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It’s Next Generation Time In EP!
PDF Is Here Now And It’s The Way To Go!

Output Ready PDF can save you money!

Wow! I go away for 1 monthand the whole world starts moving faster. After spending the month of January in the monotonous weather in Arizona (sunshine and 70 degrees every darn day) I come back to Michigan (rain, dark and cold filthy snow) and find that the most exciting development electronic prepress has yet to offer publishers, is here right now and it’s sitting on our doorstep. PDF is ready to go and T-S is ready to show you how to take advantage of this amazing new generation of electronic text copy production.

PDF can save you time, money, and worry. It is, so our people tell me, probably the best thing to come along since sliced bread.

Here are some (we can’t give you all of them yet because every day, as we work with PDF, new advantages become apparent) of the advantages PDF offers the typesetter, the publisher, and the printer.

First, the file size is from 1/10 to 1/100 the size of a PostScript file and everyone benefits from this. When properly prepared, all fonts and graphics are contained in one file that is viewable, complete page by complete page, on a monitor with everything in place, just as it will appear on the printed page. This eliminates the need for the file creator to make individual laser page proofs. The editors can view the final files without having to know all the individual software packages that a typesetter may use. Once the page proofs are approved on the publishers end, those same electronic files can be sent to the printer.

PDF files can be run equally easily on an IBM/PC, MAC, or UNIX platform. And, PDF can actually cross platforms. In addition, PDF files are turning out to be much more stable than PostScript, and, if there are problems with the file, it is much more apparent when you are viewing the files in Acrobat Reader or Exchange. PostScript, on the other hand, identifies them in PostScript language, which, to most people, might as well be in ancient Greek. Thus, a PDF file can be verified and fixed before sending it to the printer.

For the printer, a big advantage is that preflighting time of a PDF file will take about 20 to 30 minutes vs. an average of 2 hours with PostScript or application files. The file creator does need to spend some added time converting their PostScript file to PDF. Typically batch processing can be used for this, so that this conversion could take place during off hours or over the lunch period. The typesetters we’ve talked with seem very happy to do it. The software that does the conversion to PDF is very "instructive" and easy to follow and will again point out any problems that are contained in the PostScript file.

We do recommend going to PostScript first, before converting to PDF, rather than going directly from application files (like PageMaker) to PDF. Going direct to PDF from an application file produces questionable quality because the default settings are set to accommodate on-line publishing, which is usually low resolution, so art would not reproduce well. However, if you have a text-only job, it might be OK to go from application file direct to PDF. You should confirm this by sending a test file to check before you do the entire book. It’s time to get ready for PDF.

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PDF Is Here And It’s The Way To Go!

What we are doing to help

you prepare for PDF.

Guidelines: Our PDF conversion guidelines are available now via fax (when you ask for them) or they can be downloaded from our website, www.tshore.com. They will give you a pretty complete summary of how to prepare PDF files.

Prequalified Typesetter List: In mid January we sent a letter to all of our PreQualified Typesetters. We requested them to be able to prepare "Output Ready PDF" files instead of PostScript. So far, their response has been unanimously positive. They said they aren’t surprised that we were going in that direction, they are ready to go and they all viewed it as a positive step. On page 5 of this issue is a list of suppliers that are willing to help you provide Output Ready PDF files.

Test Files: We suggest that you and your suppliers send us a test file before sending the final files in for production. This way we can verify that the files are created properly and are not introducing any unwanted substitutions. Please indicate on your cover letter that the files being provided are for testing purposes. Also provide lasers of the PDF pages you are sending.

PDF Pricing: Pricing is another big plus for PDF! We will be pricing Prepress in 3 different levels. If you tell us you intend to furnish camera ready copy (CRC) our quotation will reflect that in the base price. If you indicate you will furnish an error free application or PostScript file, the price we quote will be lower than the CRC price. Or, if you tell us you intend to furnish an "Output Ready PDF" file, the price we put on the quote will be much lower that any of the previously mentioned formats. Obviously, in order for us to show the correct price on your quotation, you need to indicate on your request for quote what you intend to furnish. Thus . . . not only does Output Ready PDF offer you a whole pocketful of advantages; it can save you a lot of money as well.

PDF Seminar: We are planning to sponsor an instructive seminar at our plant in Dexter in late spring or early summer (didn’t want anybody to endure Michigan winter). This seminar will feature a complete, hands-on course in preparing Output Ready PDF files for book production. The seminar is going to be devoted to both PDF files and scanning of illustrations as well as some basic job setup information and a plant tour.We’ll also be sure there’s a typesetter or two here to talk with you.

We’ll shortly be sending a letter to our customers with the dates, price, etc. for this seminar, but, if you are not a customer, give us a call and we’ll include you in the mailing. At any rate, we believe this will be an ideal way for you to get your publishing . . . at least the prepress production part of it. . . ready for the millenium. I really believe you will benefit if you take advantage of this opportunity. It should take place when I’m back in Michigan and I’d really like to meet you . . . if you come.

Schedules: Because of the significant savings PDF offers in time and trouble, we expect production schedules for books done from Output Ready PDF files will be shorter than other jobs by anywhere from two to seven working days. So, not only will PDF save money, you can get your book manufactured in a shorter time.

E-Commerce: This is really fairly far out as far as technology goes, but there is stuff out there in cyberspace . . . or some such place . . . that provides a software interface to a FTP server that will allow you to place orders and provide files totally electronically. If the demand is as great as we think it will be, it will handle nearly 100% of our work from PDF files. We have included this in our 1999 equipment budget even though we don’t really know exactly what all it will entail but if we don’t prepare early for this coming PDF "revolution" we could catch ourselves short on FTP capacity. At any rate, we know PDF is coming, we know it’s going to take over the copy preparation field and we intend to be in the lead among printers in getting ready for it.

Just as a side note: Virtually all developers of graphic arts software are currently working on ways to make PDF still easier, more price efficient and capable of producing the highest quality files possible. We’d love to have you come to our seminar and learn right now how you can be the 1 st person on your block to take advantage of PDF in all its splendor and glory.

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In the last issue I mentioned the Managerial Grid as one of the fundamental concepts behind the development of our operating philosophy at T-S. Unfortunately I went on to say that the Managerial Grid was developed by Masters and Johnson. That statement was a mistake and not a joke. Masters and Johnson, as you may remember, worked in the area of sex andmarriage counseling. Blake and Mouton were the folks that developed the Managerial Grid. My mind must have been wandering when I wrote that.

* * * * *

Paper pricing is trending downward right now. Natural paper (our natural sheet is Glatfelter’s Recycled, elemental chlorine free, Supple Opaque) went down a bit over 3% since the last issue of Printer’s Ink in November and the feeling is that it should stay at this new price for quite some time. White paper went down 2% in January and now, just a few weeks later, they’ve announced a 4-6% increase to be put in effect by early March. This could, however, be wishful thinking on their part and that increase may not ever become reality. If all paper manufacturers go along with it and, if demand doesn’t drop, the increase will probably hold, otherwise it will be rescinded.

* * * * *

Our $.30/page EP discount program, which has been in effect 3 years, provided a discount on just over 1,000,000 pages in that time and saved customers about $300,000. That particular program will end March 31st and is being largely replaced by a new pricing structure that will make "Output Ready PDF" files much more competitive. This is covered pretty thoroughly in the story on page 1 and if you haven’t already read it I certainly encourage you to. We believe PDF files are the most exciting thing that’s come along in book manufacturing in some time. Our upcoming seminar (covered on page 2) will tell you all you need to know about PDF. We’d like you to attend if you can.

* * * * *

A year ago in this issue, I challenged our estimating department (Sue, Bill, Chris, and Mark) to collectively lose 100 lbs. by Dec. 31, 1998. There was a financial incentive for them if their collective weigh-in was at least 100 lbs. lower. Alas, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t have to pay. Each one individually claims to have lost weight but somehow, collectively they gained. It must be that the sum of the parts really adds up to less than the whole . . . or maybe it was a statistical aberration.

* * * * *

In answer to customers’ questions . . . notch bind vs. Smyth sewing a 256 page, 6x9, case bound book will save roughly $ .07/copy at 500 copies, $ .15 at 1000 copies, and $ .19 at 2000 copies. Case binding in Kivar 5 or 7 will be approximately $ .10/copy less than A grade cloth and eliminating a sample case on a case bound book will save about $30.

* * * * *

Although I was not successful in getting swans on the lake by our house in Arizona, we do have ducks and a Great Blue Heron. I feed the ducks every day so I’m hoping they’ll stay but only the Mallards will eat what I give them (most of the ducks are divers and they don’t seem to like anything I can provide) and the Heron couldn’t care less, either.

By the time you read this my wife and I and 4 others will have, hopefully, successfully hiked into and out of the Grand Canyon. We have reservations at Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of the canyon, on February 17. It could be interesting hiking since the temperature this morning at the canyon rim was 3 degrees.

* * * * *

The major cloth manufacturer, ICG/Holliston, instituted higher minimum orders for their cloths in December. They wanted 100-yard minimums on most items and that’s enough cloth for about 800 or so books. Since we do many runs of case bound books well below that number we complained loudly and were able to get Roxite B (their most popular grade in our usage at least) cut down to 50 yard minimums and this is about enough for 350 books. This may never affect you but if you do very low runs of case bound books you may be asked if we can use one of our dozen in-stock Roxite B cloths so we can avoid having to order more than we need to do a couple hundred books.

* * * * *

Our experiment with moving our primary customer contact and service people into a team, instead of their being in departments bydiscipline, has been a success. For the past six months we have had a team for the Western Region and it consists of a Senior Customer Service Rep, a Customer Service Rep, an Estimator, a Business development Associate, and 2 Production Planners. These people all work together in one unobstructed area and this has increased communication and cut down on the number of phone calls that aren’t answered by a person. Within 6 months we should have all 5 geographic regions we work with being serviced by teams with the same makeup as our Western Region team.

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New PreQualified Typesetters

Typesetters Who Are Ready & Able
To Produce "Output Ready PDF" Files

The following PreQualified Typesetters have agreed that they can supply Output Ready PDF files. We do not guarantee the quality of their work, we are simply providing you with suppliers that are willing to support this new file format.

Agnew’s Inc.
Grand Rapids, MI
Arrow Graphics
Watertown, MA
Beljan, Ltd.
Dexter, MI
A.W. Bennett, Inc.
Hartland, VT
Grand Rapids, MI
Books International, Inc.
Roswell, GA
Business Graphics
Albuquerque, NM
Cimarron Design
Boulder, CO
Coleridge Design & Imaging
Kansas City, KS
Composing Room of Michigan
Grand Rapids, MI
Eastern Composition
Binghamton, NY
Em Studio
Albuquerque, NM
G & S Typesetters
Austin, TX
Generic Compositors
Stamford, NY
Graphic Composition, Inc.
Athens, GA
Heidelberg Graphics
Chico, CA
Hillside Studio, Inc.
Albuquerque, NM
Huron Valley Graphics, Inc.
Ann Arbor, MI
Impressions Book & Journal
Madison, WI
Integrated Composition Systems
Spokane, WA
Jarrett Engineering
Sullivan, IN
Merin Bookworks
San Rafael, CA
Keystone Typesetting, Inc.
Orwigsburg, PA
Loyola Book Composition
San Bruno, CA
MacKey Composition
Holland, MI
Martin-Waterman Associates, Ltd.
Highland Park, NJ
Nighthawk Design
Grand Rapids, MI
Pierce Graphic Service, Inc.
Stuart, FL
Running Feet Books
Morrisville, NC
Sans Serif, Inc.
Saline, MI
Shadow Canyon Graphics
Evergreen, CO
Shoreline Graphics
Rockland, ME
Trego-Hill Publications
El Paso, TX
Neil West
Victoria, BC Canada
B. Williams & Associates
Durham, NC
Wilsted & Taylor
Oakland, CA

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How Much For That Extra Color?

For the book designer who is curious about the cost of adding an extra PMS color to a cover or a dust jacket, here are some approximate costs.

If we assume that a one color, film laminated cover, printed on 10pt C1S costs xx.xx amount of dollars (I’m not going to give this number out in order to protect the innocent and preserve some privacy in our pricing system) then additional colors would add the following amounts: one additional color–approximately $175; two additional colors–approximately $345; three additional colors–approximately $520. These figures assume all the colors are flat PMS, not 4-color process. These numbers hold true for jackets, too.

If one of the colors is black it will save about $30. If you go from 3 additional colors to 4-color process, with us making the separations that contain no bleeds, traps, shrinks, spreads, screens, reverses, etc., it would add about $200 to the three-color cover price. If it was a 4-color process cover and the publisher supplied plate ready, composited film, you would deduct $250 from the 3 PMS color price.

These numbers are all approximate and will more or less apply to any quantity from 1000 to 3000 covers. I hope this is of some help to you.

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What Exactly Is Output Ready PDF?

Output Ready PDF is in reference to the Portable Document Format, but taking it a few steps further. A job is considered output ready if all fonts and final art is embedded in the files. PDF files that contain graphics that are for position only and require stripping are not in the category of "Output Ready". To take advantage of the lowest costs in Thomson-Shore’s new pricing structure you need to supply Output Ready PDF files. Following are some points to consider.


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What We Do Best!!!!!

We occasionally have people who read Printer’s Ink but who do not really know exactly what T-S does for a living . . . i.e. what we specialize in.

Like most successful printers, we do not try to be all things to all people. Our niche is pretty well defined as "short run, soft and hard bound books in quantities runs from about 200 up to 20,000 or so."

Within those parameters we do everything from camera copy or electronic files (we do not set type or create the files) through the bound books in house . . . except for mechanical binding (wire-o, spiral and plastic binding) where we handle the printing, folding and gathering and then outsource the final binding operation.

Our soft binding can be notch, perfect or Smyth sewn and case binding can be Smyth sewn or notch bound. Our standard trim sizes are 5-1/2x8-1/2", 6x9", 6-1/8x9-1/4", 7x10" and 8-1/2x11" and we stock text paper in white and natural shades for these sizes. Both the white and the natural sheets are acid free and free of elemental chlorine. The natural sheet is also recycled. We stock both sheets for most all sizes in 50 lb and 60 lb weights as well as in 55 lb for 5-1/x8-1/2", 6x9" and 6-1/8x9-1/4". We stock Turin Book, a totally chlorine free, natural sheet in 50 and 60 lb. weights for 6x9" and 6-1/8x9-1/4" trim sizes. We also stock 70 lb Matte coated for 6x9", 6-1/8x9-1/4" and 8-1/2x11", 70 lb enamel for 6x9", 6-1/8x9-1/4" and 8-1/2x11" and 80 lb enamel for 8-1/2x11". For other trim sizes on coated stock we can usually either adapt one of our stocking sheets or else special order the sheet if the amount is 5000 lbs . . . or as low as 2500 lbs for some sheets.

We print our text pages on Heidelberg perfector presses . . . we have five of them in the 28x40" size or a 38x50" Royal Zenith Planeta perfector for 7x10" and 8-1/2x11" trims. We also have a Vari-Quick web press that prints 6x9", 6-1/8x9-1/4" or 7x10" trims.

We print our covers, jackets and 4-color inserts on two 4-Color Heidelberg presses. We do not do books that are 4-color throughout but do produce 4-color inserts. One thing that is unusual about T-S is that we have no outside sales people. Probably no other book printer in the country who is close to our size (we have about 325 employees) operates this way.

In spite of having little direct sales effort we have added close to two new customers a day for over five years. These people find their way to us usually by word of mouth recommendations from other publishers or because they’ve read Printer’s Ink. At any rate, whatever we’re doing, it seems to be working so, aside from working on speeding up our delivery, we’re not trying hard to change it.

One thing I believe we are particularly good at is working with new customers and customers who do not do a lot of titles. We currently have about 1200 active customers and we print about 5,500 titles per year. While that includes quite a few customers who do from 50 to 150 titles a year with us, it also obviously includes a tremendous number that do only one or two. We believe we are very good at working with, and helping, the new, small publisher.

If you’d like to find out more about us, give us a call. Or, if you’d just like to find something out about our pricing, fill out the attached quote request form and send it in. We’ll have a firm quotation back on its way to you within 48 hours.

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PI Information

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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