The Pressue of Success
Putnam Publishing Group knows a thing or two about fast turnaround.
Getting an impeccable-looking bestseller out on time often proves to be a challenge, particularly when a project involves a world-famous author and longer print runs.
Despite the pressure of strict deadlines, publishing three recent bestselling hardcovers—Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy, Point of Origin by Patricia Cornwell and The Courage to Be Rich: Creating A Life of Spiritual and Material Abundance by Suze Orman—was handled gracefully by the New York City-based Putnam Publishing Group and book manufacturing vendor Phoenix Color, Hagerstown, MD.
Supply and demand
According to Bill Peabody, Putnam's production director, approximately 2 million copies of Rainbow Six, 1 million copies of Point of Origin, and 675,000 copies of The Courage to Be Rich were printed for each book's first run. The overwhelming demand for all three publications was inspiring.
The Courage to Be Rich, recalls Michael Wettstein, Phoenix Color sales representative, sold out on the QVC television network and was into its third print run by the end of March.
Maintaining the titles' production, dictated by an "ultra-tight schedule," Wettstein remarks, did prove to be quite a challenge, but it was a challenge with which both Phoenix Color and Putnam are quite familiar.
Scheduling pressures are ever-present, particularly when a high-profile author and longer print runs are concerned, explains Peabody. "There was some pressure to make sure that the jacket looks extraordinary, that the quality would be consistent … throughout the run," he adds.
"It's not necessarily the first printing that's tough," Wettstein comments, "because then, at least, we get two weeks (for production)." It is when a bestseller begins flying off bookstore shelves that a printer's weekend is spent printing thousands of extra copies, sometimes with embossed jackets or foil stamping and "everything else," Wettstein remarks.