Biddles Score a Success with Publisher's Choice™
Rod Willett is a clever man, and he’ll really love the embarrassment this statement will cause him. But it’s true. When we worked togther at Cambridge University Press, where he was one of my bosses — heaven help him — he not only turned around the Printing Division (during an exceptionally difficult period of often radical change for the Press), he also did a considerable amount of thinking about print runs and print models for academic and trade publishing, as he straddled both printing and pubishing in a broad and at times testing operational role. I’d actually say that Rod was one of the best operational managers I’ve ever known, matching innovation with profound common sense, pragmatism and lots of good humour.
In a similar leap of faith to those at Salt, he left Cambridge to return to Biddles, a super dedicated book printer in Kings Lynn. Here at Biddles, Rod has transformed and repositioned the business and introduced a tried and trusted model for printing which lies, hierarchically, just above the print on demand model. It looks at using digital printing to supply batches, with a carefully determined market operating from 100 to 750 units for mono printing, and built on rapid reprints, with a range of papers, including a decent bookwove, and a wide range of trim sizes. The hardbacks are a triumph. Quality is first rate for non-illustrated black and white books.
It’s a persuasive model and he’s named it Publisher’s Choice™. I think this is a fantastic model for frontlist development, and it can be dove-tailed into a print on demand service as a title ages, declines or changes trajectory in sales pattern.
Taken together with a solid Web interface, excellent customer service and a genuinely skilled staff, I can’t think of a better coherently branded manufacturing model. Take my advice and seek out the customer services team and test out the service.