Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I'm curious as to what point does a Region stop producing its newletter "in-house" and begin farming it out to a professional printer? If it's the number of copies, what's the magic number?<P>In your opinion, what are the plusses and minuses of dealing with a printer? A company, not a piece of hardware.<P>For those of you producing a newsletter in-house, what are your biggest problems and greatest benefits?<P>I hope this post results in replies from many Editors representing Regions of all sizes. I'm sure I'm not the only interested party. rolleyes.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron,<P>I am printing about 80 copies per month here at the house on a desktop copier. The newsletter has been averaging between 8 and 10 pages so thats only approximately 560 to 800 pages copied per month.<BR> <BR>Problems of doing it "in-house":<BR>Biggiest problem to me is time. It takes a long time to feed that many pages through the copier, not counting pages that are scrapped. And with the copier I have here, it requires someone to tend to the copier all the time that copies are being made.<P>You always have to keep logistics in mind as to keeping enough needed supplies at hand to make sure you can make the complete run of newsletters and not run out of paper or toner in the middle of a job.<P>Equipment readiness is always a consern. If a copier breaks during an "inhouse job, then either another means of making copies must be arranged or the newsletter may be delayed getting out while waiting for the equipnenbt to be repaired.<P>The quality of equipment may not be as high as that in a profesional printing place. <BR> <P>Benefits of doing it "inhouse":<BR>The main benefit that I see is that changes or additions can be made at the last minute to the master copy. If something important pops up, it can be included in a hurry whereas if the master copy was already sitting at a print company, there would be no chance of incorporating the change before the copies are made, especially if it occurs after hours.<P>Another benefit I can think of is total quality control of the final product. If pages come out smudged or otherwise damaged, they can be recopied instead of accepting someone elses poor print quality.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Over the years we've done it both ways. We used to photocopy 225 copies on a small tabletop copier. Now we take it to a printer.<P>In house - Pros<BR>1)Quality control higher<BR>2)Timeliness - you decide when it will be done<BR>3)Error control - you can correct up until the last moment<P>In house - Cons<BR>1)Time commitment - it takes a long time to make the copies<BR>2)Equipment failure (copier) - it ALWAYS acts up when a print job has to get done now<BR>3)Storage - the copier and all the supplies have to go somewhere<P>Printer - Pros<BR>1)"Professional" copies<BR>2)Time savings - they copy, collate, staple and fold for us<BR>3)Advice - they can and will offer suggestions for improving the master copy<P>Printer - Cons<BR>1)Timing - our printer wants a week turnaround time<BR>2)Quality control - Joe Highschool doesn't always care about your product. Pick your printer carefully.<BR>3)Pictures - You may have to pay more to get quality pictures.<P>These are the first things I thought of in terms of the copying process. If you have a smaller print run and can create "originals" for everyone on your printer, then you have the best of both worlds, IMHO.<P>Jan K.<BR>Wis Region

Link to post
Share on other sites
wink.gif" border="0 So far, your input is about what I expected. Our Region has never owned a copier but our history is similar. When I took over as Editor, we cut and pasted our master pages and had them copied at a local copy service. The quality and quantity of the pages was not always what I expected.<P>The Region bought our first printer and we began printing in-house. That first printer was much like Bruce's copier... you had to babysit it and watch for paper jams, double feeding of sheets and running out of ink. The printer was supposed to shut down when out of ink but was not very good at it.<P>Our newest printer has solved almost all of the in-house problems. It is very good at printing the number of pages you select without jamming or double feeding. It is also very reliable at shutting down when one of the ink tanks runs dry. The improvements have made "babysitting" not necessary and freed up my time a lot. I often set up a master page I'm happy with, set it to print 65 copies and go eat my supper! grin.gif" border="0 <P>When I first found this forum, there were many Editors contributing... what happened? confused.gif" border="0 I am very interested in what methods are used in getting your newsletters to your members in the most cost effective manner.<P>In the mean time, thanks to Bruce and Jan for your input. I have received the latest issue of "The Horn" and "The Beam" and I think both are great publications produced by two very different methods. wink.gif" border="0
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ron, you've got some good info here to think thru. Its most likely a matter of ecomonics in the print/printer decision process. One big problem with do it yourself is the investment in equipment and upkeep. Right now our Region is trying to find a home for the old mimeograph machine. Any takers? W/a pro printer you won't have to worry about any of that. One recommendation Ive made before here on the DF is if you do go to a printshop, make them work for you. Its fair to ask for samples of their work and it's fair to have them bid on the project. Don't think in terms of small monthly runs - add it all up, including your meet flyers, etc and you'll be amazed at the numbers of copies of everything your Region does during a year. Talk with the printer in terms of the total annual volume and you'll all of a sudden become much more than just the average walk-in quick-copy kind of customer. You may even be eligible for some volumbe discounts and special treatment. Keep an eye on the printer and the quality of their work. Often a quick-copy place will let just anyone handle the job, and the result can be inconsistent and sub-standard product. You should insist on quality and make them re-do anything you are not satisfied with. That means that whoever picks up the finished product needs to stay a little longer to review before paying the bill. One thing I like about farming out the print job is that it makes the editor's job easier. When printing, assembly, etc becomes too much for the editor (or staff) then you'll just scare off the next potential editor because the job is too difficult. We could open up a whole new thread on cost but bottom line for me is giving the members good value for their membership bucks. The dues should cover the cost of the newsletter minus any revenue generated from advertising or other sources. <P>I too note a lack of participation in this segment of the DF. Think it might be a good idea to start sharing some good sources for info that folks can use in their newsletters - like sources for clip-art perhaps. I just noticed a nice link for info on where the Phillips 66 name came from -its on another thread on the DF. That would make some good Newsletter filler for someone Im sure. How about some more favorite history/car-info sites?<BR>Terry

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ron,<P>As editor of On the Road, Again!, the newsletter of the Brass-Nickel Touring Region, I prefer to handle the printing in house. I do the design work in Publisher and print with a Xerox XD 102, which is a laser/copier. I am very happy with the quality of the out put. We print 5 issues a year and average about 24 pages. I know this is an odd number but we only meet during the touring season - April to October. Newsletters go out in March, May, July, September, and November.<P>I charge for the copies what it would cost at a copier. So, you can see the choice is mine. Advantages to me far out weigh the disadvantages. For one thing, I do not have to leave the house. I agree with what others have stated as advantages/disadvantages. I prefer to oversee the total process from writing to mailing. My least favorite part is the assembly process. I use a booklet form so each page has to be folded and then the newsletter has to be collated. This takes time but I have gotten it down to where I can fold one page while another prints. As a time saver, I mail merge the name and addresses on the last page. This is not only a time saver but also a money saver.<P>As a small Region, I can take the time to print in-house and will continue to do so until I am forced to out-of-house.<P>24T42<BR> <A HREF="http://www.aaca.org/bntc/" TARGET=_blank>http://www.aaca.org/bntc/</A><p>[ 05-16-2001: Message edited by: 24T42 ]

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Terry, do you really have a mimeograph??? Have you checked out eBay? I'm sure they have an "Antique" category! grin.gif" border="0 <P>You mentioned economics and maybe that's what I should have asked. I guess it all comes down to cost per page. Of course you would have to consider color versus black and white.<P>I find your idea of using the DF to share filler articles very interesting. In another thread, I mentioned that many of the <I>Rummage Box</I> articles had become "how-to" articles for Editors and Officers and not many of general interest to the average member. I, for one, would greatly appreciate a source for humorous, human interest stories related to the old car hobby that I could share with my readers. wink.gif" border="0 <P>24T42 mentioned how many pages her newsletter averages but not how many copies are mailed out. That number would be important in computing the size of the print job. Like her, I enjoy the control I have by printing every page myself. I too have developed a system that doesn't make the printing a real burden.<P>I recently read that Krispy Creme was looking to expand their market into upstate NY. Could this be why we haven't heard from SalG lately?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Mr. Bond,<P>I looked around but must have overlooked the thread you were refering to about the Phillips 66 name. Could you please tell this lost wanderer which thread it was contained in? <P>Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

Found the Phillips 66 stuff on the Tech forum under the post for "Unleaded or not" and the site is <A HREF="http://phillips66.com/about/why66.html" TARGET=_blank>http://phillips66.com/about/why66.html</A> <P>The info was provided by an unregistered user named Bill. There is another interesting thread on the general forum about the car part still being used that has the oldest design/form - some debate about Schrader valve stems, spark plugs, etc. Might also make some interesting newsletter stuff. How bout the rest of you? Where's a good site for auto trivia???

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I produce and co-edit "The Running Board", our local club newsletter (monthly, 100ish copies, 12-24 pages depending). We've recently switched to a new reproduction method that works great...<P>I create the document using PageMaker software, complete with photos etc., load the file onto a Zip disk, and take it down to our local copy/print shop.<P>They in turn open the file on one of their computers, and "dump" it directly a sophisticated printer/copier. This amazing gizmo prints onto both sides of 11 x 17 sheets, collates the pages, then folds and staples the collated pages into a multi-page 8 1/2 x 11 booklet.<P>Turnaround time is great ? I usually get the finished publication back the same day, and never longer than 24 hours.<P>Because we go direct to printer without an intermediate hard copy, the photos come out very well (we're big on graphics, with lots of scanned images and digital photos thruout).<P>Our cost for 110 run of 24 page, printed, folded, stapled, is Canadian $120 (about US$80).<P>Highly recommended!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Chris,<BR> Sounds great! I also compose the Chesapeake Bulletin in Pagemaker. What do you use to import your pictures into Pagemaker? I have an H-P 5P scanner and associated software. Also have the Aldus Photoshop. My problem is that I can't come up with a consistent approach to modifying the pictures in Photoshop. What size file is your newsletter? Mine range from 5 to 20 megs depending upon the graphics. Can you provide the name of the equipment that the printer has? I'll try to find someone in my local area who has the same. Thanks!<BR>jnp smile.gif" border="0

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello John<P>I'm using PageMaker 6.0 on the Mac, upgrading this week to 6.5. I'm sure the following still holds true for you on what I assume is a Wintel machine.<P>I scan with a nothing-fancy Epson scanner at 300 DPI. I then use the bundled graphics software (PhotoDeluxe) to convert the scans into TIFF format which can then be imported into PageMaker.<P>The graphics files are still goofy large - smaller pictures can be 2-3 megs and a full page line art scan at the default 720 DPI is often 60-80 meg!<P>Much easier for me is working with digital photos. I use a 2.1 megapixel Fuji Film camera, set at average resolution (25+ images per 16 Mb memory card). These files can be directly loaded onto the computer, and then directly imported into PageMaker at 500K-600K each.<P>My upgrade to PageMaker 6.5 this week is on the advice of my printer, who wants me to give him PDFs (I think it's Page Description Files). This uses Adobe Distiller to create an exact description of the printed page, using only the information required for that page (ie not cropped areas of photos, not unused font sizes, not the white space between elements, etc.)<P>Creating a PDF for our publication will mean I don't have to load all the graphic files, special fonts etc. onto the Zip discs I take in, or have to worry about all the links being correct. Instead, I can drop off one relatively compact file that I know will print quickly and correctly.<P>I don't know the brand of equipment our printer uses, but the technology is not uncommon. In our average-sized city, there are three places within a half-mile of my office that can do this. <P>Good luck!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back eons ago I had some responsibility for producing the AACA Newsletter Editors Manual. However, it really needs updating since most editors have stopped using cut and paste and gone to computer. Well, now I'm back in the newsletter job as editior for The Marmon News for the Marmon Club.<P>Am using QuarkXPress and Adobe Photoshop to make camera ready copy and then take to printer. Selected a printer who has top of the line equipment and also uses Mac in case I need some touch up. I make 300 copies and my first issue was 14 pages. No way I would want to do the copying at home. I can get 2-3 day turnaround when needed, but I do try to give the printer as much time as possible.<P>One thing I do different from some of the previous thread contributors - I print on 8 1/2 X 11, 3-hole punched. Members can keep the issues in a 3-ring binder notebook. No folding involved. I use bulk mail with an envelope for mailing.<P>As for trivia, there is a great book in my shop with a couple hundred pages of trivia, puzzles etc. Will look it up tomorrow and post on this thread.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

The publishing business is changing so fast it's impossible to generalize as to format. What I'd suggest, based on many years experience at all levels, is you continuously explore the facilities in your area.<P>I published one tabloid (11x17 page size) 12 pager in two colors for 6 years. It was done in-house but by a full, conventional print shop, cost about $1, but that was for 1200 copies with bulk mail processing ~600 copies (not incl. postage).<P>I also do an alumni association newspaper that runs 12 pages 8½x11 where I provide the master copy and the organization president has copying & mailing done at a small down "Mail Box" type facility. That one runs 325 copies and is mailed 1/class. Quality from a generic copier is nominal despite 600 dpi originals. We will be switching shortly the a format discussed later.<P>My wife has done the Triangle Chapter AACA newspaper for many years using a Kinkos copy center that did her work on a photo quality copier. Results were good but never quite to original. About 140 copies 6-8 pages 8½ x 11.<P>She also got volunteered this year for the <I>NC Region News</I>, which is stitched magazine format 8½ x 11. Here we are using a very happy middle ground between copy center and photo plate printer. This facility prints laser originals from file. Quality is superb for a very good price. The magazine runs to 20 pages in stitched format, so is done two-sided on 11x17 paper. Quantity is in the 540 range. The outer sheet is 70# to form the stiffer cover which allows bulk mailing as a flat without folding or tabbing. Cost is BELOW the best copy center prices.<P>Of course at home, we all can set our printers for X number of copies -- it's just not practical for a newsletter of any size or circulation. With this facility, they just set their high-speed laser printers for the required copies. The printer automatically accepts 'booklet' sequencing and collates ready for the fold & stitch machine.<P>What it rquired, however, was the necessity to produce a file that was interchangeable with their computer program and printer. We can use 3 different formats. They can handle the original PageMaker file, but that always runs the risk of incompatible fonts. Next, I downloaded the appropriate drivers and set up a fake printer like theirs and can now 'print to file.' This is important as the high-end printers use a half-tones grayscale rather than a dpi separation. I don't understand all the technical differences but it is very important to picture quality.<P>[The same is true if using a full negative plate print facility -- the average printer, especially ink-jet is not true black & white or grayscale and the plate process loses quality dealing with the random color dots in a typical ink-jet. Look at one under a high power scope -- they are not true 'gray scales.']<P>The 3rd and preferred way is to use the .PDF format of Adobe. This requires the editor to have Adobe Distiller as well as Adobe Reader, but Distiller can create .PDF format files from both the 'print to file' and in the Export format from PageMaker. Our facility requests we distill in "Print" mode which provides very high quality and prints pictures to the full potential.<P>The advantage of using this procedure is you can also distill to "Screen" mode. This provides a format adjusted to computer screen display and makes for a <I>relatively</I> small file size. We further reduce that file size by creating a version without show fliers for posting on the NC Region web site.<P>The compatibility with the web provides a completely new market. The NC Region and the Triangle Chapter post their newsletters on the Region web site. The web site can also archive past editions. Thus potential and new members can browse past editions. A side advantage is that you can create the original and files in full color. The distill process retains full color, while the print process reduces to a perfect grayscale with no loss of quality. No more keeping b&w versions of photos.<P>For examples of these newsletters, try the following links. You will have to have Adobe Reader installed (it's a free download). You do NOT need Distiller to read the files.<P><I>NC Region News:</I> <A HREF="http://www.aaca.org/northcarolina/nc_region_news.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.aaca.org/northcarolina/nc_region_news.htm</A> Editor, Jean Soehnlein<P><I>Triangle Chapter News:</I> <A HREF="http://www.aaca.org/northcarolina/Triangle_Chapter.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.aaca.org/northcarolina/Triangle_Chapter.htm</A> Editor, Jean Soehnlein<P>Enjoy.<P>Capt. Mike Soehnlein<BR>Vice-president, NC Region AACA<BR> <A HREF="http://capt.mike@mindspring.com" TARGET=_blank>capt.mike@mindspring.com</A>

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...