Ten reasons to use a print broker



Andy Rogers of Xpedient Book Print outlines the benefits of brokers to independent publishers’ printing strategies

Book print isn’t as straightforward as some people think. It takes a lot of time and understanding—which is why large publishers have whole departments dedicated it. Knowing the machinery means you can place the right job with the right printer at the right cost every time. Mistakes can be costly, and it’s worth spending the time to get them right. 

Of course, independent publishers may not have the money to pay for a dedicated team or a print specialist. They might then either try to sort print out themselves, or rely on a single printer to look after their needs. This may sound like a solution to the problem at hand, but it is adequate at best. A printer’s job and priority is to fill its presses, and not necessarily about what is right or most cost effective for your book. 

This is where print brokers come in. They act as your virtual production department with expertise and understanding, yet they completely prioritise your needs and save you money. Here are ten reasons to use one. 

1. It costs you nothing

Using a print broker doesn’t cost you a penny. If anything, it saves you money, because we have built and maintained long-term relationships with our print partners for years.

2. Your needs are always the priority

We are employed by you, not printers, so we will always prioritise the needs of you and your project. Printers can only print on the machines they have, whereas we have access to a multitude of machines, presses and suppliers and so can always choose the best option.

3. You get the benefit of expert knowledge

As a print broker, we have experience from the perspectives of both printers and clients. This is crucial in balancing cost and quality. We understand the different equipment and processes printers use, so can find the right press for every job and guarantee quality, speed and the most cost-effective price every time.

4. Brokers know the pitfalls

Knowing the industry as well as we do means that we understand potential pitfalls. We can anticipate problems or costly errors before they occur and find better options for you. 

5. You get valuable advice

Publishers often make the mistake of not considering print early on in a project. Presenting a specification to various printers is fine for getting quotes, but it limits what might be achieved. By getting involved early, brokers can help with issues around format, specifications, pagination and production, and suggest different approaches to save you money and make more impact.

6. They’ve got their finger on innovation (so you don’t have to)

The print industry and its machinery is moving forward all the time. It’s our job to stay on top of changes and tell you about new machines that might quickly provide you with benefits from smoother production to more effective cover treatments to cheaper prices. 

7. You benefit from contact networks 

We have many long-term relationships in a variety of specialities and countries. This means we know exactly which printer specialises in your production needs and has the right equipment to meet them. Trust also gives us a lot of influence and means we can deliver exceptional service. Unlike a printer with certain machines and presses, we are not limited, and we won’t limit you. 

8. You always know what’s going on

Communication is key to our service, and it’s one of the reasons I started Xpedient more than 20 years ago. We keep you in the loop at every stage and offer conversations to discuss the best and most effective way to print jobs. Our goal is to give you the peace of mind that everything is happening effectively. 

9. It saves time

Publishers who decide to arrange print themselves may be wasting a lot of their valuable time. Calculating the time cost of getting multiple print quotes, making calls and chasing deliveries might surprise you. Print brokers can help by handling everything from sourcing print to ensuring smooth production right through from files to proofing to delivery. 

10. You have a single point of contact

Publisher’s requirements can be wide, with variations on run lengths, formats and more. Arranging them all requires a lot of discussions with a lot of different people, but we provide a single point of contact for everything: a hub connecting you to different production sites. There’s no need to assess how different sites work and what you need to change, no chasing different contacts for quotes or questions, and no finding that your print sales rep has moved to a new printer.

Andy Rogers is founder of Xpedient Book Print. For more about its services, click here.

The views and opinions expressed in blogs on the IPG website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the IPG.