U.S. Postal Service

Will Digital Editions Survive?
February 1, 2008

There are some things that seem certain to me. AOL is a goner and now Yahoo! with its 14,000 employees (yes, 14,000!) is doomed as well (although with Microsoft’s just-announced $45 billion bid for the company it may just take another shape).

Then there’s this fascinating story about print publishers getting introduced to digital editions. I first learned about them more than five years ago when I was asked to research and interview vendors offering basically three flavors of digital editions: Flash, PDF and some proprietary technology that used XML and/or JavaScript. Among other things, the companies showcased peel-back page animation (with that always useful

3 Concepts for Every Publisher’s Success
December 1, 2007

My friend Dr. Joe Webb is one of the graphic arts industry’s well-known and outspoken consultants, economic forecasters, commentators and pundits. As director of WhatTheyThink.com’s Economics and Research Center, he was pontificating and predicting in a recent online column the future of our industry, and he threw out the following ideas. 1. “Managing” content is not the issue; deploying content is. As my readers know, I have been suggesting similar concepts in this column for years. I think we can all agree that today’s print publishers have attained and acquired an excellence in creating and managing vast amounts of content. In fact, nobody does it better

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

Postal Rate Hikes Approved, But Delayed for Periodicals
March 23, 2007

The Governors of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) announced this week an increase in the price of first-class stamps to 41 cents and approved the issuance of the Forever stamp as well as shape-based pricing. There will be an 11.7 percent increase for out-of-county periodicals and an 18.3 percent increase for in-county periodicals. The Governors also revealed that these changes will be effective May 14. The postal rate increases will likely have significant impacts on magazines, but Gordon Hughes, American Business Media’s president and CEO, says the hikes were not as high as some feared. “As postal rate cases go, this has been a

Commission to Announce Decision on Request to Increase Postage Rates
February 23, 2007

In a move that will affect magazine publishers all across the country, the Postal Regulatory Commission will announce its recommended decision to the U.S. Postal Service’s Board of Governors on Monday, Feb. 26, in Washington, D.C.The decision will include recommendations on postal rates and fees affecting all mail users. The decision also will address the…

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

Kiplinger’s VP Sales and Marketing Says Endorsed Mailings Can Be Effective in Prospecting
September 8, 2006

Who you know has proven to be just as effective as what you know for publishing firm Kiplinger and its direct mail prospecting strategies. According to Denise Elliott, vice president of sales and marketing for this publisher of investment newsletters and magazines, marketers can find success in the mail by leveraging a list owner’s brand recognition and integrity to attract new customers. Elliott explained how such partnerships work during the “50 Tips in 50 Minutes” session at the recent List Vision conference. Rather than do a straight rental deal of a noncompeting firm’s housefile, Kiplinger works with the list owner to develop a mailing that

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,

How to Deal With the USPS’ Latest Proposed Rate Hike
August 4, 2006

In a story in Publishing Executive’s most recent issue, writer Eric Butterman queried publishers on how they plan to respond to the USPS’ latest proposed 11 percent rate hike. 1) Promote your online edition. More online readers make for less postage. Yankee magazine now makes two of its 12 issues available only online. 2) Decrease paper quality and size. 3) Clean up your comp list. Some publishers also are now sending only their digital editions to their comp lists. 4) Team up with other publishers to co-mail for deeper penetration into certain postal areas and ZIP code discounts. 5) Keep an eye on development