E-PubXpress / Publishers Press

31 Tips for Offsetting Postal Rate Increases
December 1, 2007

In the aftermath of this year’s postal rate increases, publishers and vendors are coming up with fresh ideas and methodologies for cutting costs, spurred on by the postal service’s new emphasis on standardized shipping. Strategies vary based on print runs and distribution models; generally speaking, however, the USPS’s new rules tend to benefit publishers who work with printers to use co-palleting and co-mailing options, and have forced small-run publishers to seek partners or find other means to offset increasing expenses that can total in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Publishing Executive gathered 31 tips from those in the field to help

The Mailing Conundrum
October 1, 2007

If you publish and mail a magazine, you are already well aware of the impact of the latest postal hikes. The United States Postal Service’s (USPS) 2007 price hike significantly affected both Standard and Periodical rates. Initially, the USPS proposed a change that would increase Periodical rates by an estimated 11.4 percent. The USPS does offer discounts to publishers based on how well the publishers integrate into the USPS’s automated systems with presorting, palletization and other factors. However, publishers do not perform these services … printers do. On its Web site, www.USPS.com, the USPS clearly states its intention to pass responsibility of automation onto

Publishers Press to Offer New Feature that Secures Postal Discounts
October 6, 2006

Publishers Press, a short- to medium-run magazine printer, will soon include polywrapped publications in the co-mailing feature of its PubXpres Distribution System. PubXpres combines co-palletization, co-mailing and drop shipping into a program that allows smaller publishers to enjoy the postal discounts afforded to larger mailers. “We are constantly looking for ways to increase mailing efficiency and include more of our customers’ magazines in the program,” says Mark Veatch, vice president of customer service at Publishers Press and project leader for the company’s co-mailing initiatives. “While there are restrictions that will still prevent certain polywrapped titles from participating, we have overcome a hurdle for the

The New Role of the Magazine Printer
September 1, 2006

It’s ironic that when selecting a printer today, printing may be one of the least important criterion. More and more, publishers are choosing printers based on their distribution capabilities, management tools and proactive customer service reps. “The trend overall seems to be that print vendors are providing additional services …,” says John Sartoris, group production director at VNU Business Publications. “Whether it’s workflow solutions or specific project solutions, print vendors are relied upon as partners to provide resources and even marketing solutions that may cover print, direct marketing, e-media and logistics.” Examples of printers helping publishers in areas other than printing have always happened,

Want Less Work, Better Quality and Lower Costs?
December 1, 2005

Buying printing these days is simple as well as complicated, depending on the area you're considering. Prepress has become simpler as the PDF/X-1a format is now the preferred standard for page files. Prepress price lists at printers are now just a few line items—long gone are the hundreds of items dealing with film. But, as we all know, just because it has become easier to buy prepress and submit PDFs doesn't mean that workflow problems don't exist. InDesign has made significant inroads to become the front-end system of choice for two basic reasons: ease of creating PDFs and the inclusion of international symbols.

Can Co-Distribution Save You Money?
August 1, 2005

One of the biggest changes in the publication printing industry today has been in mailing. Mailing used to consist of applying customer-furnished labels to the publications, and printers would drop them into the closest Bulk Mailing Center (BMC). As the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) created more complex sortation rules and subsequent pricing structures, printers have begun offering services to take advantage of potential discounts for their customers. You've most likely heard printers offering savings through co-palletizing or co-mailing, or even co-mingling. These "co-distribution" strategies attempt to combine different publications/mail together to reduce postage costs and increase discounts. Co-Palletization In co-palletizing, the mailer places

Dealing with Rising Paper and Postage Costs
June 1, 2005

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

The Impact of Interactive Ads
April 1, 2005

None of us can precisely gauge the extent to which advertising boosts brand recognition and revenues. We can't tell whether magazine readers will notice an ad, nor can we measure an ad campaign's success, not if success means counting the number of readers who bought a product or used a service, or grew attached to a brand because they saw a certain ad. But sometimes we just know. We see an ad that stands out like a tiger among tabby cats, and we tell others about it. Then they see the ad and tell their friends, and the ad creates a buzz of

Honor thy CSR
April 1, 2005

Publication-printing companies have slowly changed from a commodity vendor (supplying printing) to a service vendor (fulfilling the publisher's objectives). Successful printers realize that selling services gets and keeps customers. Customers become dependent on a vendor who helps them to be more efficient and profitable. And it is the customer service representative (CSR) who is the link to that relationship. It's the CSR's job to work directly with the publishers and gather all the needed instructions to produce their magazines. The CSR also enters that data into company management systems, tracks its progression and, in some cases, helps prepare invoices. CSRs put out 'fires' and

Publishers Have Major Hurdles to Clear
February 1, 2005

Speaking at the American Magazine Conference in late 2004, Postmaster General Jack Potter reiterated his commitment not to raise postal rates until 2006. Magazine publishers, already dealing with substantial paper price increases, welcome Potter's statements with a sigh of relief, but the industry needs to prepare for this increase now. Handling mail sacks is a major cost center for the U.S. Postal Service and the topic of a complaint filed by five publishing giants: Time Warner, Condé Nast, Newsweek, The Reader's Digest Association, and TV Guide Magazine Group. The complainants are seeking to restructure Periodicals Class rates to eliminate classification subsidies that minimize cost