An advance copy of my new San Francisco travel book has been air shipped to me from Malaysia, and I am impressed with the quality of the color printing. Countryman Press printed my parallel new book, about Washington DC, in China, with equally good results. How these countries can produce such books so economically is a marvel to contemplate.
These Asian suppliers have captured the worldwide market for quality color printing at a favorable price. The two books will retail for $14.95. So I presume that Countryman Press/Norton paid between $2 and $3 per book in their print quantity of 4,000 units.
The books in question are my new photo guidebooks titled The Photographer’s Guide to San Francisco and The Photographer’s Guide to Washington DC. They are part of a series originated by Countryman Press/Norton. The books are 7.25 x 9 inches, 96 pages, with color throughout.
I have had some earlier and good experiences with color printing in China. I printed my travel literary book, titled Travels in An America Imagination, in China, just outside of Hong Kong. The book, done for my Foster Travel Publishing imprint, was mainly text, but had 25 color photos, one for each chapter, and a color cover. My cost for 3,000 copies came to $2.10 per book.
Newcover140 The company I selected to work with was C&C Printing, which has a U.S. office in Portland. I suspect the printers for the Countryman books had a similar corporate style. These Asian printers are nice people to work with, courteous, attentive, and competent. They are good business people.
One surprising thing I learned in my Asian printing adventure was how cheap it is to float the books across the ocean. The cost was only 20 cents per book, or about $600 for my two pallets of books. I literally rented a truck, hired some Hispanic muscle, and drove down to the dock and picked up my books. I now understand better why China is so competitive generally in its manufacturing efforts. The cost of shipping by boat to the US. market is relatively low.
The Photographer’s Guide to San Francisco: Where to Find Perfect Shots and How to Take Them, a book by Lee Foster