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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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