During high-demand periods like what the book market is currently experiencing, it is tempting for publishers to consider sourcing beyond specialized book printers. Be warned: that decision could prove costly. The differences between book specialists and commercial printers may seem nuanced at first glance, but those differences can mean success and failure—to say nothing of restful or sleepless nights.
Walsworth offers more than 80 years of dedicated book-printing experience and, as the third largest book printer in the U.S., we have learned a great deal about the book industry and book printing over the years. Here is what our customers say makes us stand apart:
- Industry Knowledge. Knowing how the ins and outs of book publishing relate to the successful production, fulfillment and distribution of books is invaluable. Publishers have enough on their minds without having to explain why certain things are done in the industry. Good book printers like Walsworth use their industry knowledge proactively to help solve problems that we know customers face. We suggest options with materials and configuration that offer the customer savings, a higher quality product or a more desirable completion of their project. It can be problematic when we are attempting to match a previous printer’s work and the material they used, for example. The material may be a different brand and/or not readily available. We would offer options that have the same characteristics of PPI, whiteness, brightness, etc. that is more readily available to us. This allows us to improve or meet schedule requests without having to wait for delivery of materials. We also may suggest that customers include some blank pages or create filler pages that even out the form breakdown. This increases our efficiency and usually results in a lesser price for the customer due to fewer make readies. Suggestions for slight modifications in trim size can also improve material availability and production efficiencies that can be shared with the customer.
- Knowing Who’s on First. A single point of contact not only reduces errors and smooths production, but also lets you maintain your sanity. Many companies increasingly use an automation approach to reduce personnel costs and camouflage thin staffing. At a time when other printers have reduced or depleted their customer service staff, Walsworth has a full staff, boasting an average of 22 years’ experience in the printing industry. At Walsworth, you deal with one seasoned professional who, in turn, has other assigned professionals who understand your project and can capably perform back up during any absence.
- Multiple Print Platforms. Publishers have a wide variety of needs, from exceedingly small quantities to best-seller volumes. And volume needs are not always predicable at the launch. What’s more, books, like all products, have a lifecycle – often called the long tail of the book. Each stage has differing volume, paper and binding needs. Yet the longer a publisher can viably keep a book in print, the higher the profits. Walsworth offers a full range of sheetfed and heatset web offset printing capabilities in up to 10 colors with both aqueous and UV coating options. A full complement of large-sheet, four-color digital presses featuring true 2400 x 4800 dpi resolution economically produce books in quantities of one to a few thousand. Whatever your quantity, Walsworth has the right print solution in a variety of trim sizes.
- A Robust Bindery. Perhaps the major distinguishing factor between book printers and other commercial printers is the bindery. Yet despite the need for speed and control, even book printers are increasingly outsourcing specialized bindery services to third-party providers. Not at Walsworth. We offer a complete range of in-house capabilities that include both adhesive and Smythe-sewn case binding along with extensive cover-decorating options such Emboss, Deboss, Foil stamping and laser cutting. All adhesive bound product is bound using PUR which is the most versatile and durable adhesive available in book binding.
- All the Little Things. Publishers need to give customers what they want, and sometimes it is the small touches that count. Walsworth’s customers rely on us to provide those seemingly little things that make a difference, whether it’s applying a ribbon marker to a high-end, hardcover book or round cornering a paperback to improve its appearance and practicality.
- Getting It There. Printing is one thing, but some of a printer’s biggest challenges start after the binder’s final trim. Efficient fulfillment and distribution are critically important to keeping customers happy and maintaining profitability. Whether you are distributing to stores, libraries, warehouses or online, Walsworth can provide fulfillment and distribution solutions that save time and money. We allow you to focus on core competencies while providing a fully integrated system (including an eCommerce solution) and featuring custom pick and pack, complete order assembly, real-time reporting, returns processing, a formal onboarding process and secure, climate-controlled warehousing.
- But Will I See You Tomorrow? Book publishers are rightly concerned about whether their print sources will survive. At the top of the industry, LSC Communications filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April 2020 and was acquired by investment bankers, while Quad announced last October its intention to sell all three of the company’s U.S. book plants to pursue bigger targets for its omnichannel services. And publishers that try to cope by experimenting with non-book printers always risk their new supplier’s disinterest (or higher prices) when more familiar work reappears. Walsworth remains fully committed to the book publishing industry and has the financial underpinning to survive even down markets. “We believe in the enduring value of books,” says Gary O’Toole, General Manager, “and we continue to invest in the book segment so that we can serve the constantly emerging needs of our customers.”
Get Back to Book Publishing with Walsworth
If you are tired of spending more time fretting over book printers than actually publishing books, spend a few minutes with Walsworth. You will discover an experienced, stable and capable company dedicated to your book publishing success. Contact your representative or send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can get you back to book publishing while we take care of your book printing needs.