34 Tips for Cutting Costs Without Laying Off Staff
Money-saving advice from top publishers on everything from marketing to manufacturing, postage, editorial … and more.December 2008 By James Sturdivant
Tips From …
Dan Pritchett, vice president, marketing and business development, Logos Research Systems Inc.
Logos Research Systems (LRS) publishes the Logos Bible Software, and recently launched a 10,000 circulation niche publication, Bible Study Magazine.
11. Shift marketing dollars online.
LRS realized there were budget-conscious alternatives to inserting promotional business reply cards in magazines. It shifted some of the money saved by not having to print, insert and pay postage on the cards—which Pritchett estimates at several thousand dollars per issue—to online marketing, including buying ad space in the e-newsletters of related organizations and creating a Facebook page. The results have been dramatic, Pritchett says, with excellent return on less investment.
12. Better target your print marketing.
For the Bible Study Magazine launch, LRS worked with an Internet store that sells products to Bible Study’s target audience to insert ads into packages shipped to customers. The campaign is far more targeted than a typical business reply card effort and less costly than sending complimentary copies, Pritchett notes.
Tips From …
Adrian Stanley, CEO, The Charlesworth Group
The Charlesworth Group provides workflow efficiency solutions, including editing, typesetting/pagination, graphics sizing and redrawing, print and print-on-demand options to a range of scholarly and scientific, technical and medical (STM) journal publishers.
13. Understand your market,
and build pricing and business models around it. Allocate resources where your readers are today, not where they were one, three or five years ago. This includes moving judiciously into electronic and social media, but not sacrificing print where reader demand and marketing models based in the medium still create the most return on investment (ROI).
14. Use standard templates for pagination.
Journal publishers like the Nature Publishing Group and British Medical Association have led the way on this, Stanley says. Templates and sub-templates can provide up to 50 article types, especially when integrated with XML-based workflows, saving you time and money by automating production.
15. Integrate workflows and technology with other vendor technology.
Charlesworth has automated the client interface between peer-review systems and online publishing hosting platforms. Such solutions make client interaction simple and efficient, Stanley says. “If you can save someone time, you can probably save costs in the long run,” he says.
16. Know which part of the workflow a technology partner is good at,
and avoid duplication of vendor services. Understand your partner’s strengths and be sure you can trust them to offer you only those services they do best. On the other hand, if a job can be done more efficiently by consolidating several services under a single vendor at a better price, do it.
17. Reduce the number of pages printed.
When presenting something online is acceptable to readers, do so.
18. For journals, experiment with author-pay models,
where authors pay to have their work published. In some circumstances, STM and other publishers have successfully utilized an open-access/author-pay model to save money on product launch and editorial costs.
Tips From …
Catherine Harding-Wiltshire, head of production and distribution, BMJ Group
The BMJ Group publishes a number of medical journals, as well as offers online products and events.
19. Review contracts regularly.
“We review our print contracts every three years,” Harding-Wiltshire says. “This involves reviewing the current offering and exploring new ways to do processes.”
Tips From …
Susan Spilka, director, corporate communications, John Wiley & Sons
Wiley publishes STM and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, and online applications and Web sites; and educational materials, among others.
20. Electronically disseminate promotional copies.
21. Offer online options to save on print costs.
For journal customers, Wiley promotes the option of online-only subscriptions.