Volume 14 Issue 1

Table of Contents:

There REALLY Are Some Ways To Save Money When You Produce A Book

One of our largest and longest standing customers recently asked us to offer suggestions on how they might lower their production costs. The suggested savings were to be made based on their typical specifications which are: 256 pages, 6 x 9" trim size, 500, 1000 and 2000 copies, 55 lb Natural (Supple Opaque) text stock, text copy from camera ready copy or a disk, full blues, Smyth sewn, basic colored endleaf, case bound in A grade cloth, books wrapped in a 2 PMS color jacket with a color proof and shrinkwrapped individually. These specifications are fairly typical of a lot of our customers’ jobs and here is the listing of our suggestions and the savings that could result:

1. Switch from 55 lb natural to 50 lb or 60 lb white text paper.

2. Switch from 55 lb to 50 lb natural text stock.

3. Eliminate text blues or go to blues of just one or two signatures.

4. Switch from A grade cloth to Kivar 5 or Kivar 7 or Rainbow.

5. Switch from Smyth sewing to Notch binding your case bound books.

Notch case binding instead of Smyth sewing:

6. Shrinkwrap books in groups or eliminate it completely.

7. Eliminate sample cases.

8. Use matching endsheets on the case bound books.

9. Compare our motor freight rates using Consolidated to those that you’re paying Roadway.

10. See a blueline of covers and jackets instead of waterproof.

11. Have us send proofs, etc. UPS standard (2nd day delivery) instead of Federal Express Standard Over Night.

12. Run fewer copies.

13. Use black and 1 PMS on covers instead of 2 PMS colors.

14. Do all text copy on disk instead of creating camera ready copy.

If you have questions about specification changes you might make and any price charges that might occur, all you have to do is ask. Or, if you would like to see us expand on this concept in the next issue of PI, give us your suggestions for areas to address and we’ll be glad to do it...if we can.

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Paper Update: Pricing And TCF Paper

In general paper prices are edging up, or threatening to edge up, pretty much across the board. However, so far the changes have been in the range of just 1% or so and some of those may not even hold. So...it has been a pretty benign setting for paper prices in the last few months.

On another paper front, the Turin Book TCF (totally chlorine free) sheet made by Lyons Falls that we have been stocking in rolls and sheets and in 50 and 60 lb basis weights has gotten significantly harder to obtain. It is now available on a "subject to accumulation" basis which means that if you’re the only one ordering a particular size or weight you will have to wait a while for enough orders to accumulate to justify manufacturing it.

After discussion with our customers who specify that their paper should be totally chlorine free, we have decided that we will now stock that paper only in 50 lb weight for 6 x 9" books. For other weights or sizes, we’ll use Glatfelter’s Supple Opaque which is elemental chlorine free (ECF) and is also made from both recycled fiber...both pre and post consumer.

While TCF paper (which is theoretically the best paper manufacturing formula as far as the environment is concerned) received a lot of favorable publicity about one year ago, it never really captured the imagination of publishers so our usage of it never built up very high.

A recent "On Paper" column in the Adobe Magazine said that worldwide ECF pulp production has grown dramatically (2000% in seven years) and is now approaching 50% of all worldwide pulp production. On the other hand it also said that TCF paper is at about 7% of the total and is not growing...primarily because no proof yet exists that TCF is environmentally better than ECF.

At the moment our natural house sheet is Supple Opaque, it is readily available in all sizes and most weights and it is both recycled and elemental chlorine free (ECF). TCF paper cannot be recycled fiber so we’ve concluded that Supple Opaque is a good environmentally friendly alternative for now.

Our white house sheet, which we call Joy White, is also ECF but it is not recycled. A second white sheet which we stock is Glatfelter’s Thor and this is both ECF and recycled. However, we only stock Thor in 50 lb for 5-1/2 x 8-1/2", 6 x 9" and 8-1/2 x 11" trim sizes and in 60 lb for 6 x 9".

If you have any questions or comments about any of this, please give us a call. We’ll be glad to try to answer them.

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Production Schedule Update

For about the past 18 months our production schedules have not been up to the standards that most of our customers had come to expect from Thomson-Shore. Here’s an update on what we’re doing about this and where we stand at the moment. We have completed a two year, $12,000,000 expansion program that included doubling our building size, adding four new presses, adding an all new, high speed, computerized binding line and also adding much new EP equipment and software.

The last of this equipment has been in place for over four months now and we are progressing up the learning curve. The fruits of the expansion are finally beginning to be realized and for the first time in a long time, we are getting to a position where short production schedules and on-time deliveries should be an asset to us and not a liability.

As I write this article we are meeting a higher percentage of our original commitments than at any time in the past five years. We are charting when a job enters a department and when it leaves a department. If it does not get done in the time we allotted we research why so that we can fix the problem before it happens again. Our first measurement is finding out why it takes the time it does and then our people will try to figure out a way to do it faster.

Currently our actual schedule is 27 working days for a case bound book with proofs and 22 days without proofs. A perfect or notch bound book takes 22 days with proofs and 17 days without proofs. This is a long way from where we intend to get but it’smoving in the right direction and with the high priority our people are giving this effort, I’m sure we’ll continue to improve. Why not try us and see.

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T-S is now doing our own 4-color cover and jacket stripping inhouse if the copy is received on a disk. Earlier we had to send this out to a service bureau and this was both more expensive and more time consuming than it should have been. Currently over one-third of our covers and jackets are 4-color process and the only ones we send to a service bureau now are the few that come in as reflective copy and we have to get separations made.

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In case you missed it, in October, I predicted the University of Michigan football team would be undefeated and win the National Championship. Also, in case you missed it, they did!!!

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We had a very nice response to the story a couple issues ago on book mailers and mailing. Several readers suggested we ask small publishers (and most of our customers fit this description) for their ideas on the best ways they’ve found to sell books. So, if you’d care to give us your ideas, we’ll put them in the next issue.

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The area code for Ann Arbor, Dexter and the rest of our county has been changed to 734 from 313. You can reach T-S using either area code until July 25, 1998 but after that you’ll not be able to get us at 313.

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Elsewhere in this issue there is a brief story about paper prices as well as TCF paper availability. Now here’s another note about "paper":

We have run our first book on Kenaf. This is a paper that is made from a fast growing plant in the hibiscus family. It prints pretty well, it is expensive, not easily available and, at least in our experience, the paper looks grey.

However, at least you don’t have to cut down trees to make it.

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In our Customer Satisfaction Survey, we were asked if customers could send E-mail directly to our people. Yes you can and indeed many people do. All of our customer contact people have E-mail addresses that consist of their first name and the first initial of their last name plus "@tshore.com".

Mine is "nedt@tshore.com". If you have access to E-mail don’t hesitate to send messages to anyone of us that you chose.

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In the last couple issues we’ve written about PDF (Portable Document Format) files and in the bright future we believe they will soon have a huge impact on copy preparation. Unfortunately, we’ve always had to include the fact that PDF is not quite ready yet.

By the time you receive the next issue of Printer’s Ink we expect to be able to receive and use PDF files and we’ll give you the details on how to do this at that time. At the moment we have new imposition software on order and among other things it is designed to take PDF in directly and output imposed negatives. It will also work with the new Quark XPress and Laserwriter 8.X driver. We should have published guidelines for all of this by the issue of Printer’s Ink that mails in May.

Actually those guidelines will likely be available before May and if you want them sooner, let us know.

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We have developed a pretty complete and computerized "sample book program" that is designed to show customers and prospects samples of most any book material we stock. We maintain this inventory of books for you to use and it currently has over 100 titles in it. The purpose of the program is to show samples of all kinds of materials and bindings and the like so a customer or prospect who is considering something different can ask and if we have something close to what you want, we’ll send you a sample book. We keep this inventory updated by reviewing our incoming titles and as we find books we want to include, we ask the customer if we may overrun their order by 25 copies and include their book in our program. Currently we are sending out between 15 and 20 books a day so if you’d like to see samples of halftones on natural stock, or whatever, don’t hesitate to let us know.

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One last comment...and just to put some pressure on them to perform...I’ve challenged our portly Estimating Department (4 of them) to collectively lose 100 lbs by December 31, 1998. If you talk with any of them during the year you might ask them how they’re coming. Actually we have several departments that I could offer this challenge to but since I’ve always considered myself an Estimator and since I worked directly with them for a long time, and since they all need to lose weight, they were a good group to start with.

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Retirement Update

I was impressed at the number of comments (via E-Mail) I received after describing in the past PI, the phasing down or gradual retirement of Harry and myself. Since there seemed to be a lot of interest in this I thought it might be interesting for you to hear how things are going... four months into the process. This isn’t going to pertain at all to book manufacturing so there’s no reason to read further if retirement isn’t your thing. At any rate, here’s a synopsis of what we’re doing and how it’s working out so far.

To begin our retirement, in November, or there abouts, we gave up the "decision making" responsibilities at T-S to two employees, George Metzner and Chuck Schiller, who will work in decision making, goal setting, etc. along with a seven person employee committee. This process will be overseen by an Advisory Board that includes Harry and me as well as three members from outside the company.

Harry and I became part-time as of January 1, 1998 and will be gone fully, except for a role on the board, one year later. I’ll write this newsletter during all of ’98 but perhaps not after that.

In December both Harry and I moved to temporary, but different, residences in Arizona (we’ll be back at T-S part-time in April or May for the balance of the year), so this will cover how the opening weeks in Arizona are going.

Well I can say unequivocally that Harry is loving this time. He’d like to stay in Arizona year round and never leave. He says every day is Saturday and it seems to have been the perfect move for him and Gloria. I believe my wife, Mary Jane, feels that same way.

I suspect I’m also going to get to that point but not quite so easily or quickly. I spent the last nine months of 1997 building the furniture for our new house and between that and working full time at T-S, I stayed busy all day long, seven days a week. I even had to slow down on my book a week reading goal during that time because I was so busy.

Now, with, at least for the moment, no furniture to build, no problems to solve at work and no dog to play with (we left our seven year old Golden Retriever back in Michigan with friends for the winter), I find there are more hours in the day than I’m accustomed to having.

This will be a new challenge for me but I intend to work this out favorably one way or another. In the meantime, it’s nice to be meeting this challenge in the sunshine and if nothing else, my tennis game should be in great shape by the time we go back to Michigan...and blessed work even though it will be part time.

Incidentally, when we do start part time work, rather than get in the new team’s way here, I expect to spend time on the phone renewing acquaintances with customers so you may be hearing from me.

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PreQualified Typesetters

These companies have proven compatibility with our imposition software & imagesetters. Using one of these typesetters will guarantee that you will receive a discount for text files coming in on disk. Any quality or production issues should be addressed with the typesetter.

Robert Eckert
Agnew’s Electronic
Manuscript Processing Service
Grand Rapids, MI
Ph: 616-458-4499

Kay Ballard
Alabama Book Composition
Deatsville, AL
Ph: 334-569-1585

Ms. Alvart Badalian
Arrow Graphics
Watertown, MA
Ph: 617-926-8585

Sharon Denk
Beljan, Ltd.
Dexter, MI
Ph: 734-426-2415

Alice Bennett Dates
A.W. Bennett, Inc.
Hartland, VT
Ph: 802-436-3033

John Dertien
Grand Rapids, MI
Ph: 616-784-7843

Marc Bailey
Books International, Inc.
Roswell, GA
Ph: 770-640-8818

Anne Holmes
Business Graphics
Albuquerque, NM
Ph: 505-884-2244

Robert D. Bartleson
Composing Room of Michigan
Grand Rapids, MI
Ph: 616-452-2171

Tom Lewis
Crane Typesetting Service, Inc.
Charlotte Harbor, FL
Ph: 800-214-0023

Bill Grosskopf
G & S Typesetters, Inc.
Austin, TX
Ph: 512-478-5341

Justin Fox
Generic Compositors
Stamford, NY
Ph: 607-652-2665

Dwight Agner
Graphic Composition, Inc.
Athens, GA
Ph: 706-546-8688

Bruce East
Huron Valley Graphics, Inc.
Ann Arbor, MI
Ph: 734-769-5795

Joyce Jackson
Impressions Book
& Journal Services
Madison, WI
Ph: 608-244-6218

Timothy Mayer
Inari Information Services, Inc.
Bloomington, IN
Ph: 812-331-2298

Glen Sandvoff
Integrated Composition Systems
Spokane, WA
Ph: 509-624-5064

Jeffrey L. Jarrett
Jarrett Engineering
Sullivan, IN
Ph: 812-268-3338

Joel Friedlander
Joel Friedlander Publishing Services
San Rafael, CA
Ph: 415-459-1311

Tom Angstadt
Keystone Typesetting, Inc.
Orwigsburg, PA
Ph: 717-366-3844

John O’Rourke
Loyola Book Composition
San Bruno, CA
Ph: 415-871-2855

Vicki Hendrickson
New Image Graphics
Ashland, OH
Ph: 419-281-8946

Linda Pierce
Peirce Graphic Services, Inc.
Stuart, FL
Ph: 561-220-1400

Vivian Bradbury
Sans Serif, Inc.
Saline, MI
Ph: 734-944-1190

Diane Borneman
Shadow Canyon Graphics
Evergreen, CO
Ph: 303-670-0401

Paul Zomberg
Shoreline Graphics
Rockland, ME
Ph: 207-596-0064

Susan Mathews
Stillwater Studio
Stillwater, NY
Ph: 518-587-6922

Judy Berlinski
Sun Dog Press
Northville, MI
Ph: 248-449-7448

Vicki Trego Hill
Trego-Hill Publications
El Paso, TX
Ph: 800-339-4281 or 915-533-2985

Barbara Williams
B. Williams & Associates
Durham, NC
Ph: 919-956-9111

Christine Taylor
Wilsted & Taylor
Oakland, CA
Ph: 510-428-9087

Buzz Lohmeier
Zeko Graphics
Kansas City, MO
Ph: 819-842-1484

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Answers To Customers Questions

In our customer satisfaction survey there is a space to ask questions and suggest subjects for PI articles. A lot of the stories that go in PI now come from those suggestions and the following is meant to answer some of the questions we’ve been asked.

PC Application Files: We now have a PC workstation in our EP department and have worked with two customers in taking their PC application files and converting them to postscript at T-S. So far we are only offering this for PageMaker 6.X on Windows 95. If you want to check on our ability to work with your PC application files, give Laurie Briegel a call here and we’ll see what we can do for you.

Archiving Jobs: We archive all negatives under our job number and this number is the same as our invoice number. If you want to refer to an old job that we’ve done, it helps if you give us that job number.

Matte Lamination: There is a definite increase in the use of matte lamination on covers and jackets though it is still less popular than gloss lamination. You should keep in mind, if you want to use matte lamination, that it distorts colors more than gloss laminate and if you put it over metallic ink, you’ll lose much of the metallic effect.

Creating Solid Blacks in 4-Color Process: When we want a solid black in 4-color process printing, we create it using 100% black and 60% Cyan. This gives a solid and rich looking black. Now that customers are creating some of their own 4-color process art, we’ve had to deal with some solid blacks that were created by using 100% of all 4 process colors.

This brings about an area that has too much ink on the sheet, it doesn’t dry and it tends to offset. If the area is large enough it can also make the sheet unstable because it is so wet and this makes registration difficult. Call us if you have questions about this.

Profiles Of T-S Employees: Since we do not have sales people customers have asked us to provide pictures and profiles of the T-S people they come in contact with. Actually, we already do this in a couple ways. We send out a photo of all our customer contact people to every new customer and an introductory letter from their T-S customer rep goes along with that picture. We also have photos of all our customer contact people, along with a brief biography which each of them wrote, on our Website which is www.tshore.com.

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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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