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Old 03-07-2006, 09:58 AM   #1
El Publishing Hombre
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Default Print out or in-house

First off, my name is Germein and I am in the process of starting a Spanish-language community newspaper. I've been learning InDesign as well as some of the other goodies that come with Adobe's Creative Suite, but as I keep learning more and more about the desktop publishing world, I keep coming back to one question.

Should I print in-house (buy my own printer) or contract a printer service?

I realize this is a very general question, one that has, I assume, been tackled and re-tackled over and over again on this and other boards. If anyone can direct me to those threads, I'd greatly appreciate it. Or, if someone has any opinions on the matter, I'd love to hear them.

I'm planning to print 10,000 copies of this paper a month. Each copy would consist of 8-pages on newsprint with, if possible, color pictures in the front and back cover.
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Old 03-07-2006, 11:02 AM   #2
don Arnoldy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Publishing Hombre
Should I print in-house (buy my own printer) or contract a printer service?

I'm planning to print 10,000 copies of this paper a month. Each copy would consist of 8-pages on newsprint with, if possible, color pictures in the front and back cover.
Okay...there are some things that you didn't tell us.

1. what size will the 8 pages be--standard, tabloid, or booklet?
2. where you are-- I assume somewhere in the southwestern US.

Frankly, that you are considering buying a printer to do this project scares me a bit. This is a job for a printing press--specificly a web press. Such a piece of equipment would be a 6-figure investment, and you'd have to hire a skilled operator (or two) to run it.

Find someone to print it for you.

Start by looking at the other local weekly newspapers in your area--either they have their own presses (which means they probably have excess capacity and will be willing to print your paper for you) or they vend out their printing (and can give you the name of who they use).

If you are planning on printing lots of photos, you may want to rethink newsprint. When you find a printer, ask about the price difference between newsprint and 60# uncoated book. It should be a little higher in price, but much better for printing photos (its whiter and smoother).

On another note...an 8-page newspaper looks weak--its just skimpy and insubstantial--people will think its a advertising circular. You should plan on an at-least-16-page tabloid for a monthly (you can go up in increments of 4 pages as you grow).

With the tabloid size, if you put color on the front (and back) page, you also get color on the center two-page spread. I would suggest printing two-color, rather than four(full)-color. Two-color is much cheaper, but--if done well--has nearly the same impact.

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Old 03-07-2006, 11:22 AM   #3
El Publishing Hombre
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I'm thinking tabloid size for this, Don. I live near Los Angeles and there are certainly plenty of presses in the area that could do this job. The reason I debated investing in a printer is that over time, I assumed, the cost of printing would accumulate to equal the price of a printer. I had no idea, though, we were talking SIX figures for something like this. Thank you, Don.
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Old 03-07-2006, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Publishing Hombre
I'm thinking tabloid size for this, Don. I live near Los Angeles and there are certainly plenty of presses in the area that could do this job. The reason I debated investing in a printer is that over time, I assumed, the cost of printing would accumulate to equal the price of a printer. I had no idea, though, we were talking SIX figures for something like this. Thank you, Don.
Besides the press, you would also need skilled operators.

I agree with Don about the number of pages: An 8-page (i.e., two sheets folded) will seem very skimpy. It might be better to go down to half that format size (letter size) and have more pages.

Sounds like a lot of fun in any event.

   
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Old 03-07-2006, 02:17 PM   #5
PeterArnel
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Welcome to the site
I am a printer in the UK and got involved in my local monthly magazine - and these are vital to a community - for the previous 6 months it had been published late and no one knew what was going on in the town. I went to a meeting with the mistaken viewthat it was closing because it wasnt making money and how wrong I was - it was closing because they couldnt find anyone to do it. Over the weekend I had organised a committee - with an editor , web site manager, distribution manager, treasurer and artwork manager ( and a chairman ( I called the publisher) Within three weeks we had produced a 48 page B5 (about 15% bigger that A5) magazine all in colour - which I had printed free for them ) but we then negotiated with a printer to prodoce 10,000 copies of a 32 page all in colour for $3000 ( £2400) per month - the advertising is about $7000 (£5000) and have employed someone to collate the advertising and editorial - it is now a real success.
peter
I think you can get more money from advertisters from a small magazine as they will usually on pay the same money for apage regardless of size.
The whats on page - has becaome a poster ( which publisizes the mag) which we put up in pubs etc and we are now talking about alarge print version just editorial, and the WI ( Womens institute) may do a talking version for the blind.
The web site handles - large editorial stories and editiorial overflow as there is so muc coming in we cannt put it all in the mag.
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Old 03-07-2006, 03:07 PM   #6
don Arnoldy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Publishing Hombre
I live near Los Angeles and there are certainly plenty of presses in the area that could do this job.
Yup... lots of web presses in LA--its the west coast center for advertising insert printing.

You'll be better-off if you find somebody who's trying to fill excess capacity. A couple of suggestions:

Call the LA Weekly, see if they do their own printing, I'd ask for the PRODUCTION DIRECTOR, Robin Shank.

There is a group that seems to publish several weeklies--LA Independant and the LA Wave among them--that ought to be big-enough to have their own presses: Wave Publication • 4201 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600 • Los Angeles • CA • 90010 • Phone: (323) 556-5720. Again, ask for the production manager.

--don

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