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Re: Equipment, Prices and Publishers

Dear Donald:

Lots of questions, and I won't try and answer all of them, but perhaps I can
point in some directions.

>What I am looking for is anything, and everything, about the publishing
>industry.  I have found out a little bit through telnet, gopher, www and
>ftp, but not that much, and not that helpful so far.  The main thing that
>I am looking for is the names of equipment?  What is it that they exactly
>do, and how much they cost?  I really need to know about cost, but so far
>I haven't been able to find out anything on equipment and supply prices.
>Is there anywhere on the interent that I can telnet, gopher, www or ftp
>to to get the information that I am looking for.

You might want to consider a publishing course. The Denver Publishing
Institute (I think that's the right name) is one of the nation's most
revered ones. One at Stanford University is also excellent. These are both
summer programs which last about four weeks. Check your local public library
for addresses -- ask the reference librarian to help you.

It is extremely rare for even the biggest publishers to do their own
printing. Printing and publishing are two distinct businesses. Printing
equipment for offset processes, and the kinds of computer-interfaced things
it sounds like you have in mind, can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
But maybe this is what you want. I can't help you much here.

As far as pre-press equipment for design, coding, etc., computers work fine.
If I was starting today I would choose either a fast Pentium machine or the
best Macintosh available, a good at least 17-inch color monitor, a color
scanner, a Syquest or Iomega external drive (for transporting large files).
A good computer shop can help you here. Expect to spend anywhere from 4,000
to 10,000, depending on what you go with. And if you have no software,
expect to spend another few thousand on word processing program, design
program (Quark Xpress is recommended), image manipulation program (Adobe
PhotoShop), draw program (Adobe Illustrator, perhaps), and whatever fonts
you wish to purchase.
>I know that this might sound juvenile and stupid but the reason why I am
>looking for this information is because I am trying to get a publishing
>company started, but I don't know exactly how I should proceed in
>starting it.

It doesn't sound juvenile. Everyone starts somewhere. It's courageous to
start a publishing company. Good luck. I work as a publishing consultant and
if I can help you professionally, please let me know.

 I figure there are two ways that I might do it.  One is to
>send out my manuscripts to Book Printers - at least for the first few
>books until I can get up enough capital to get the equipment I need -- if
>I ever do choose that route.

You can do it this way, but you can save lots of money if you can send
designed, ready to photograph pages, or film, to printers. Plus you will end
up with better books if you don't ask the printers to design them -- there
are, however, a few good printing companies which will handle design for you.

The second way is to get the equipment and
>manpower that I need to start my Publishing company, but that is going to
>cost a lot more, and I don't know how much yet because I don't know how
>much everything is going to cost yet.

Usually a publishing company will have editorial staff and marketing staff.
It might have design staff, and of course clerical and other administrative
staff. But, once again, it won't usually have printing equipment (other than
laser printers for various reasons) or printing staff.

>There are also several other questions that I would like answers too, if
>it's not too personal or out of line with this Mailing List, besides
>equipment and prices.
>1.  Are there any Publishing Equipment and Supply companies on the
>    internet, or associated with the internet, that I can telnet, gopher,
>    www or ftp to?

I'm not sure what you mean by "publishing equipment." Can you be more
specific? There are printing companies on the web. Are you using Netscape?
Then do a Net Search for printing companies. I am certain many are on www,
and I certainly know one good one, Thomson-Shore. Do a search for their URL.
But, once again, they are a printing company, not an equipment sales company.

>4.  The reason why I need all this information, besides starting my
>    publishing business, is to work up a good Business Plan, and I was
>    wondering if there were any Business Plan that I can get via the
>    internet that deal with the publishing industry that I can study for
>    my own Business Plan - especially when it comes to break even analysises.

If you find a business plan this specific, please share it with me.
>5.  When it comes to Book Printers.  Are there any Book Printers on the
>    internet that I can use telnet, gopher, www or ftp to get too?  If so I
>    would greately appreciate it if you could tell me everything you can
>    about them:  like where they are and how I can get in touch with them.
>    There quotes would also be helpful too.

Yes, see my answer to question 1, Thomson-Shore.
>6.  Are there any Book Printers on this Mailing List.  If so could you
>    please tell me who you are and what kind of book printing that you do -
>    with quotes if possible.

This list has lots of book printers, but they are letterpress, non-computer
book printers for the most part. But perhaps others as well??? I'm a
letterpress printer, and a book publisher, and a consultant for publishing
>7.  Are there any publishers on the internet and/or on this Mailing
>    List?  If there are could you please tell me who you are and how I might
>    get in touch with you.  As you have probably already figured out by
>    now I can use telnet, gopher, www and ftp to get to where I need to go
>    or get the information that I need.

E-mail me. Or see the Chax Press web site at http://www.bookarts.org/chax/
>I know that this message is very long, and I am very sorry about that -
>especially if it doesn't belong on this Mailing List, but like I said at
>the beginning I am looking for all the infomation, and contacts, that I
>can get.  If this message was a mistake please tell me so, and I will not
>send another one.  I hope that you can help me, and I want to thank you
>in advance for any help that you can give me.

Good luck.

charles alexander

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