Changing Printers in Midstream

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February 2013
by Walt “Stryke” Clayton

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After I decided to self-publish my parody of nature field guides, the second critical decision I made was that production values would be the highest attainable. Stryke’s Buns Guide: A Field Guide to Buns of the World had to be comparable in every way to the superb vinyl-covered guides used by millions of naturalists worldwide. And in case you’re asking yourself, Does he mean the kind of buns I’m thinking he means? Yes, I do. I got the idea for my clean, fun guide when I was leading a group of birdwatchers and wildlife photographers through Patagonia, but it doesn’t feature birds or plants or snakes; it focuses solely on female behinds.

Back in 2002, I queried several domestic printers and quickly determined that the one best suited to deliver the special color printing and vinyl cover I absolutely had to have was the company already producing the most popular birding guides. This was a huge global Japanese firm, and, in addition to special expertise in printing field guides, it offered a price amazingly lower than any U.S. quote. So, even though I had hoped to keep production in the United States, its offer was too good to refuse.

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