Dealing with Rising Paper and Postage Costs
With paper and postage costs on the rise, you might be considering changing your paper stock to a lighter or cheaper one, or considering reducing your trim size to lighten the single-copy weight.
Publishers rarely "degrade" their books in these manners unless they are trying to offset increasing paper and postage costs. They are the two largest expenses a magazine publisher has, and it is a hardship when either goes up. It can be significantly detrimental when both go up at the same time.
Paper prices are on the rise, and early next year, postage rates will jump by an anticipated 6 percent. The cost of fuel has also hit record levels, and that affects freight and postage costs, as well as paper shipments.
What can you do to offset these increases? Whenever this
subject comes up, changing to a lighter basis weight or
reducing trim size are mentioned most often.
1 Change your basis weight.
This is the quickest and easiest way to reduce paper and distribution costs. Lighter paper is less-expensive, the book weighs less and distribution costs are less. Although lighter stocks generally have more expensive costs per hundredweight, you use less paper "weight" and ultimately pay less.
Let's estimate the impact of switching to different paper. If you use 145,000 pounds of 60# at $46.25 cwt., and you want to know the difference of switching to 50# at $53.75 cwt., follow these steps:
• Take the paper you want (50) and divide it by the paper you have (60), and come up with a factor (.83333).
• Multiply the usage (145,000) by the factor (.83333), and you will now see how much 50# paper you would use (120,833 lbs.).
• Then calculate each cost, and the difference: The difference of 60# (145,000 ÷ 100 x 46.25 = $67,063) compared to 50# (120,833 ÷ 100 x 53.75 = $64,948) is a savings of $2,115.