Steven W. Frye

Steven W. Frye
How to Do a Co-Mail Analysis

Co-mailing your publication with other titles offers great savings, but do you know how much you’re really saving? Do you know how to evaluate whether you could be saving more with another mailer/printer?

Co-mail Confusion

Co-mailing—the process in which a mailer (usually your printer) combines the mailing of your magazine with that of other titles—isn't a new process. However, chances are you've only performed one or two postal analyses utilizing co-mailing techniques. And, when you did your analyses, you may have misunderstood how much you would be "saving" by co-mailing.

Master Manufacturer: Striving for Zero Returns on the Newsstand

In today’s electronic age, it’s becoming harder and harder to justify our magazine business model anymore. We can longer claim that we are a cheap source of dispensing information. We cut down trees, transport them to be ground into pulp, use energy and water to create paper, transport the stock to printing plants, print with inks (which go through a similar process in a petroleum-based market), mail magazines in an increasingly more expensive “snail mail” system, and/or ship them in a series of delivery trucks to every newsstand in America. These magazines have a self-imposed average expiration date of 30 days (with the

The Mailing Conundrum

If you publish and mail a magazine, you are already well aware of the impact of the latest postal hikes. The United States Postal Service’s (USPS) 2007 price hike significantly affected both Standard and Periodical rates. Initially, the USPS proposed a change that would increase Periodical rates by an estimated 11.4 percent. The USPS does offer discounts to publishers based on how well the publishers integrate into the USPS’s automated systems with presorting, palletization and other factors. However, publishers do not perform these services … printers do. On its Web site, www.USPS.com, the USPS clearly states its intention to pass responsibility of automation onto

Tips for Picking the Best Paper Source

Managing paper has become more complicated today because limited stock choices in standard roll sizes made for 32-page presses are long gone. Mills are now a blend of domestic and foreign ownership, and aside from readily offering foreign stocks, their domestic paper specifications have slowly changed, creating hybrid stocks with unique brightness, texture and bulking characteristics. Also, recycled stocks with more options, better specs and affordable prices are becoming available. And the new wide-web printing presses require new roll widths, which also require better imposition planning. Paper sourcing has changed over the past five years, and vendors today are trying to remain competitive during

A Fresh Look at Buying Paper

Many publishers who lack significant staff expertise in paper purchasing tend to think they are incapable of buying and supplying paper. They think it is easier to let the printer supply it—and they may be right. Yet, they may be wrong. If you currently buy paper from your printer and have been wondering if it would be beneficial to supply it instead, the following will help you determine what is best for your organization. Who should supply paper? Determining whether you should supply your own paper depends on the amount of paper you use. In general, you need to use at least one

What Do the Latest Printer Mergers Mean to You?

As a print buyer, I am usually dismayed with every acquisition or merger, as it usually means one less source (and competitor) in the print-buying process. The demise of competition may affect prices, but usually the blending of two companies creates a stronger company … hopefully keeping the better aspects of each company. So many mergers and acquisitions have happened over the last 20 years. I have worked with these 25 different publication printers during that time: Holiday Press, American Signature, Foote & Davies, W.A. Krueger, Greenfield Printing, Combined Communications Services, World Color Press Inc., Northeast Graphics, United Litho Inc., Alden Press, William Byrd

9 Tips for Hiring Today’s Magazine Printer

Printers can no longer sell ‘quality’ as the difference between them and their competitors. Today’s print buyers expect excellent quality, and now they are looking for printers who help reduce costs, increase schedule efficiencies, enhance marketing and even generate new revenue. ‘Ink on paper’ has become the least important criteria when hiring a printer. The line between the publishers’ and printers’ duties is increasingly graying, which can be both a benefit and a problem. The benefits are obvious: increased efficiencies and customer loyalty. The problems are less obvious. Now when hiring a printer, all of these value-added services need to be analyzed as to their

The New Role of the Magazine Printer

It’s ironic that when selecting a printer today, printing may be one of the least important criterion. More and more, publishers are choosing printers based on their distribution capabilities, management tools and proactive customer service reps. “The trend overall seems to be that print vendors are providing additional services …,” says John Sartoris, group production director at VNU Business Publications. “Whether it’s workflow solutions or specific project solutions, print vendors are relied upon as partners to provide resources and even marketing solutions that may cover print, direct marketing, e-media and logistics.” Examples of printers helping publishers in areas other than printing have always happened,

Trends to Track in the Paper Market

The publishing industry has changed dramatically in every area, from the way pages are created to virtual proofing to computer-controlled presses to highly sophisticated finishing equipment. Even paper, the low-tech part of our industry, has changed. How has paper been affected in this highly technical world we work in, and how have those changes affected the way we use paper to produce magazines and catalogs? In my opinion, there have been four distinct areas of notable change. Paper Characteristics Paper specifications have been slowly changing toward more “hybrid” options. The standards of grading papers, e.g., #2, #3, #4, etc., have blurred—papers are

Trends to Track in the Paper Market

The publishing industry has changed dramatically in every area, from the way pages are created to virtual proofing to computer-controlled presses to highly sophisticated finishing equipment. Even paper, the low-tech part of our industry, has changed. How has paper been affected in this highly technical world we work in, and how have those changes affected the way we use paper to produce magazines and catalogs? In my opinion, there have been four distinct areas of notable change. Paper Characteristics Paper specifications have been slowly changing toward more “hybrid” options. The standards of grading papers, e.g., #2, #3, #4, etc., have blurred—papers are

The Changing of Standards

The change has been subtle. It’s an unpopular trend with most book publishers, even those who’ve elected to do it. So far consumers/readers haven’t really noticed, and that’s the idea. But the educated guess is that someday they will. The trend I’m referring to is the encroachment of uncoated groundwood stocks into the pure realm of hardcover, case-bound books. Unlike magazines, catalogs and newspapers, books are meant to have a long shelf life. Historically, they have been printed on uncoated freesheets, but lately the industry appears to be graduating to newer, brighter groundwood stocks that look and feel very similar to freesheets, but offer