Being ahead of ourselves - Early planning for a Winter Edition

As we start a lovely Quercy autumn - here in the magazine office we are knee deep in tinsel and fairy lights - we have Christmas on our mind!

 

This week the work on this ‘festive’ edition is just about to start in earnest.  However, it is still very hard to get people to think about Christmas, New Year and even worse February’s Valentines’ Day. This Winter edition covers all 3 events so we’ll have to keep pushing for information. 

You can also bet your ‘last dollar’ that at the start of December, after we are in print, people will start contacting us about seasonal events they want to include!  Believe-you-me – we’ve received messages along the lines of ‘We know you have printed but it is possible to add something?’   No!! 

We have to work ahead of time – we are booking things in for 18 months ahead now, so  for us December is very close almost imminent.

At this stage the question is how many pages will we be printing?  Sometimes we cannot say definitively how many pages it will have until almost the last moment.... Like most things in life it comes down to 1) costs and 2) whether people do things in time. 

We try to keep a steady balance of advertising and other material.  So until we know how much advertising is booked in we cannot work out the number of pages we can print.  It is much more economical to print the interior pages in multiples of 16. That is just how the printing machine operates.  The four pages that make up the cover are added to this as they are printed separately of a different paper grade.

So at this stage of the game the number and length of articles we can run is very much up in the air.  We have to book them in with an estimation of their final size but there’s a ghostly ‘vague’ section which represents the extra pages we may be able to add if the advertising load is sufficient.

We may get close to the deadlines and then find we have more adverts that expected and so we have to up the page number – suddenly adding possibly 16 pages to the plan means that we suddenly have space!

So when people ask ‘have you room’ the answer is not a simple one!  We may have or we may not or we may not have now but we could have at the very last minute if we add pages or when something booked in does not arrive in-time or to size. 

 
Anna Atkinson