Publishers’ Graphics Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

By on February 29th, 2016 in News and announcements

[Carol Stream, IL, March 1, 2016] Illinois based Publishers’ Graphics, a leading print on demand book manufacturer to the publishing industry, is celebrating its 20th anniversary of business this month. Two decades of experience have transformed the company from a small venture of innovative ideas into a successful company that employs over 100 employees working in three manufacturing facilities throughout the Midwest.

Publishers’ Graphics (PG) was founded in 1996 by Kathleen and Nick Lewis in Naperville, Illinois.Publishers' Graphics 20 Year Anniversary The Lewis’ initially established the company as a short run digital printer, helping both small and large publishers meet the growing demand for smaller print runs. In November of 2009, Publishers’ Graphics opened its second printing facility in Florence, Kentucky, serving as the in-plant manufacturing arm for a large global publisher. Rapid growth followed and key technological investments were made including web-to-print workflows, a virtual bookstore, and online print quoting.

More recently, strategic acquisitions of St. Louis-based Corley Printing and Commercial Letter, Inc., has helped fuel PG’s expansion, adding new capabilities in offset book printing, direct mail, database management and global distribution.

Innovation continues to be the hallmark of the company, culminating in the 2015 launch of PGDirect (www.pubgraphicsdirect.com), an online bookselling platform. Featuring a dynamic direct to consumer sales model, this “Bookstore on a Mission” eliminates waste, conserves energy and reduces the carbon footprint to its very minimum. With over 250,000 books already in its catalog, authors and publishers are finding the site a welcome addition to the marketplace.

“We at Publishers’ Graphics are thankful for our many customers for making this anniversary possible,” said Nick Lewis, President of Publishers’ Graphics. “Their feedback has shaped the company through the years, and we look forward to continuing to serve our valued customers for many years to come.”

About PG: As a leader in POD and short-run printing for publishers, Publishers’ Graphics brings innovative procedures and workflows to book creation. Providing customized solutions to its customers has made PG a go-to resource for publishers around the world.  Headquartered in Carol Stream, IL, PG has an in-plant satellite operation in Florence, Kentucky, as well as manufacturing and warehouse facilities in St. Louis, Missouri. Publishers’ Graphics distributes globally by printing its products locally on three continents through strategic partnerships.

For more information, please visit http://www.pubgraphicsdirect.com or www.pubgraphics.com

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Classic Cars Meet Murder Mystery

By on December 24th, 2015 in Marketing, Publisher Spotlight

“Write about what you know.” So goes the saying, and for Paul Herd, that means classic cars as well as a mystery novel set in the Ozarks of Missouri.

The classic cars came first. Paul created his publishing company, PAH Publishing, based around his love of cars. For the last 31 years, he’s written, photographed and published over 30 automotive tech manuals that help collectors restore classic cars and trucks. Sales have continued to grow as new books and manuals are added to the publishing group.

Paul’s manuals are really tools that help collectors source replacement parts for their vehicles and understand the manufacturers’ complicated coding sheets.  His manuals cover some of America’s most beloved and iconic models including the Cadillac, Ford trucks, and Mustangs.IMG_0364

During breaks in his thriving publishing business, Paul, who also writes under the pen name of Thomas Mulveigh, wrote a novel called “Blood Necklace,” a murder mystery set in the Ozarks where he resides.  It’s his first fiction novel, and his second is in the works, due out early next year.

Reprint Center fills the Distribution Void

Using a combination of channels to market and promote his titles, Paul sells his books directly on his own website, http://www.goldenroadspublishing.com, and also takes advantage of PG’s Reprint Center for shortruns for shipping directly to bookstores and author events.

Paul was one of PG’s first customers to use PG’s new Reprint Center. He says, “You have made it so much easier to use, we just find our company in the list of all our titles so I don’t have to sort through endless list of titles hunting for the one I want.  I don’t need to use a different purchase order number for every title, I can have one per customer, which is much easier to reconcile in our files.”

Shipping has become easier too. Paul noted, “The biggest perk for us is we pay for shipping up front; no more guessing how much it is, so there are no surprises.”

Quality is still Paul’s main driver when it came to selecting a print vendor. “For the quality of the books we couldn’t ask for better, before that was one of the complaints we were getting from customers, now even our fiction book “Blood Necklace” sits on bookstore shelves in between those from big publishers and no one can tell it is a print on demand book.  If a bookstore wants you to do a book signing for them, the quality speaks for itself.”

PG’s new retail platform, PGDirect, is another sales channel that Paul utilizes. He benefits from a free retail listing, more exposure and visibility, and a POD model that prints and ships his books within 48 hours.

 

PGDirect Adds OmniScriptum to its Direct to Consumer Retail Site

By on December 14th, 2015 in News and announcements

OmniScriptum and Publishers’ Graphics Sign Cooperation Agreement

December 10, 2015: Publishers’ Graphics, a leader in POD book manufacturing and distribution, is pleased to announce an agreement with OmniScriptum Publishing Group, a German publishing group based in Saarbrücken, Germany, to market and distribute their extensive catalog of titles on PGDirect. PGDirect is a new direct to consumer retail platform that was launched by Publishers’ Graphics in September.

“We are excited about this agreement, which will benefit the many customers of OmniScriptum,” remarked Kathleen Lewis, President of PGDirect. “We recognize that publishers are looking for new sales channels and fresh options. By eliminating many steps in the process, like warehousing, unnecessary transportation, and labor costs, PG Direct moves them a step closer a zero-inventory model,” she continued.

Marc Wegmann, Chief Information Officer at OmniScriptum, said: “OmniScriptum is forever linked to sustainability, and we are focused on developing smooth and efficient processes; for a path-breaking publishing industry at the highest level. As part of ongoing efforts to improve our services we have collaborated with Publishers’ Graphics — one of the best printing, fulfillment and direct distribution companies across the US! From now on our authors can benefit from better quality ecological printing and worldwide distribution implemented all across North America, Central and South America. We firmly believe that our authors will benefit from this cooperation in many ways, and can be sure of receiving best service from both parties, anytime.”

Lewis agreed, “Within publishing, there is a renewed focus on the environmental impact of manufacturing with its associated processes, like transportation and labor. We’re committed to taking a stand against waste in the traditional publishing model; in fact, PGDirect is a bookstore on a mission!”

OmniScriptum has made available over 100,000 titles for the site, across a wide range of subjects and genres. Scientific publishing is their core business, and they also publish religious works, fiction and special interest.  PGDirect embraces a true POD model, since books are only printed when a customer places an order. With a 48-hour manufacturing and shipping schedule, consumers receive their books much faster– and with a reduced carbon footprint– than traditional methods.

As a leader in POD and short-run printing for publishers, Publishers’ Graphics brings innovative procedures and workflows to book creation. Providing customized solutions to its customers has made PG a go-to resource for publishers around the world. Headquartered in Carol Stream, IL, PG has an in-plant satellite operation in Florence, Kentucky, as well as manufacturing and warehouse facilities in St. Louis, Missouri. Publishers’ Graphics distributes globally by printing its products locally on three continents through strategic partnerships.
For more information, please visit http://www.pubgraphicsdirect.com and www.pubgraphics.com

Perfect-Bound Book Spines 101

By on March 11th, 2015 in How to
Book spines
When books are stacked up on a shelf, what’s on the spine is the only visible information about the book. In a book store, the details on the spine are what initially attract attention.

Creating a book spine is a critical aspect of the book design process. Whether hardcover or softcover, all perfect bound books require a book spine. But all too often spine measurements are overlooked during the design phase, and you end up with problems. Too thick of a spine, and your book closes with a tent-like gap. Too thin, and your book won’t close at all.

When you’re building your files, the width of the spine must be calculated and that measurement must be built into your cover art.  Yes, there is some math involved, but it’s not difficult and after a few tries, you’ll get the hang of it.  Of course, with all math problems, there is an equation:

spine width

In short, take the number of text pages and divide by the PPI.

What’s PPI?  It stands for Pounds Per Inch.  All papers have a PPI;  you can ask your printer for the PPI for your paper stock.  The chart below lists some PPI’s for papers on our floor.

PPI's for book weights

Here’s an example: Say you have a 500 page book and you choose a 70# Natural uncoated paper for the text pages.  Using the chart above, the PPI is 385.  Your equation is: 500 divided by 385 equals 1.29870.”  Rounded up, your spine width is 1.30.”   Simple, right?

There are some tools and templates on the PG website Resources page to help you calculate spines:  https://www.pubgraphics.com/resource-center.htm

Lastly, keep in mind these important considerations:

  • for hardbound books, add an additional 0.14 to the width (to accommodate the boards)
  • The minimum width of a hardcover spine is .0375
  • Max spine width is 21/4″ or 1200 pages
  • Avoid imagery/copy in the gutter– keep it 2mm away–  as glue won’t adhere to the spine

 

A Look Back at 2014

By on December 19th, 2014 in News and announcements

As 2014 comes to a close, we’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on what we’ve seen this year, both in the print/publishing industry and at Publishers’ Graphics.

A good time to reflect on 2014Here’s a few things we’ve noticed:

Print still rules. We’ve seen no let-up in sales of our print books, in fact, just the opposite.   Several recent studies seem to confirm this, like this article: Teens Still Prefer Print.

Bookselling is back, or more specifically Indie-bookselling is back.   Publishers and readers are searching for new outlets, other than Amazon, for reviewing, finding and buying books. And while there are still a fair number of bookstore closings, there are many openings too, like this one in Chicago, about to launch its 3rd location.

Social sharing continues to grow. Social media continues to disrupt traditional marketing, and for millennials especially, might soon outpace other forms of communication, marketing and advertising. By the way, we’re getting more active on Twitter; you can follow our tweets on @podprinter.

Greater demand for multi-channel distribution. Publishers (and authors) know they need to get their titles into a lot of different channels to drive sales and build awareness. We are well positioned for this need!   Watch for announcements early next year!

PG Highlights:

Customer service survey. We initiated a satisfaction survey with every order that we shipped.  We wanted to know what customers thought of our service, turnarounds and quality of products. We read each and every survey!  Keep them coming!

We bought a company! With the purchase of Commercial Letter in St. Louis, we made our second company acquisition.

We moved a company! We completed the physical move of Commercial Letter to the PG offices in Earth City in early December. This involved a major renovation of the PG offices to handle the added staff and equipment.

IMG_6635
The end of the year… a good time to reflect on 2014.

We’re evolving…. into a one-stop solution for our customers. Direct mail, list and data services, book and journal printing, and mailing, warehousing and distribution services are all part of the mix now.

We installed new equipment. We added two new Xerox 150 printers in our Carol Stream, IL headquarters, expanding our portfolio of high speed book printing equipment.

Tradeshows and conferences. We attended some high-profile conferences this year including the London Book Fair and Book Expo America in New York City.

We look forward to providing the best products and services possible in 2015.  Great things are coming up in 2015!  Stay tuned!

 

Good move: CL to PG

By on December 9th, 2014 in News and announcements

goodmove artwork

Over the weekend, the Commercial Letter team moved across town into the PG facility in Earth City, Missouri. To accommodate the added staff and equipment, the PG plant was remodeled: walls were knocked down, cubicles broken down and reassembled, offices rearranged, electricity and security enhanced—all topped off with a fresh coat of paint.

Behind the scenes, system integration is well underway and new technology platforms are being developed.  There’s more work ahead, but overall we’re pleased with our progress.  By the looks on these smiling faces, everyone is happy that this phase is completed!

With the CL and PG staff now situated under one roof, it’s full steam ahead!  Here’s some photos from the big move!

 

Publisher Spotlight: Southeast Missouri State University Press

By on December 5th, 2014 in Publisher Spotlight

From time to time we like to print comments from our customers, and this is one the nicest—if not the nicest—we have ever received.  This letter comes from Dr. Susan Swartwout, the publisher at the Southeast Missouri State University Press.   So please bear with us as we do a little shameless self-promotion!

Jounals and book printing
Journey is an annual literary journal that publishes original writing by students of Southeast Missouri State University.

I first learned about Publishers Graphics from an Illinois journal editor in 1994 when I was an assistant editor, looking for a good printer for a poetry journal. When I became the publisher of the Southeast Missouri University Press—publishing books and several journals—I continued to rely on Publishers Graphics for high quality printing at very reasonable prices. According to state regulations, I have to acquire three bidson many of our publications. Publishers Graphics consistently offers the lowest bid and is awarded the job.

Their online quote system is fantastic. Instead of waiting a week for a print quote, I have the emailed quote in my mailbox within two minutes of submitting the specs in the online form. The quotes are stored for 30 days, and the quotes that I accept are kept online so that I can easily click on the title and get a quote for reprints by changing only the quantity. The reprints are ready in a short turnaround time. This is extraordinarily convenient for keeping a small but sufficient inventory.

And did I mention friendly and supportive? I never have to wait long for an email response to a question, and I can count on Publisher Graphics associates to be courteous and always willing to help.

Beautiful books that get loads of compliments, great pricing, fast quotes, good turnaround, friendly, and great support:   I highly recommend Publishers Graphics. They’ve been a major contributor to the success of our University Press.

About the Southeast Missouri State University Press:

Southeast Missouri State University Press, founded in 2001, serves both as a first-rate publisher in an under published region and as a working laboratory for students interested in learning the art and skills of literary publishing. The Press supports a Minor degree program in Small-press Publishing for undergraduate students in any major who wish to acquire the basic skills for independent-press publishing and editing.

Recognition won by our books include the John H. Reid Short Fiction Award, the Creative Spirits Platinum Award for General Fiction, the James Jones First Novel Award, the Langum Award for Historical Fiction, the Missouri Governor’s Book Award, the United We Read selection, and the Kniffen Book Award for best U.S./Canada cultural geography.

POD, print on demand
A trio of recent titles from the University Press at Southeast Missouri State

 

PG Introduces Direct Mail

By on August 15th, 2014 in Marketing, News and announcements

As a publisher, you’re often asked to promote books, authors, and events like book signings. That means you might require additional print services like postcards, catalogs, lists, and direct mail.

Now you can look to PG for everything you need all under one roof. With our acquisition of Commercial Letter, we’re excited to offer direct mail products and services. Here’s a partial listing of what we can do:

Are you announcing a new book or book event? There’s a postcard for that! Common sizes are 4 x 6, 6×9, and 6x 11, and we can even print a jumbo size of 9 x 12.

We now offer printing and mailing of postcards, catalogs, direct mail pieces.
We now offer printing and mailing of postcards, catalogs, direct mail pieces.

You asked for them:  Publisher catalogs are now a reality!  List and promote your titles (and your back-list) with our saddle-stitched 4-12 page catalogs and booklets.  Popular sizes are 8.5×11 and 8.5×5.5.

Is your direct mail project more complex? We offer a variety of formats for self-mailers, folder packages, custom handwork or the works—from simple letter-sized packages to multi-piece 9 x 12 packages.

Are you trying to reach a select audience? From consumer and business lists to specialty lists, our list services team can help you obtain the addresses you need in the areas you want to target.

What if you could print a personalized map with directions to a book signing event?  With Variable Printing you can! We can integrate your data into a truly personalized direct mail piece that sets you apart from the competition.

Data management is Square One. If your mailing list is a mess, you won’t reach those targets you want to market to.  Before you spend money, let us analyze and  clean your list with tools like postal formatting, NCOA processing, and merge/purge services.

Are you printing and distributing journals? Do you have a warehousing plan in place? As you wade through complex postal regulations—both domestic and international—you may need some guidance!  Our team can analyze your current program to find those areas that need some tweaking.

Challenge us! We pride ourselves on finding ways to help you with even the most complex packages, including printing ideas, suggestions for the best formats, and data/list advice.

Visit the Commercial Letter website to find more information about our new direct mail products and solutions.

Publishers’ Graphics Acquires Commercial Letter and Expands Distribution Capabilities

By on July 8th, 2014 in News and announcements

[July 8, 2014, Carol Stream, IL]  Publishers’ Graphics, a leading Chicago-based POD print provider, announced today that it has acquired Commercial Letter, a direct marketing printing company located in St. Louis, Missouri. The acquisition fortifies PG’s distribution, mailing, and fulfillment solutions and strengthens its ability to service the publishing industry with direct mail programs.

“Commercial Letter brings a new dimension to our business, allowing us to offer not only a direct mail solution to our publishers, but also advanced supply chain programs. Integrating Commercial Letter’s fulfillment and mailing services into our technology platform will enable our customers to benefit from a highly customized distribution program, all of which aligns very well with our future strategic plans,” said Nick Lewis, President of Publishers’ Graphics.

President of Commercial Letter, Brad Chrysler, agreed: “We are excited to be joining Publishers’ Graphics. Combining their cutting edge technology platforms with our distribution model will be a game changer for our industry. Our customers will benefit from the additional services, a streamlined workflow, and the additional print capacity.”

The Commercial Letter operation will eventually be folded into the PG facility in Earth City and managed by Brad Chrysler, quote 11who will stay on as Vice President of Operations at the facility.  Publishers’ Graphics’ corporate headquarters will remain in Carol Stream, Illinois, approximately 35 miles west of Chicago.

With a legacy spanning over a hundred years, Commercial Letter has been a pioneer in the direct mail industry, printing and sending annually over 60 million pieces of mail for clients in the healthcare, retail, academic and automotive industries. Other services include a marketing automation platform which allows users to integrate their media campaigns through mobile, email, direct mail and web channels.

As a leader in POD and short-run printing for publishers, Publishers’ Graphics brings innovative procedures and workflows to book creation. Providing customized solutions to its customers has made PG a go-to resource for publishers around the world.  Headquartered in Carol Stream, IL, PG has an in-plant satellite operation in Florence, Kentucky, as well as the recently acquired web offset/digital print facility in St. Louis, Missouri, formerly Corley Printing. Publishers’ Graphics distributes globally by printing its products locally on three continents through strategic partnerships.

With a diverse range of publishing customers, Publishers’ Graphics offers POD, short run, and offset solutions to small, medium and large publishers alike. Through the custom development of MIS and workflows, Publishers’ Graphics will customize processes for its customers to minimize costs, and create an ease of doing business.

For more information, please visit www.pubgraphics.com or www.commercial-letter.com.

 

Paper Terms for First-Time Authors (Part II)

By on February 17th, 2014 in How to

Confused about paper?  Here’s our second segment of terms for first-time authors; this time we define some common paper terms you’re sure to run into when you produce a book.

Basis weight:  Basis or basic weight refers to the weight, in pounds, of a 500 sheets (ream) of paper cut to a given standard size for that particular paper grade. Common book text weights are 50#, 60#, 70#, and sometimes 80# text.

Caliper:   The measurement of the thickness of the paper.  This is listed on the online quote now.

Coated Papers:  Paper that has been coated with clay and other substances for a smooth printing surface and improved ink holdout.  Cast, gloss, dull and matte are four major categories.

Covers:  For softcover books, we offer a few standard options for book covers, C1S in two weights, 10 and 12 point.

C1S and C2S– Acronyms for Coated One Side and Coated Two Sides paper stock, used for covers for softcover books.  C1S refers to stock that is coated on one side.  We offer a 10 pt (point) and 12 pt, with a 12 pt slightly heavier and more durable.

Caliper is the measurement of the thickness of the paper.

Uncoated stocks with textured finishes must be digitally compatible.
Uncoated stocks with textured finishes must be digitally compatible.

Digital Papers: papers designed and manufactured specifically for digital presses.  They usually have a special coating that allows ink to adhere to the surface.  If you specify a paper, be sure it is digitally compatible with the particular piece of digital equipment used – such as I-gen, HP, etc…

NaturalA term to describe papers that have a color similar to that of wood, also called cream, off-white or ivory.

Opacity:  The translucency of the paper, that is, does ink show through to the other side of the sheet? The thicker the paper, the less likely it will show through.

Offset paper:  Term used for uncoated paper generally used for books.

PPI  (pounds per inch):  The method used to calculate the spine thickness.

Text:  The interior of the book, printed on a lighter weight paper.  Text can also refer to a type of paper.

Uncoated paper: Paper that has not been coated with clay.  Sometimes called offset papers.