Bridging the Gap
International publishing poses obstacles for U.S. magazine publishers, but none that can't be handled with a little logistical planning.
IF YOU STOP and think about it, global publishing may seem like a massive undertaking. If that's truly the case, why do so many U.S. publishers venture overseas to explore business opportunities? Do the benefits justify the journey? The answer, according to several industry representatives, is a collective 'yes'.
To produce or not to produce …
El Hospital, a bi-monthly magazine published by Salud Publi-cations International, Cincinnati, has built an audience of 16,000 Latin American readers since 1944. El Hospital is produced in the United States and distributed throughout Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
"We have a production and design editor in Cincinnati," explains Greg Loomis, El Hospital editor and publisher. "We're connected to him electronically." Virtually all of the prepress work for the magazine is done by an outside service bureau near Cincinnati—Cobb Inc., based in Newport, KY.
Communication between the design editor and Cobb is facilitated by a private bulletin board system, where digital files are exchanged. Robin Imaging, Cincinnati, is brought in to handle the scanning of larger, high-resolution images. All of the files are then synthesized at Cobb, film is output, stripped into imposition forms and shipped to Davidson Printing in Duluth, MN, for printing, binding and distribution.
To tackle some of the Latin American distribution logistics, Salud Publications invested in a custom-designed fulfillment system based on a Microsoft Access platform. The software automates data-entry tasks, allows activation/
deactivation of subscribers at the push of a button and also feeds information into a parallel reader service database.
Most importantly, Loomis stresses, the database provides a warehouse of information on subscribers—something that has proven to be essential in dealing with countries where mailing lists are not readily available.