Save Money on Your Paper & Print Costs… 6 Top Tips for Publishers

"How do I save money on my paper spend?" is probably one of the most frequent questions we are asked here in Leatherhead at Gould Publication Papers.

There are so many challenges facing publishers today and with plain old paper eating up around 50-60% of production costs, saving money on your paper budget can be an additional headache that needs a solution.

So what’s the answer?

Well, unfortunately there is no one simple solution - reduction of paper costs is a fine balance between several different factors all adding up to overall savings. As experienced suppliers of paper to a large number of clients, from magazine and catalogue producers to direct mail and retail, we thought we would put together a few top tips for you to think about. And don’t worry, if this all seems like a lot of extra time and work - take a look at bonus top tip no.7 instead!

1. Get the right grade at the right price

This sounds basic but negotiating the best price for the right grade of paper is essential in keeping your costs down on paper alone. Take time to analyse the paper grade that you are currently using – is it right for your publication? Then make sure that you are purchasing your paper from a supplier or broker that can negotiate the best prices through strong global buying power for the exact paper that you need. This supplier should also be able to source paper from a variety of mill manufacturers, giving a huge variety in paper choice as well price options.

2. Publication size analysis

The finished size of your publication can make vast differences to your base paper cost. For example, the size of the pages of a magazine affects the amount of times that these pages can be laid out onto the paper that goes through the printing press. Take time to analyse your publication size and the paper sheet or reel size this is printed on to. One recent client of ours recently reported, " One of the Gould team came to see us. They looked at the size of our magazine, and the sheet size the printer was using, and quickly calculated that by reducing the sheet size from 720x1020 to 695x995 we could reduce our paper costs by 6%."

3. Clever paper alternatives

Perhaps there is a different way to approach your magazine or catalogue? Are there new paper products available that would do the job at a cheaper cost? Would a matt paper or a lighter grammage offer you an exciting alternative that you hadn’t yet thought of? Just because you have always used a certain grade of paper doesn’t mean that for the future this is still the right product. So much evidence is out there that people still adore a great quality printed product and for example see magazines as a tactile experience.

"Gould’s experience and extensive paper knowledge enabled us to make a swift change to a suitable alternative paper, which allowed us to considerably reduce our costs." Print & Production Director

4. Postage savings

Posting out your printed product to your subscribers or customers can be a costly exercise, but obviously essential in reaching your readership. Therefore calculating your final product size and weight carefully to fall into postage brackets will assist in reducing your overall costs. Or could you find other creative ways of reducing that postage total? Think about the paper bulk, weight and grammage…

5. Limit printer waste

Much of our focus here at Gould is on monitoring paper usage and on limiting paper waste at the printer. As a publisher you don’t want to be paying for excessive amounts of unused paper. Make sure that you agree a level of paper waste before commencing a project so that you limit your waste. Also, what happens to any of your unused paper?

6. Paper management - efficient and timely distribution

Carefully scheduling your paper delivery to the printer will mean that your paper is in the right place at the right time ready for your print run. Too early and you may end up paying out money too soon, too late and your print run may not go ahead as you will have missed your print deadline. Paper management is all about carefully monitoring the delivery of your paper to the printer, ultimately improving your cashflow, which can only be beneficial for you.

7. Delegate your paper management – reduce your workload (Bonus Tio, No.7)

And we couldn’t finish our list of top tips without suggesting that rather than spending additional hours investigating all of the tips above yourself, why not delegate your paper management to Gould Publication Papers and reduce your workload as well.

Spend your time on doing what you do best, publishing, and leave the management of your paper to the experts (that’s us!). The good news is that our paper management service is completely free. Plus, it is backed up by individual account managers, a clever stock handling software and monthly financial auditing, so in effect helps to reduce your costs by saving you time!

So, regardless of whether you are a small publisher, or a large multi national publisher, you can always look to make savings on your overall paper spend on a print run but without losing that all-important print quality!

For more information about our paper management service or saving money on your paper costs, please email or call us on tel: 01372 385101 for a free informal discussion.

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