7 Tips to Avoid Going Postal Over Postage Rates
Since new postal rate increases were implemented last summer by the United States Postal Service (USPS), periodical publishers of all sizes have begun examining how the hike has affected their business and how it will have an impact in the future.
Steve Frye, a publishing consultant and Publishing Executive columnist, offers seven tips for Publishing Executive Inbox subscribers this week to help find ways to alter their production trends to take advantage of the changes.
Frye will speak in greater detail on the topic when he joins a panel of other industry experts at the upcoming 2008 Publishing Business Conference in New York March 10-12. Visit http://www.PublishingBusiness.com for more information on his session or to register for the conference.
1. Begin to deal with the hike if you haven’t already.
Rates aren’t going back to the way they were. Co-mailing may reduce smaller-run publishers’ postal costs. “It’s obvious the shorter-run market got slapped with no recourse other than having to go with a printer that offers co-mailing,” Frye says. “[Smaller-run publishers] pay the highest postal rates out there. That’s a big problem. The post office really didn’t do their homework on how this would impact the magazine industry.”
2. Don’t view digital editions or digital distribution of content as an alternative to the print copy.
“I think alternative is the wrong word,” Frye says. “It’s another form of distribution. I don’t think digital magazines are going to replace [print] magazines. We’re going to have both. Publishers need to know how to do both. Some advertisers will like digital, other will like print and some will like both.”
3. If you have yet to do so, get rid of the polybag and standardize the size of your book to allow you to co-mail.
“Take a look at the capabilities of co-mailing,” Frye says. “Look at printers who co-mail or have means to co-mail. If you stay with a printer without co-mailing, ask the printer to ship your copies to a co-mailer. But if you are interested in co-mailing, your book is going to have to be a standard size.”