Reaping Additional Revenue with Reprints
One can only speculate when and what the Eureka! moment was for the publisher who first discovered additional revenue could be made by selling article reprints to those individuals and companies featured positively within the column walls. As for when a potential conflict of interest was realized, this too is a source of speculation. But as a result of the overarching conflict between editorial integrity and the opportunity to generate ancillary revenue, an industry of third party magazine reprint specialists was spawned. Among larger firms such as PARS, FosteReprints and Reprint Management Services (RMS), are myriad independent contractors intent upon encouraging publishers to outsource reprint sales (big and small).
See a specialist
When asked how publishers can best maximize reprint sales, one such independent contractor, Marnie Wrenn of Superior Reprints, recommends, "Go to a reprint specialist." Wrenn realizes that this may sound self-serving, but she maintains, "The problem with keeping reprint sales in-house is that they're usually foisted off on someone who doesn't want to do the job and does not specialize in reprint sales. A publisher is never going to see a lot of sales revenue when he or she hands the programs to a busy art director or editorial assistant who hates to sell and resents being forced to. You need the programs in the hands of someone who knows, and preferably likes, what he or she is doing. When ad sales were booming, reprints were not considered to be a priority. In this market, there is a renewed interest in ancillary sales products such as reprints. Picture a printed magazine as a grapefruit. Selling ancillary products and services is like squeezing all of the juice possible out of that grapefruit. The more money that can be made from that issue once it is printed, the more the expenditures are recouped. No one can afford to leave any money on the table in a market like this."