Why Yes, We DO We Print Literary Journals and Magazines

At Bookmobile, of course we print books, but we also print literary, art, and scholarly journals and magazines . . .

. . . for undergraduate and MFA programs, writing programs, literary presses, university presses, associations, etc. Bookmobile provides the fulfillment, mailing, and often the warehousing and inventory management for many of them as well!

Short-run digital printing has enabled the creation and printing of many new literary and arts journals and magazines—their numbers have increased exponentially. Once upon a time, journals and magazines were limited to either printing 2,000 copies via offset, or producing them by photo-copying and folding and stapling. But with short-run digital printing, they can now print anywhere from 25 to 2,000 copies and receive affordable, professionally produced issues with any of the bells and whistles Bookmobile provides. (See Twenty-One Ways to Embellish Your Print Books for examples.)

Many of the 826 National writing, publishing, and tutoring programs from across the U.S. come to Bookmobile to print collections of their students’ writing. These journals are often especially deadline-driven—they need to get the print copy in the hands of the students before the class or semester ends, and Bookmobile works with them to make it happen, affordably. It is fantastic to be a part of these projects, which allow students to see their own words on the printed page! Above is Beyond the Gates and Fences from 826LA—they went all out on embellishments. The cover printed CMYK on uncoated talc white card stock, with matte lamination and embossing. The interior printed black ink, with five color inserts of 4 pages each, all on 80-lb. matte white coated stock.

Twice a year, we print the Red Wheelbarrow Literary Magazine for De Anza College in Cupertino, California. In the Fall, they publish the Red Wheelbarrow National Edition, and in the Spring they publish the Red Wheelbarrow Student Edition. We have been working with Ken Weisner on the print production of each issue since 2005, and while it’s a frenzied and tight deadline, we have met it every time. Ken produces each edition within a quarter, so we often only have a week to prep, proof, print, bind, and ship. We usually try to fit printed proofs in the schedule, as each issue often has color inserts of artwork, and at Bookmobile, we like clients to see hard copy proofs for those. (Why do we like hard copy proofs? Please read How to Prevent Book Printing Disasters.) Ken does give us a heads up every season about a week ahead of time, so we can preschedule the job for a tight turn and manage to still accommodate last-minute corrections.

While we’ve seen a big increase in printing from literary and arts journals, we have actually seen a decline in the number of copies printed for  scholarly journals from university presses and associations. However, that’s been a boon to a short-run digital book printer like us. As print runs decline due to eBook editions and eBook subscriptions for academic journals, Bookmobile is flexible enough to print those smaller runs. The journals are also often the perfect fit for our Automated Replenishment Program (ARP).

This year, for example, we’ve begun moving many of Wayne State University Press’s journals into ARP, with most issues slated to be in the program by 2015. In the past, they would send us a traditional print and purchase order, email a list of mailing labels, and we would mail out the journals on the list and then send the remainder to Wayne State’s warehouse for storage.

Now, we put each journal into ARP and Bookmobile sets the print run. Once Wayne State approves proofs, they upload the issue’s subscription list through our eFirst portal, and we mail them out. We keep some copies on hand in our warehouse to fulfill future orders, but Wayne State only pays for printing when an order is shipped. Back issues continue to sell for all their journals, so now they can continue to reap the benefits of those sales without having to manage reprints or warehouse the inventory. Also, our ARP is flexible enough to accommodate duplexed covers, uncoated covers, and color inserts (for scientific journals like Human Biology). And yes, we poly bag too!

Want to know more? Contact me!