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Is Your Printer the Real Deal?

Is your magazine printer a “pretender,” or the real deal? After all, for most associations, managing this part of your communication strategy is mission-critical. How can you tell if you are in the right hands?

There are some ways to tell. For example, most printing companies present a quote to you. It might be for 48 pages (more or less) plus a four-page cover. The quantity might be 10,000, and you are using four-color throughout. Your printer provides you with a quote. Let’s say that you are publishing your annual show issue, and you’ve sold more ads, and you need 72 pages plus cover. Do you have to get another quote? Let’s say you are doing a membership promotion with a particular issue, and you need to print an additional 2,000 copies just this one time. Do you have to get another quote? This is how a “commercial” printer, pretending to be a publication printer, behaves for you.

Every time your needs change, you need a new proposal, and you cannot predict the financial outcome of your publication.

Now, imagine your partner is a publishing expert. In addition to your “Sample Invoice” (commercial printers call this a “quote”), this type of printer provides “Form Pricing,” which is a comprehensive listing of the prices for adding a 4-page form, or an 8-page form, or a 16-page form. Then, you multiply this by the quantity you are publishing for your membership and/or special promotions. The breakthroughs for you and your association are:

  • You have all of the information you need to establish ad rates based on the costs of additional pages.
  • After you add in your editorial costs, you know how much needs to be sold to justify an additional 4-, 8-, or 16-pages.
  • You know you have a partner who understands that publishing decisions are made on a moment-by-moment basis, decisions that can’t wait for the next “quote” from a commercial printer.
  • There are no surprises!

Give us a call or send us an email if you think you can run your publishing operations more effectively, more profitably, and with greater predictability.

Article written by:

Dave Moore


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Traverse City, MI 49686