I should start off by saying that while we now more or less compete with services such as lulu.com and blurb.com, the Service Bureau’s bookbinding service is not meant to replace the need for those services entirely. In fact we feel that, like our button-making, we may even drive more business to our competitors in the long run, which would be great. Our purpose is to fill a niche and make available a specialized service to the SAIC community that can’t be found elsewhere.
We can’t be everything to everyone, and there are things that Lulu and Blurb can do that we can’t (such as distribution, shipping, online storefronts, ISBN numbers, large quantities, hard covers, etc).
On the other hand, there are things we can do that they can’t: Provide customer service, print on a wide variety of materials at a higher quality, bind nearly anything, provide soft-proofing (soon), etc. Does this mean every artist book made at SAIC should be perfect bound at the Service Bureau from now on? I hope not. Are we the only option in town? Definitely not.
So without further ado, here’s how the introductory pricing will work:
- To initiate a binding job, please talk to a staff member to get a quote and get all the details straight. Our pricing depends on the size and quantity of the book, so we’ll need to calculate your quote for you until the documentation is ready.
- We’ll need your files in PDF format, both a file for the inner pages, and a file for the cover/spine/cover. We can help you with this, and documentation is in the works.
- All bound books carry a $5 binding service fee, which covers the additional setup (and there’s a lot of setup on our end), binding, and trimming.
- Pages printed as part of a bound book will be charged at a special rate. Here are some examples:
- qty: 1-9 x 30 page book = $18.50 (Blurb = $22.95, Lulu = $11.90)
- qty: 10-50 x 30 page book = $17.00 (Blurb = $20.66, Lulu = $11.90)
The pricing is actually much more complicated than this, but you get the idea. So now you’re
thinking, “why wouldn’t I just go to Lulu?” Well, keep in mind these details about Lulu:
- They have a choice of two kinds of paper: “standard” and “publisher grade” (thin). We’ll print on anything that we carry. We’ll also bind things that you bring in, so your book could be made of nearly anything. So far we’ve noticed that inkjet-printable canvas makes a great cover…
- They also have a 32 page minimum. We have no size, quantity, or page minimum, though less than 1/8″ spines start to look a little funny.
- They also have 10 sizes to choose from, which is not too shabby, but we have no set sizes, other than that our binder can only handle a spine up to 12″ tall. You can create your file in any program you want (but please give it to us as a high-quality PDF with fonts embedded). We’ll even round the corners of the book if you want. Hell, why not make your cover on the laser cutter?
- If you buy a book from Lulu and there is a problem, here is their Return Policy. Note the part where it says: “Note: Because of the production expense of print on demand manufacturing, Lulu cannot cancel orders, accept returns or provide refunds on these products.” Here is our Reprint Policy. Note where we say, “We will check your submitted file and the output in question to the best of our ability. This is not a guarantee that we will catch your mistakes or technical problems, but we do our best to avoid them. We will take responsibility for any defects we cause in your output, whether they be technician error or equipment failure. There are three options in these cases where the SB/AOC is at fault…“
- Still not convinced? See this and this. More examples of SB quality and options to come.
There is obviously a lot more fine print to our services than I can cover here, so stay tuned. We’re also working on documentation on how to prepare your files.