ... are the ability to do layflat soft bound books (like Ota-binding or Repkover binding) and it has the ability to add a shrink wrapper in-line with the 3 knife trimmer.

In addition to increased machine speed and quicker make readies this machine does two operations in-line that we had to do off-line before whenever we did notch bound case binding.

To sum it up, this new machine will have a very favorable impact on our soft binding prices (perfect as well as notch binding) but it will have a much more favorable impact on our pricing of notch bound case bound books. At the moment it will have no effect on our Smyth sewn case bound books but by early 1998 we will be installing another large machine that will help us out in that area.

When this machine is combined with the new Variquik press which is now running at full speed 24 hours a day, our ability to compete in runs of 5,000 copies and up will be much better than ever. In runs below 5,000 copies, this machine will combine with our increased Heidelberg capacity ... which I'm about to tell you about ... to make us more competitive there as well.

By the end of September we will be installing our 5th Heidelberg Speed Master 28 x 40" perfector press.

This press, combined with the Variquik press which became operational late in '96, will give us nearly 60% more press capacity than we had a year and a half ago ... and it is very efficient press capacity. This new press has a top speed of 12 M sheets per hour (that's 24 M impressions per hour) and it is hooked into a plate scanner that sets and monitors the ink keys automatically as the press is running. Four of our Heidelberg perfectors now have this ability.

With this additional press and binding capacity and the new, about to be installed full format Magnum imagesetter which I discuss in the EP article on the back page of this issue, T-S is making a major thrust to increase our capacity, improve our delivery and improve our competitive pricing position ... all in one short time span. I hope you will give us the opportunity to show you how we pull this off.

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PreQualified Typesetter List


As it stands right now, here's the list of PreQualified Typesetters as mentioned in our electronic prepress article.


Robert Eckert Tom Lewis
Agnew's Electonic Manuscript Processing Service Crane Typesetting Service, Inc.
2215 Oak Industrial Dr., N.E., Suite 15 4288 Jotoma Lane
Grand Rapids, MI 49505 Charlotte Harbor, FL 33980
Ph: 616-458-4499 Fax: 616-458-3432 Ph: 800-214-0023 Fax: 941-627-6684
Kay Ballard Bill Grosskopf
Alabama Book Composition G & S Typesetters, Inc.
4400 Hogan Road 410 Baylor
Deatsville, AL 36022 Austin, TX 78703-5312
Ph: 334-569-1585 Fax: 334-569-1587 Ph: 512-478-5341 Fax: 512-476-4756
Ms. Alvart Badalian Justin Fox
Arrow Graphics Generic Compositors
36 Hazel St. RR1, Box 120C
Watertown, MA 02172 Stamford, NY 12167
Ph: 617-926-8585 Fax: 617-926-0982 Ph: 607-652-2665 Fax: 607-652-2416
Sharon Denk Dwight Agner
Beljan, Ltd. Graphic Composition, Inc.
2870 Baker Road 240 Hawthorne Ave.
Dexter, MI 48130-1114 Athens, GA 30606
Ph: 734-426-2415 Fax: 734-426-5886 Ph: 706-546-8688 Fax: 706-543-9655
Alice Bennett Dates Bruce East
A. W. Bennett, Inc. Huron Valley Graphics, Inc.
RR1 Box 209, Poor Farm Road 704 Airport Blvd., Suite 1
Hartland, VT 05048 Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Ph: 802-436-3033 Fax: Same Ph: 734-769-5795 Fax: 734-769-0110
John Dertien Joyce Jackson
BookComp/Photocomp Impressions Book & Journal Services
1000 Three Mile N.W., Suite C 2016 Winnebago, PO Box 3304
Grand Rapids, MI 49544-1650 Madison, WI 53704
Ph: 616-784-7843 Fax: 616-784-7806 Ph: 608-244-6218 Fax: 608-244-7050
Marc Bailey Timothy Mayer
Books International, Inc. Inari Information Services, Inc.
5555 Oakbrook Parkway, Suite 340 804 N. College Ave., Suite 101
Norcross, GA 30093 Bloomington, IN 47408-3546
Ph: 770-242-6223 Fax: 770-242-6209 Ph: 812-334-2298 Fax: 812-332-3154
Ann Holmes Glen Sandvoff
Business Graphics Integrated Composition Systems (ICS)
3314 Bassar N.E. North 14 Howard, Suite 225
Albuquerque, NM 87107 Spokane, WA 99201
Ph: 505-884-2244 Fax: 505-884-1668 Ph: 509-624-5064 Fax: 509-624-1466
Robert D. Bartleson Jeffery L. Jarrett
Composing Room of Michigan Jarrett Engineering
2303 Kalamazoo Ave., S.E. 603 S. County Road, 450 E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49506 Sullivan, IN 47882
Ph: 616-452-2171 Fax: 616-243-3126 Ph: 812-268-3338 Fax: 812-268-3380
Joel Friedlander Vivian Bradbury
Joel Friedlander Publishing Services Sans Serif, Inc.
PO Box 3330 203 W. Michigan Ave., Suite 201
San Rafael, CA 94912 Saline, MI 48176
Ph: 415-459-1311 Fax: 415-459-1311 Ph: 734-944-1190 Fax: 734-944-3083
Tom Angstadt Paul Zomberg
Keystone Typesetting, Inc. Shoreline Graphics
217 East Market Street 30 Linden Street
Orwigsburg, PA 17961 Rockland, ME 04841-3639
Ph: 717-366-3844 Fax: 717-366-3844 Ph: 207-596-0064 Fax: 207-596-0064
John O'Rourke Vicki Trego Hill
Loyola Book Composition Trego-Hill Publications
723 Camino Plaza #207 4264 Canterbury Drive
San Bruno, CA 94066 El Paso, TX 79902
Ph: 415-871-2855 Ph/Fax: 800-339-4281 or 915-533-2985
Linda Peirce Christine Taylor
Peirce Graphic Services, Inc. (PGS) Wilsted & Taylor
10 Central Parkway, Suite 220 430 40th Street
Stuart, FL 34994 Oakland, CA 94609-2522
Ph: 561-220-1400 Fax: 561-220-1445 Ph: 510-428-9087

If you have any questions about these typesetters give us a call.

Printer's Ink is a quarterly newsletter written by Ned Thomson, president of Thomson-Shore, Inc. A hardcopy version is sent out to approximately 20,000 addresses, world-wide. If you are interested in being added to our mailing list please contact us one of the following ways:

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