If I setup a P.o.D. would you use it?

Working for yourself or for a publisher, chat about the business side here.

If Avi setup a P.o.D. service, would you use it?

Poll ended at Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:18 am

Hell yeah, all the time! I make like 200 pages of comics a year!
1
7%
Definitely. I don't produce much, or that often, but a local P.o.D. would be convenient
7
50%
Yeah, although it'd probably be more for posters or flyers than comics
1
7%
Probably... I don't do that much though
2
14%
No, I don't have any work, or don't make work often enough to consider it really
1
7%
No, I'd rather take it to a real printer
0
No votes
No, I don't trust Avi not to sell copies on the side without paying me for them
0
No votes
Avi, why do you always ask these fucking stupid questions? Can't you see you're wasting your life on local comics? You should find a real job and stop wasting your youth on something that has no returns, or you'll become old and jaded like me!
2
14%
 
Total votes : 14

If I setup a P.o.D. would you use it?

Postby Egofreaky on Wed Jul 26, 2006 12:18 am

Kenny & I have been pondering abouta P.o.D. setup for a little while.

My first thought was to do it with a battery of inkjet printers connected to CIS systems. This has turned out to be a stupid idea, after some first hand experience on a single unit.

The next idea we're looking into is perhaps getting a digital photocopier that can be hooked into a computer. Not only would a single one of these units be faster than half a dozen inkjets, it would also be more versatile. Of course, it would cost twice as much.

We're talking about $15,000 to buy one outright, or about $2,000 per month to lease (leasing means that we don't have to pay for the toner (about $800-$1,000 per month) or servicing (about $200-$250 per month, spread over the year), but being locked into a 5 year contract.

The only way we can cover these costs would be to sell a HELL of a lot more stuff (although logic dictates being able to produce more stuff means we can sell more, particularly low-cost-production high-price-sale items like posters, I doubt we'd sell that much more)...

OR

Print your comics and posters in a P.o.D. fashion.
Basically, you'd send us the files on disc, with an order for a low to medium low, volume (i.e. min 2units, max 500units). As it would cost us the same, no matter how many we print, it would cost you the same per unit, regardless of numbers. No bullshit filesetup fees n what not, and people that are actually passionate about comics handling the printing.

So, IF we had a P.o.D. setup, would you use it?

If we get our own printer, for those that wanted to have their work printed independently of the OzTAKU label, costs would look something like this:
$0.025 per B&W A4 side
$0.16 per Colour A4 side
$0.50 per premium A4 paper sheet (i.e. Metallic paper, photogloss, thickened, etc.)
Saddle Stitching (staple binding) would be handled by the machine automatically
Perfect Binding (spines like OzTAKU has now) would yet to be determined, but probably works out to about $0.40 as far as I can figure.
Obviously postage would be charged to get the comics to you. It'd be financial suicide otherwise, especially from those people that only want a dozen or so books.

We'd probably offer a catalogue service as well, where once we have your stuff on file, we send a quarterly catalogue to all the comic shops we can think of, and let them place orders, then send money once they're paid for.
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Postby Demongoldfish on Wed Jul 26, 2006 12:45 am

i dont really understand much of what your talking about. this whole scene is pretty new to me but i am seriously looking at producing stuff within the next year so that would be great.
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Postby Laocorn on Wed Jul 26, 2006 7:45 am

Ok couple of questions, what's your expected turn around time onceyou recieve the art to when its completely printed and posted out? And what would postage end up being for 200+ booklets if sent interstate? Would it be pay before print or pay after print, what happens when theres a dodgy book or dodgy few books we send back and then wait for more (not much different to overseas issues I suppose)?

I'm definately intrigued, especially as an avenue for the larger trade collections.
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Postby David Bird on Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:54 am

Avi, its a very tempting offer. But thinking with my head and not with my heart, why would I stop using RMIT Document Printers, who give me a good, cheap, reliable job and are basically all computer techies, printers and finishing people and use your service?

Don't get me wrong. If you can offer me the same result as they do, for a comparative price, at approx. the same turnaround time I'm prepared to give your service a go.

But I have to admit I have a more inherent trust of trained printing industry tradespeople to execute and deliver my job. Graphic reproduction is more than just pressing buttons on a computer and a copying machine. What about potential trouble-shooting of files?
What about collating and binding non-copied, offset pages into a finished job? do you have a skilled guillotine service at your disposal?

I worked as a screenprinter for 6 years before I became a qualified Finished Artist, then handling all areas of design and production before retraining on computers in the early '90s. I virtually never have trouble with my jobs because i know how to prepare a true 'bulletproof' file before going to print. The one instance of a glitch with 'SCRAPS" was due to new staff working at the printing end.

All that said the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Show us a printed sample from your proposed purchase.

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Postby The Wraith on Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:17 pm

If you had a quality service up and running, I'd use your POD in a heartbeat, Avi.
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Postby Egofreaky on Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:33 pm

Laocorn: Turn around time would probably be 2-3 days to print & bind, plus delivery time.
Postage costs would be at Australia Posts rates. If your order is under 3Kg, then it's about $8 for a satchel... Maybe a little more if people wanted padding.
For anything heavier, it's $9 registration + $0.85 per kilo. Delivery time would depend on how far you are from Melbourne, as it's pretty much going to be the off-peak postage.
The price of postage would obviously depend on the page count, as a 32pp comic is going to weigh a hell of a let less than a 180pp graphic novel.
As for dodgey copies. I hadn't thought about that actually. If it was 1% or less of the print run, I'd just run off a couple more, and send them out (although I'd still need the extra postage paid for, so it might be worthwhile asking for an extra 10-15 copies on top of it). I don't think it'd get to be more than that, because I'd probably notice it while binding.

At the very least, I'd print off a proof copy to check it all out first, before doing a run of books.... That has absolutely nothing to do with me wanting a free copy :D

David: I was thinking about that. As far as I'm aware, you don't get to use it if you're outside of the RMIT system (student, employee, visiting academic, etc). Or at least, that's what I was told when I made in enquiry.
Setup of files and proofs is something I suppose I could do myself, for a fee (after all, it uses my time). After all, I've been editing stuff for proffesional print jobs at offset places for the last 5 years now (jesus it's been a long time...)
As for skilled guillotining, no, not really. I'd probably be getting an automated, laser guided guillotine, with a feed tray, so I could just stack the uncut books in one end, and let it cut them to size, and then dump them in the box at the other end.
In so far as binding, well, stuff that's just saddle stitching (LIES! They're not stitching, they're just staples!), that can be handled automatically by the copier itself. For stuff that's too thick for that, I would probably have to use a perfect binder. I was looking at this one: http://bindomatic.com.au/100651.php
I've found a place that has them for about $4,000.
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Postby The Wraith on Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:52 pm

Check out the ka-blam website, they have a blof detailing how they got their business started. May be able to get some handy hints from reading it, Avi.
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Postby jpaulos on Wed Jul 26, 2006 4:15 pm

The only way we can cover these costs would be to sell a HELL of a lot more stuff

There wouldn't be enough local product to justify the setup cost so you'd have to sudsidise your investment by taking on commercial work, which would leave you no time to do comics which would defeat the original purpose, wouldn't it?
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Postby David Bird on Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:45 pm

Unless RMIT Document printers have had an abrupt change of policy since April, any member of the public can get work done there. I've had jobs done there since 1999.

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Postby Laocorn on Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:47 pm

jpaulos wrote:
The only way we can cover these costs would be to sell a HELL of a lot more stuff

There wouldn't be enough local product to justify the setup cost so you'd have to sudsidise your investment by taking on commercial work, which would leave you no time to do comics which would defeat the original purpose, wouldn't it?


We can dream can't we :roll:

Avi, I'll have to do some calcs but I'm also in the same boat as David Bird where my local shop has supported and done wonders for me in the past with the comics. But on the same token large perfect bound books are two expensive in low runs locally, from my research anyway.

As for local product, who here can give an accurate listing of comics printed in the local scene that are released yearly, quarterly, etc.

IF anything the POD service would probably end up busy in convention seasons, ie. April(supanova qld), July (doujicon) and October (supanova syd). IMO. And even then how many books? 10, 20, 30?

I like the idea of the catalogue, but this idea alone has been thrown around a few times. Hell I've even thought about doing something like it.... which has been done in the UK with Smallzone. (but thats running this topic, off-topic to a place that I'm sure someone here can link to... maybe where it was discussed before with raging emotions)
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Postby iangould on Sun Aug 06, 2006 4:08 pm

I think Jason's pretty spot on.

But I will point out that if you can pick up the gear second-hand you can probably reduce your costs quite a lot.
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Postby Egofreaky on Mon Aug 07, 2006 1:36 am

Jason: As it is, with the running of OzTAKU, I don't really have time to do my own comics anymore anyway... In some ways, I miss my shitty liqour store job, because I had time to draw there... So it really would be a much of a muchness, and at least I'd still have my hands in comics in some capacity.
That being said, I'll be attempting to get back into the saddle relatively soon.
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Postby bluetoaster on Mon Aug 07, 2006 3:02 pm

Like most, I'd use it if the final books were (comparable to a printer/kwikKopy):

1. Good quality (paper & cut)
2. Comparable price.
3. Reliable turn-around.

I'm inclined to side with David.B on his reservations about something going (potentially askew) with a 'press-&-print' system. I suppose if there were examples that people could see (and gaurantee the same paper, cutting. quality) - then it would aleviate those kinds of concerns a few of us (who are anal regarding post-production) would have.

Kind of like what comixPress have.
(ie. you know what your getting.)

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Postby matt g on Mon Aug 07, 2006 3:38 pm

The most interesting part of the whole manufacture on demand revolution isn't cost savings or anything like that, it's that these services work on a 1 order, 1 build method and more importantly, also handle sales, and shipping direct to customer.

This is, I think, the heart of the manufacture on demand shift, and it's one of the most fantastically disruptive paradigms we've had in the arts world. Finally, there's a nothing up front zero risk / zero investment option for artists to make sales world wide, that essentially removes the need for any sort of administration, demand prediction or warehousing of stock. It's the long sought-after underpants gnome middle step.

So while being able to get stock print runs cheaply is probably important for conventions where face to face sales are the go, it seems to me you're missing the critical part of the whole P.o.D. thing.

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Postby bluetoaster on Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:37 pm

Good point Matt.

Although, cost per unit to the consumer (if it's considerably higher than that of bulk printing at a printer) will be counter-productive in the end. 'Especially' if the quality of the book is sub-standard compared to bulk-printing.

I'm looking from a consumer standpoint.
I can see the pros & cons in both though.

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