NoahKnoble's Blog

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Free, Fast and….WHAT!?!?

You take your family out to eat, to a nice restaurant, and the food was so amazing, you don’t even care how much the bill is, and you add a $10 tip on to it! You get home, look at the bill, and start to think, what can I do to eliminate paying for my food, but still enjoy that great taste!

Quickly, you jump on the internet and find out you can order the food to be delivered to your home. They have a 15 minute guanrantee, and best yet…..it is FREE! You don’t have to pay one single dime, no tip, as long as they deliver the food to you, it is 100% free.

What if the world was like this? People would probably stop dining out and start ordering in in a heart beat!

I am here to tell you the world is like this, at least in the publishing industry it is! (OK, now stop shaking your head no, rolling your eyes, and read on Yoda)

How many of you are printing a publication, have a cover price of $4.95 for newsstand and $25.95 for subscriptions (The room raises their hands). Now, how many of you are producing a digital magazine and giving it away for free? (Faces turn red, but hands remained raised!) Why are you doing this? Is this not playing into commoditizing yourself?

Think back to my restaurant scenario. Are they selling food, or are they selling a place to sit?….Of course they are in business to sell food (that’s their content)!

“Well Noah, digital is about 10-20% of the costs for a printed product, so we can afford to give it away online for free.” I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were selling print (I thought I was), I thought you were selling content? After all, isn’t that what publishing is about, content?

With the many free digital magazines, but with costs to have a printed magazine, leaves me pondering, what is driving consumers to digital? Is it the convenience and “now” factor of it? Or is it that the consumer has simply become savy enough to know how to get your content for free?

Publishers, never forget what it is that you makes your business successful, sought after, and recognizeable ….it is not the delivery vehichle of the content, it is the content itself. This is what makes you, you!

No, this is not a blog against digital magazines, in fact I support them! I think they are a great way to supplement your printed magazine, and help you increase your market share. I do think, if you are charging for your printed magazine, then it would only make sense to charge for your digital magazine. Many digital magazines have subscriber options, with teaser options that allow the reader to see the first few pages, and if they want to see more then they have to subscribe.

This blog is for you Mr/Mrs. Content Provider, because when I see you starting to forget what makes you valuable, it is my duty to tell you that it isn’t how you deliver the content, its that great taste, feeling, education, you give me from your content itself!

Don’t ever forget that.

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April 28, 2011 Posted by | Digital Magazine, Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Flipping For Flipbooks!

What’s going on with flipbook frenzy!?! I LOVE it! Whomever was the first person to do this, please accept my high five, and give yourself a pat on the back!

First, what do I mean by a flipbook? The magazine you love and can’t wait to for it to show up in your mailbox finally arrives! You begin reading it, get through about half, then all of a sudden the pages become upside down….or flipped! You look up, and see you are still standing on your feet, and think to yourself ” What an error the printer made!” You quickly call up the Publisher’s office, “Hello, I got my magazine, but at page 96 all the pages are upside down, can you send me a new one? What’s that you say? Flip the magazine over?” You slam the phone down before you can tell them your name, now feeling your cheeks getting quite rosey from feeling a bit embarrassed. You see there are two magazines in one. One side, which you thought was the front cover, was the normal magazine you were used to, when you flip it over and see the back side, it too has a front cover featuring the night life of your city. Now your cheeks are getting rosey again…..not because of embarrassment, because of all the nightlife scenes you realize you haven’t taken advantage of yet!

I don’t know if the official term is a flipbook, but thats what we call it over at JB Kenehan. If you want to see a sample of one, contact me and I’ll send you one no strings attached.

Here are some ideas of how you can take advantage of a flipbook:

  • If your city regional magazine, and typically cover the lifestyle of your city in your publication, now you can expand to cover the night scene, restaurant scene, gardening scene etc…
  • If you are a musical publication, and typically cover one genre of music, now you can expand to other genres, or musical styles.
  • If you are an association publication, you can still cover information pertinent to your association, but on the flip side, cover members and what they are up to.

The ideas are endless for you! Here are some of the benefits of a flipbook:

  • Increase your readership! With new content you will expand into new markets that may not have found your publication before.
  • Increase your advertising! With new content, you will be able to show advertisers why they should advertise in your publication. This opens up a whole new market of advertisers to attack!
  • Increased page counts! New content, new advertisers, means a thicker publication!
  • Low Costs! You had been thinking about starting up a new magazine to supplement your publication, but were afraid of the additional costs. Now there is no additional Make Ready costs, no additional mailing, and don’t need to worry about making a page count for it to make sense economically for you!
  • Diversity! Allows you the opportunity to diversify your publication and keep it cutting edge and new….which will keep the readers and advertisers coming back!

These are only some of the many advantage of a flipbook. Worried about creating one? Don’t worry! Just create the publication like you typically would, we at JB Kenehan will “flip” it for you at the page number you tell us.

It’s simple, beneficial, and will increase the diversity of your market, which will only lead to your long term success!

So start flipping today and join the flipbook nation!

 Here is a short video with an example of a flipbook for your viewing…Enjoy! : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SNnIbqWZ3eY

April 17, 2011 Posted by | Books, Catalogs, flipbook, Paper, Printing, Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could Paper Reduce Deforestation?YES!

 

Disclaimer: This was not meant as a blog post, this was a paper I wrote for a college course….it is very long, but well worth the read!

How many times have you received an email from someone, and at the bottom of that email it says “before you print this email, think about the environment?”  I get these e-mails every day, several times a day, from people all over the country, and I am sure you do too. Maybe you are even one of these people that have it saved as a signature to your email? The reason behind the perception here is that by reducing our usage of paper, we believe that we will be doing our part to reduce deforestation and save trees worldwide. Now, what if I was to tell you that by not using paper, you are effectively speeding up the process of deforestation? Would you think twice about hitting print then? Would you look beyond all the propaganda to see what it truly means to be green? Or would you just laugh and delete these facts from your computer screen because they can’t possibly be true?

            Everyone has their own definition of what it is to be “green” from purchasing a hybrid car, recycling more, down to carpooling. Surely, by not using paper you will be able to save trees, which can only be good for the environment, right? Well think about this, if that land is no longer used to responsibly harvest trees, then someone else is going to use it to make a profit in some other shape or form such as land development. Then, think about all the parts that go into a computer, you begin to wonder, is it really more environmentally friendly to campaign against the use of paper? Once you see the facts regarding paper use, my hopes are that you will see that using paper actually helps to responsibly maintain our forestland.

            Forests in the United States cover the same amount of our landscape today as they have for the past 100 years. In fact, today the U.S has 20% more trees than it did 25 years ago (http://www.afandpa.org/forestry.aspxid=406&linkidentifier=id&itemid=406). However, population growth, and changes in ownership of the forestland could drastically alter the landscape in the next few decades. More than 1/3 (750 million acres) of the United States is covered in forestland. Of that, 56% is owned by private owners, for example, commercial or family owned lands. Of that privately helped forestland, a recent survey by the USDA has shown that 25% of these owners plan on transferring or selling the land rights.(http://www.internationalpaper.com/apps/gopaper/ownership.html) So what’s the problem with this scenario? Why is this a growing trend now? The answer lies in the landowner’s profits.  Profits now have been drastically reduced with the campaigning to phase out paper.  Reduced profits means that if there is less money to be made by these private land owners, they will look to selling the land to developers, and selling the land to developers means massive amounts of forestland being destroyed…permanently!

Environmental Issues

            What can be the harm if we lost 56% of our forestland that is held by private ownership? The losses are huge, 60% of at risk plant and wildlife are associated with our forestland. These species of wildlife and plant life would go from being at risk, to protected, in a few short years. This is also so important because one acre of forestland alone produces enough oxygen to support eighteen people annually. Two thirds of our natural water resources flow from our forestlands, the better maintained the land the less polluted the water.(http://www.internationalpaper.com/apps/gopaper/ownership.html) The private landowners are the keepers of the ecosystem, as well as our natural resources, and the profits from trees allow them to maintain the land as it should be. At the current rate of deforestation in the rain forest, there will be no rain forest left  100 years from now.(http://www.buzzle.com/articles/causes-and-effects-of-deforestation.html) Domestically, 56% of the forestland is owned by private land owners, and of that amount, 25% plan to sell the land to urban developers or utilize it for agriculture or commercial developments that will yield higher profits instead of allowing paper mills to manage the forests responsibly.http://www.internationalpaper.com/apps/gopaper/ownership.html)

So what happens with the loss of all of this forestland? First and foremost, the ecosystem will be completely destroyed. With over 70% of plant and animal life living in forests, hundreds if not thousands of plant and animal life will be endangered or completely lost. It will be highly unlikely that they will be able to recover at the rate we are cutting down our trees and utilizing the land for development. Second, deforestation impacts our climate. Leaves and canopies protect the forest floor from harmful sun rays, and without them the soil will quickly dry up killing all plant life. In addition, trees help perpetuate water vapor back into the atmosphere. Without forests, the land would become much like a desert, and temperature swings will be very severe. Next, trees absorb carbon monoxide (CO2) and emit oxygen into the atmosphere. Remember, one single acre of forestland emits enough oxygen to sustain 18 people every year. In addition, trees catch and provide us with millions of gallons of clean rain water every year. Less trees means less natural clean rain water for our usage.(http://www.buzzle.com/articles/causes-and-effects-of-deforestation.html)

A recent study, done by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland showed that greenhouse gas emissions produced by a single newspaper during its entire life cycle correspond to a car journey of approximately one kilometer. The carbon footprint of a book bought from a store is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of a car journey of approximately 7 kilometers. The carbon footprint of an annual volume of weekly magazines is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of a journey of 45 kilometres by a car. The carbon footprint of a book is equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of a journey about 7 kilometres by a car. The contribution of newspapers, books, and other paper products to the climate impacts of consumption by Finnish households in 2005 was small (approximately 1%). The biggest climate impacts of consumption by Finnish households were attributable to housing (28%), food products (16%), and transport (13%). The most efficient way to reduce environmental impacts is to lower the consumption of energy and fuels at different stages of the life cycle. Other important ways to reduce environmental impacts include reducing the amount of raw materials and using materials more efficiently. (http://www.ceepackaging.com/2011/03/24/print-contributes-little-to-carbon-footrpint/)

Social Issues

The perception that paper mills are the ones to blame, and that by stamping out the usage of paper is going to make a positive difference in the environment is simply wrong. In the Amazon alone, 60-70% of deforestation takes place due to ranchers. In the U.S., between now and the year 2030, 57 million acres of forestland are expected to be destroyed as to see an increase in housing.( http://www.buzzle.com/articles/causes-and-effects-of-deforestation.html) Currently, many urban developers are seeking to clear out forests to make growth for communities, use raw materials for building houses and furniture. Other economic reasons for deforestation here in the United States are agricultural in nature in efforts to allow the indigenous people’s cattle to roam and feed, or to plant crops that yield higher profits. With either of these situations, the trees are not being re- planted and the land is being converted for other uses.  All the signs point to the use of agriculture, urban development, and not properly managing forestland by using improper techniques such as clear cutting.

Economic Issues

The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP. Industry companies produce about $175 billion in products annually and employ nearly 900,000 men and women, exceeding employment levels in the automotive, chemicals and plastics industries. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 48 states. With less paper being used, means less demand, which also equates to the loss of jobs of one of the biggest manufacturing markets in our country.( http://www.afandpa.org/ourindustry.aspx?id=35)

Opponents of paper usage will claim that to produce paper requires too much energy. This is simply not true, in the US paper mills are the largest consumer and producer of renewable energy. Working in this field as a printer, we too benefit from this as we utilize our paper mills renewable energy whenever possible. Paper can be used over and over again, as it is an infinitely renewable resource, and is very easily recyclable. To put things into perspective better, think about technology today, with a new version of the latest computer, cell phone, etc. coming out every year and being purchased by consumers rapidly, you have to ask yourself what happens to the old equipment? People throw it away to get the next latest and greatest consumer product. One must then consider all the input and output that goes into making these devices, where they end up, and how often they are actually reusable and if they are, are they actually being reused?  Right now, 3.2 million tons of electronic trash is dumped into our landfills every year. Compared to paper, with more states setting up recycling programs at local levels throughout, 89% of newspapers, 72% of boxes, and 66% of office paper is being recycled right now and with increased awareness regarding this issue we will reach the high 90 percentiles in just a few short years. (http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/paper/faqs.htm)

The key to all of this is sustainability, responsibility, accountability and proper knowledge. With many watch dog agencies like that of the FSC, Rain Forest Alliance, Sustainable Forest Initiative, and many more, there has been a standard created for land owners, paper mills, and printers to follow. Over 25% of private land owners carry a certification from one of these watch dog agencies that ensures trees are replanted (paper mills re plant 3-4 times more trees than they cut down), paper waste is recycled, and renewable resources are utilized.(http://www.internationalpaper.com/apps/gopaper/ownership.html)

So What’s The Issue?

When it comes right down to it, it’s the perception of the people regarding the use of paper that needs to change. All too often we listen to what we hear on television, we then quickly and easily allow this information to become “fact”.  The challenge here is to think about deforestation critically, and to see the issue from all sides in an unbiased manner. We see a tree being cut down for our use, and immediately we believe if we no longer use the product that the tree is being harvested for, the trees will be saved. Think of the opportunity cost of harvesting trees by paper mills. If there are no profits to be had, then the land will be used in another way in order to gain profits, all which lead to no trees being re planted what so ever.

We are all correct in believing that deforestation is a major problem, not only locally, but also globally. The best way to combat deforestation is to ensure the people that make a profit off the land continue to protect their profits by responsibly using, and replanting the trees. This only makes good business sense, should there no longer be a channel to reap the profits of their labor, its only common sense that they look at the next best thing. In most cases, this will be to sell the land to an urban developer, or use the land for agricultural issues. In both cases, we lose critical habitat and no re planting is done.

Now that the issue of using paper is clarified there is more work to be done. The first step is to re brand paper products as the only infinite renewable source in the world, which it is. The second step is to produce the facts for the real reasons of deforestation, and with that comes a responsibility to manage our forests before it is too late and urban developers have created new cities and homes to be moved in to. Last we need a call to the people to look beyond the surface, and dig deeper into the problem to find the true reasons for the problem in order to find the right solution.

The true solution, recycle! That is where the emphasis needs to be put, not on attacking paper which will only put thousands of people out of work, increase deforestation, and hurt our environment the most. It is important to remember all things are linked together, if we take away paper, we will see all of these statistics drastically reduced, which will only lead to more job losses:

  • Recycling creates 1.1 million U.S. jobs, $236 billion in gross annual sales and $37 billion in annual payrolls.
  • Public sector investment in local recycling programs pays great dividends by creating private sector jobs. For every job collecting recyclables, there are 26 jobs in processing the materials and manufacturing them into new products.
  • Recycling creates four jobs for every one job created in the waste management and disposal industries.

(http://www.recycling-revolution.com/recycling-benefits.html)

As you can see, if we follow the crumb trail, not using paper will devastate our economy and environment. Socially, we all need to make a change and take it upon ourselves to look beyond the rhetoric to get to the true source.

April 15, 2011 Posted by | Books, Catalogs, Paper, Printing, Publishing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Random Little Dots….

Do you ever feel like a random little dot, on this big canvas, unsure of where you fit in to the bigger picture being printed or painted? If you look at a printed product under a magnifying glass, what will you see? A bunch of scattered little dots that look like they don’t make up anything. However, when you pull that magnifying glass away, what do you see? A beautiful picture that all the dots have come together to make.

What’s the point to this philosophical start to my blog? This week, as I am sure many of you know (thank you all for the warm wishes) my wife gave birth to our second son. The only way for me to describe this instant bond is to compare it to the movie Avatar when they connect the end of their hair piece to their “flying dragon” and they are instantly connected….it is immediate and forever.

The next day, a big beautiful bouque of flowers showed up at the hospital. My wife looked at me and said “You shouldn’t have!” I looked back at her a little confused and said “I didn’t!” After looking at the card, we found out it came from my co-workers, and today, a big beautiful bouque of cookies came….again from my co-workers! (The best co-horts in the world I might add!)

To add to our wonderful new experience many other warm wishes have been sent through email, cards, social media, tweeted, and posted…… from friends and connections, all which have meant so much to me and my family.

Although he made me eat catfish on my last visit to Georgia to visit him(I won’t hold it against him), one of my clients I have inherited is now the Godfather of my newborn (begin scene of Jerry Maguire 🙂 )

I have had the great fortune of speaking with people like Paul Castain who have helped me along with my career in sales, without keeping any score board. Now I have the privilege of calling him a friend and mentor!

So what’s the point to all of this?  The point is that relationships matter! Without relationships what do we have? Nothing, we are just a random little dot, but with relationships we come together to make a great big beautiful picture.

I know we must all be fiscally responsible, but when only looking at numbers you are limiting the potential of a profitable, successful, and caring relationship that may have more value than someone with a “best price”. I urge you all to evaluate the relationships you have and what you can do to become a better partner to encourage each others success not only in business, but also in life.

After all, this is what social media is about, is it not? Creating new relationships that are long lasting and add value to our lives…

Take it from me, it doesn’t take having a newborn to have your eyes opened for you, but when I did, I saw all the people that care about me and my family. These are relationships I will treasure forever, and will always remain fiercely loyal to. Put the extra time in to get to know the other person, there are more than just numbers to consider.

In uncertain times like these, we need one another. Relationships still matter!

April 9, 2011 Posted by | Publishing, Relationships, Sales, Social Media | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Wonderful World of Catalogs!

“Honey, have you seen the IKEA catalog? I swear I left it right there on the coffee table” my wife said with her finger extended towards the table sitting in the middle of the room. Fighting back my dimples from showing (she knows I am fibbing when my dimples show) “No honey, I haven’t seen it.”

She walked out of the room, I thought I had finally won! I threw that catalog away, and wasn’t about to tell her! For the past few weeks, new items have been showing up at our doorstep, and from where?, you guessed it, from IKEA! It’s not that we don’t need these things, we do, especially with a newborn on the way, but I was just afraid this would continue to happen once we had all the things we needed.

“Oh well” my wife said as she walked back into the room, “I found this Target catalog I got last month.”

I am thinking many of you can relate to this! 🙂 So what’s the point?

Recently I have taken on a massive research of catalogs. The main point of this is to see how many are now PDF or digital only. All in all, I went through about 1,500 company websites that either print a catalog, or had printed a catalog and now only have a digital version. Of those I went through, about 15% were now digital,and typically only a PDF was posted on the websites. I was surprised by this information, but I also understood it. (Disclaimer, the above percentage may not represent all catalogs throughout the entire market, this is only my own research). By saying I understand these results, what I mean is I understand increasing paper and postage costs, as well as the overhead and time involved with printing and mailing catalogs has.

However, I have come across several sources showing that a printed catalog not only increases your sales, it also increases traffic to your website. Some sources have sighted an increase of 84% all the way up to as much as a double in your profits, so although there are some mixed messages, the fact is that it is proven to increase profitability and here is why:

  • Longevity- If you noticed, I had mentioned my wife found a catalog she got from Target a month ago. Just because we don’t order something right away, doesn’t mean we are never going to order something. Having the catalog on hand allowed us to pick what we wanted when we wanted.
  • Increase Brand Awareness- By receiving your catalog, if you were to call me, send me a piece of direct mail, or if I come across your store, the chances of me opening your mail, taking your call, or stopping in your store would be much higher because I already know who you are.
  • Convenient- I no longer have to call your toll-free number or get up and get on the internet to order your products out of a catalog. Make it easy for me, put a QR code on your catalog so I scan it with my phone and I can order the product from the convenience of my couch or while I am waiting for my flight in the airport.
  • Tier your mailings- Here is a cost savings tip. Instead of holding the inventory which takes up storage, and then mailing each catalog as a new mail order comes in tier them. Let’s say you print 45,000 catalogs, then do three mailings per year or whatever your heart desires. Why? We at JB Kenehan have storage space to hold these for you, in addition, we can handle each tiered mailing for you so it isn’t taking up time out of your day.
  • Pass Along Rates- Printed pieces have a valuable function, they have pass along rates. So although you may send your catalog to my household, my mother is at our house at least once a week (seriously, ask my wife!) and she too looks at our catalogs. I know this isn’t unique only to our household.
  • Less Cluttered- While going through a digital catalog or PDF, I couldn’t help but to feel overwhelmed with all the information. It seemed very cluttered, while in a printed catalog I can easily find what I am looking for.
  • Get me Excited!- Throw in a tag or augmented reality code next to some of the products that I can scan with my smart phone. If you are an outdoors retailer, put a tag next to a tent and show me the easiest way to set the tent up so I feel more comfortable purchasing it (because you are making me look like a rockstar and manly man in front of my family!). If I am looking through a food catalog, take me to a video of how I can use the product in recipes etc…the ideas are endless!

Now I am not saying abandon your digital reproduction of your catalog, but what I am saying is, do not abandon your printed catalog. Although it hurts me to say that (well it hurts the pocket-book anyway) whether it is a B2B or B2C, whether you are a major brand or a less known brand, a printed catalog will only increase your profitability and awareness.

April 2, 2011 Posted by | Catalogs, Mailing, Printing, Publishing, QR Codes, Sales | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment