What to Put in Your RFQ

October 2005
by Pete Masterson

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Printing prices vary not only
by the nature of the project but also by the amount of work in a printer’s
shop. If the shop is fully scheduled, the price is likely to be relatively
high. If it isn’t, the price is likely to be lower (printers are in danger of
losing skilled workers if they don’t keep them adequately busy—that is,
paid). To get the best deal, therefore, you should create and submit a Request
for Quotation (RFQ) to a reasonable selection of printers specializing in

The elements of an RFQ for trade
books are listed below with information and advice from me in italics. Some
projects, including full-color books, may require more elaborate
specifications. You can find more detailed information and advice about RFQs
and related subjects on my Web site (www.aeonix.com) and in my new book, Book Design and Production.

I usually submit RFQs by email.
Formatting is simple—flush left with extra lines to separate sections.
Send your email RFQ to various printers individually or use the BCC: line for
addresses. Printers are likely to ignore an RFQ that shows 10 or 20 addressees.

If you want to submit an RFQ by
letter or fax, use your letterhead and format it the way you would format most

An RFQ Outline

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