Reprints! Reprints! Reprints!
On the flip side of the coin, "there are a lot of internal programs that make sense," offers Cynthia Osborne-McKean, Mussman's co-principal at PARS International. If a publisher is committed to assigning a dedicated staff to selling reprints, having an in-house program may be a more cost-effective solution. However, Mussman adds, be forewarned that having a commercial printer handle the manufacturing of reprints can be cost prohibitive. Be sure to shop around, and take into consideration not only price but quality, service and turnaround time, as well.
Partnering to make it work
When outsourcing to a reprint management company, it is critical not to diminish the importance of the relationship between that firm and the publisher. Like in marriage, trust must be fostered and rules established to ensure a fruitful, long-standing relationship.
At PARS International, developing a relationship with a publisher is sometimes a cautious yet deliberate process. Mussman explains, "Our goal is not to go out and get every single magazine out there (as a client). … Any (reprint) company can go out there and get 1,000 magazines. … We want to represent a few choice ones."
Before PARS takes in a new client, Mussman and Osborne-McKean analyze a publication's reprint revenue potential. Collectively, they study six to eight issues and ask the following questions: What kinds of clients would buy a reprint from this publication? Are there a lot of prospects? How many reprint inquiries is the publisher currently receiving? How salable is the brand name of the magazine?
If a publication is "qualified" as a potential reprint vehicle, Osborne-McKean and Mussman approach the publisher to begin the courtship phase. During this time, which could feasibly last three to six months, PARS and the publisher begin to negotiate the terms of the relationship, including whether the publisher will grant permission to include the buyer's logo on a reprint; whether portions of the editorial may be excerpted; and whether covers may be used.