RE: Printing from press--divide by 4 or 8 question

Subject: RE: Printing from press--divide by 4 or 8 question
From: "Gresham, Kathleen 000" <Gresham -dot- Kathleen -at- corp -dot- sysco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 3 Jul 2003 12:32:12 -0500


The printer may have been trying to explain that you need to stay within 8-page multiples (signatures) to keep from wasting paper (and money).

When I worked for a book publisher, the editors and production assistants were taught to do whatever it took to avoid lapping over a page or two into a new signature at the end of a book. You can often merge a couple of paragraphs, delete a word or two, or change the layout slightly to keep from using another set of 8, 16, or 32 pages. (We published Smyth-sewn hardbacks, in runs of 10,000 minimum, so we normally dealt with very large sheets/signatures.)

Even a single character, by causing a line to wrap to another page, can require an extra signature, resulting in higher paper and printing charges, higher shipping charges, and a need for more shipping/storage boxes and more warehouse space. It all adds up.

Maybe the printer was just trying to make sure you were aware of all that, so you could make any necessary changes, but he didn't articulate well enough. Depending on the length and format of your manuals, you might have decided to make a few changes to eliminate four pages, thus saving a whole signature.

In your corporate environment, such finagling may not be feasible, but publishers often do it. (They don't seem to bother with it in mass market paperbacks anymore, since they use the extra pages for ads.)



Kathleen Gresham
Technical Publishing Consultant


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