Reprints Gain Clout As Profit-Pushers
For years, publishers have treated reprints like a shy little cousin—always invited to the party, but never a big part of the conversation. In today's digital world, however, reprints are bringing in the bucks, earning them a seat at the big people's table.
Reprints have, for the most part, long been a profitable part of business for most publishers. But, today, moving from analog to digital files that can be easily customized, shared and tracked online has opened up new revenue opportunities.
Many large publishers outsource their reprint efforts, relying on marketing companies to assume the task of extracting the maximum value of articles from respected publications. Reprint-services companies have evolved into full-service creative and marketing entities, developing trade show, direct mail and marketing materials for vendors based on their clients' editorial content. Experienced service companies recognize that if content is king, reprinting should be its queen.
Dick Wright, president of Wright's Reprints of The Woodlands, Texas, says outsourcing the reprinting function allows publishers to focus on producing future issues. "They are heavily involved in putting out the magazine, so we take charge of creating and marketing the reprints." Wright's company, which handles reprints for Hachette Filipacchi and Primedia, offers a variety of service levels, including sales and call center functions.
Because publishers only have to pay reprint-services companies when they make a sale, the overhead is minimal. And, if reprint-services companies want to make money, they need to make the sale.
And because this is what reprint service companies do full time, they get to know what works and doesn't work in reprint sales. Nora Akins, chief operating officer of FosteReprints, Michigan City, Ind., says reprint-services companies can encourage vendors to use positive reviews as central components of marketing campaigns, while maintaining a clearer separation of church and state between the publisher's editorial and sales efforts. Marketing prowess and creativity, not printing capability, distinguishes valuable service organizations, according to Akins.