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Old 02-07-2008, 07:19 PM   #1
Cuba520
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Default Pricing small booklet, short run

Good day all,

I am so happy to be a part of your forum. I have found a lot of very valuable information from the posts and comments. I need to ask if anyone can help me with a slight problem I am having with pricing.

I was just asked to put a souvenir booklet together for a group of professionals in my area. The actual booklet sounds simple but I am totally stuck on what I should charge them. I have recently started my DTPm business and the word is getting around fast.

My expertise is in photography and decided to do DTP as well. I love it.

Here are the specs for the booklet:

8x10 pages front and back
Black and white except cover
20 pages including cover and back sheet
200 booklet by 02/17/2008
Pictures will be scanned by the client
Binding will be with those plastic spiral binders found in local office supply store

Can you advise as to the price structure to print one of these and what you would consider a fair price to charge?

Also, would you consider printing these from home (I have the Canon 9000) or should I go with a printer.

Thanks in advance,

-H
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Cuba520 View Post
Here are the specs for the booklet:

8x10 pages front and back
Black and white except cover
20 pages including cover and back sheet
200 booklet by 02/17/2008
Pictures will be scanned by the client
Binding will be with those plastic spiral binders found in local office supply store

Can you advise as to the price structure to print one of these and what you would consider a fair price to charge?

Also, would you consider printing these from home (I have the Canon 9000) or should I go with a printer.
You are printing a small number (200), but some commercial printers specialize in short-run jobs. You should start by calling (or better, visit with a mockup of the job) a few of these places and asking for a quote. That should give you some idea of what costs ought to be like.

As for whether you should print these booklets from your desktop or at a print shop, a lot depends on the quality expected. From reviews I have read, The Canon 9000 gets high marks for color photo printing on photo paper, but lower marks for B&W and downright low ones for text. A short-run printshop, on the other hand, might be using a high-speed laser printer rather than ink-on-paper. Text would probably look better but the booklet might not be as durable as either an inkjet-printed or offset-printed version.

The color cover could probably be done on your inkjet; some question of durability. How long are these booklets intended to last?

The budget for a booklet needs to include these items:
  • Design (you may have to propose a couple of layouts, including type choices, and give the client a choice)
  • Photo prep (tonal correction, other editing, sizing, cropping, etc.)
  • Production (laying out the job, setting the type, and arranging the photos)
  • Proofreading and correcting (get the client to sign off on a PDF version of the job before printing the copies)
  • Printing and binding
  • Profit (your charges should be based on an hourly rate that incluldes overhead costs and a margin for profit)

This is the way this sort of work is charged for normally. But your tight deadline is also a factor, a huge one: you might have trouble finding a printer who could come through in time, and spiral binding may take a day or two (depending on who does it). If a commercial printer does the job, it might be cheaper and faster to use a saddle-stitched binding (print on double-size sheets, fold, and staple down the middle).

The other concern I have is with having the client supply the scanned images. You must determine the appropriate resolutions for whatever method you will use to reproduce them and advise the client how to scan for that resolution. The printers you contact can tell you their requirements; if you end up printing these yourself, I assume you know what you need. (I have found that clients tend to supply screen-resolution images, and those are no good for printing by any method. You will need to monitor that from the beginning.)

Oh, and I would set your deadline as the date client supplies usable scans plus so many days; 10 days from this point will leave you frazzled, sleepless, and grey-haired (if you’re not already any of those things!)

   
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:41 AM   #3
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I’ll tell you what I did to be able to print cheap. There are some very excellent older laser printers out there. They cost a bunch of money new and the toner was expensive. But as the printer gets older, the toner is sold cheaper and cheaper, and if the printer is a work horse…well…

My printer is old but looks like new – IBM Network 17 laser duplexer. It cost $1500 new, but I found one on e-bay with one month of usage for $100. The toner cost then was $225 for 10,000 pages, (20,000 miser, which I never tried). Now the toner cost on average is $40 to $50, but there is one on e-bay right now for $20, and it just depends. Two web sites still sell this printer refurbished for $400, and the printer still gets very high reviews.

It’s only B&W. And the resolution is only 600x600, but this is a very nice and crisp 600x600, when the right font and paper is chosen. Of course, I have ways of finding paper or whatever at the right price also.

Well, I’ve had a bunch of printers. But one by one, I get rid of them, cause this is my printer.



George
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Old 02-08-2008, 08:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post

The budget for a booklet needs to include these items:
  • Design (you may have to propose a couple of layouts, including type choices, and give the client a choice)
  • Photo prep (tonal correction, other editing, sizing, cropping, etc.)
  • Production (laying out the job, setting the type, and arranging the photos)
  • Proofreading and correcting (get the client to sign off on a PDF version of the job before printing the copies)
  • Printing and binding
  • Profit (your charges should be based on an hourly rate that incluldes overhead costs and a margin for profit)
Yes, that's a pretty good overview. You also want to compare your competition. If you are just starting out it might be cheaper to go use a competitor and charge a 10% markup. It's not the perfect solution, but it can work for you if time is an issue and if using outside printer will price you out of the market. Or if you are concerned about quality issues with your own printer. You may find a competitor that has an existing relationship with a printer and can get bulk pricing due to volume work. If you can play to that and make a little profit from the outsourcing (without letting your clients know that's what you are doing) then you can work toward a better solution as your business grows.

   
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Old 02-08-2008, 11:09 AM   #5
Cuba520
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Great advice. Thank you for responding. I will probably use a little of all of your suggestions. Kathleen, as far as quality is concerned, I don't think they really expect what they are going to get. They showed mea copy of one done last year and it was pretty bad so I should really turn heads with mine. The one they showed me was 8x10 paper folded page upon page. The cover looked as though someone had placed an index card over the big wad of papers...I think that's called "creeping"?

I will visit the printers ASAP as well as look at getting a laser. Looking into a competitor might be an optionas well. Thanks again.

-Harold
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuba520 View Post
Great advice. Thank you for responding. I will probably use a little of all of your suggestions. Kathleen, as far as quality is concerned, I don't think they really expect what they are going to get. They showed mea copy of one done last year and it was pretty bad so I should really turn heads with mine. The one they showed me was 8x10 paper folded page upon page. The cover looked as though someone had placed an index card over the big wad of papers...I think that's called "creeping"?

I will visit the printers ASAP as well as look at getting a laser. Looking into a competitor might be an optionas well. Thanks again.
Do let us know how it goes.

Or if you have more questions.

   
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Old 02-08-2008, 01:31 PM   #7
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Superb!!! I will do.

Since talking with you earlier another job just came in...God is good....

I'm sure I will be calling on you all again real soon.

-Harold
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