28 January 2008

POD: Local Copy Shop

If you want a very quick study in desktop publishing, then I suggest you visit your local copy shop (YLCS). I use Kinko's because they are the closest and I've used them for so long that most of the employees know me by sight (if not by name).

YLCS is not the most cost effective means of creating merchandise, but as a publisher you will have need of flyers, postcards, prints, and a variety of other swag. Often, you will need this swag in a very short time. It is in this time of need that YLCS will become your best friend.

I use my local Kinko's to create ashcan preview editions and black and white prints.

The ashcans are generally 5.5" x 8.5 (8.5"x 11" folded in the half and stapled). These are usually no more than 10-16 pages (5-8 pages folded) plus a cardstock cover. Generally, I do these in print runs of at least 25 and the cost per unit is about $1.50.

My black and white prints are generally 11" x 17" on cardstock or some variation thereof. I, generally, get 10-20 copies for an initial run and continue to reprint as needed. These cost about 25¢-50¢ each.

When out of town for conventions, I always make a mental note of the location of the nearest copy center. I always keep my storage web site up-to-date with my most recent prints, so that at any time I can grab a print and replenish my stock.

My first self-published item that actually sold out at a convention was an ashcan preview edition of Warmageddon Illustrated #1. I had a print run of 50 and debuted at the Wizard World Philly 2005. They sold for $10 each and more than paid for the entire cost of the convention.

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