Printing Companies
  1. About Printing Industry
  2. Printing Services
  3. Print Buyers
  4. Printing Resources
  5. Classified Ads
  6. Printing Glossary
  7. Printing Newsletters
  8. Contact Print Industry
Who We Are

Printing Industry Exchange ( is pleased to have Steven Waxman writing and managing the Printing Industry Blog. As a printing consultant, Steven teaches corporations how to save money buying printing, brokers printing services, and teaches prepress techniques. Steven has been in the printing industry for thirty-three years working as a writer, editor, print buyer, photographer, graphic designer, art director, and production manager.

Need a Printing Quote from multiple printers? click here.

Are you a Printing Company interested in joining our service? click here.

The Printing Industry Exchange (PIE) staff are experienced individuals within the printing industry that are dedicated to helping and maintaining a high standard of ethics in this business. We are a privately owned company with principals in the business having a combined total of 103 years experience in the printing industry.

PIE's staff is here to help the print buyer find competitive pricing and the right printer to do their job, and also to help the printing companies increase their revenues by providing numerous leads they can quote on and potentially get new business.

This is a free service to the print buyer. All you do is find the appropriate bid request form, fill it out, and it is emailed out to the printing companies who do that type of printing work. The printers best qualified to do your job, will email you pricing and if you decide to print your job through one of these print vendors, you contact them directly.

We have kept the PIE system simple -- we get a monthly fee from the commercial printers who belong to our service. Once the bid request is submitted, all interactions are between the print buyers and the printers.

We are here to help, you can contact us by email at

Booklet Printing: Considering Options for Nested Booklets

When I receive bids for a print job, the pricing from the various custom printing suppliers usually falls within a narrow range. Some prices are lower, and some are higher, but it is unusual for one book printer to be twenty or thirty percent higher than all the others. If this happens, it is usually because of a miscommunication of some sort.

A few blog posts ago, I mentioned a smaller print booklet (6” x 9”) bound within a larger booklet (7” x 10”) that a print brokering client of mine has been designing. It is a 4-color self-mailer (i.e., it will not mail in an envelope). The job will include a folded letter inserted in the back of the larger book, and the mailer will be closed with three wafer seals to meet US Postal requirements for self-mailers.

Vastly Different Pricing from the Vendors

One printer bid $470.00 to insert the smaller print book into the larger print book, while another printer bid $2,400.00 for the same work. If the vendor with the higher insertion cost had not offered such a low price to print the two booklets (comparable to the lowest bid), I would have assumed that the high bidder was just not competitive for this kind of work. But the custom printing price was low, so I looked deeper.

My first thought was that the printer with the low bid had just priced the job with two stitches affixing one print book into the other. This would have been problematic. After all, my client wanted to be able to remove the inner book and keep it intact (i.e., the inner book had to still have two staples once it had been removed from the outer book). To do this, one additional staple would need to be added, binding the two separate, previously stitched books together.

But had the first printer (with the low bid) understood the complexity of the job? That was my question. Clearly the bidder with the higher price had understood, hence the higher price. I called the first bidder to confirm absolutely that he had understood. The inner book would need to be removed by the recipient. He agreed to hold the price. He had understood, and I had given him a chance to make a price change if he had not understood.

A New Option for Mailing the Promotional Piece

The high bidder could not bind the job for anywhere near the price the low bidder had provided. (My assumption was that the equipment on the pressroom floor of the two book printers had differed enough to account for the price discrepancy.)

However, since the high bidder’s prices for the custom printing component of the job were competitive, he suggested an alternative. He would produce the two print books and the accompanying letter (keeping them separate) and insert them into a 4-color printed envelope.

The Basis for the Change in Job Specifications

I considered the change in job specifications because the book printer offered an interesting rationale:

    1. A self-mailer would get banged up in the mail.


    1. Wafer seals, which would be required by the Post Office, might tear the cover stock of the outer booklet when the recipient of the mailer slit them to open the print book.


    1. The fifth stitch (the one used to bind the two print books together) would be opened when the inner book was removed from the outer book. This extra staple might accidentally prick the finger of the reader, since the staple would still be open and would extend into the center of the book once the smaller book had been removed.


  1. Most notably, the envelope would protect the entire package (all elements: the two books and the letter) from damage.

All of this seemed prudent, so I asked the book printer to revise the bid, deleting the costs for binding the books together and adding a price for a 4-color printed envelope.

This new price was quite good, so I submitted it to my client as an alternative to the self-mailer. I also explained why this might be a good option to consider.

The One Downside I Could See

I could see only one reason not to choose the envelope option (although clearly I would defer to my client’s wishes, regardless). When you find a 4-color self-mailer in your mail box, it stands out from all the other mail. You don’t need to open the envelope. You get an immediate recognition of the image and message.

In contrast, you have to open a sealed envelope. Granted, you can put teaser copy on the envelope, but it still may not be as dramatic as a 4-color self-mailer. I explained this to my client so she would understand the pros and cons of both options.

A Final Thought on Adding Wafer Seals

Over the years I’ve received numerous self-mailers closed not with wafer seals but with fugitive glue. Granted, neither option is as user friendly as an open self-mailer, but this is not an option given the requirements for US Postal Service automated processing. The mailer needs to be securely closed.

That said, I’ve never torn a self-mailer sealed with fugitive glue, while I have inadvertently torn self-mailers sealed with wafer tabs.

It was just a thought. I presented it to my client as an option to consider.

The jury is still out. We’ll see what my client says.

Comments are closed.


Recent Posts


Read and subscribe to our newsletter!

Printing Services include all print categories listed below & more!
4-color Catalogs
Affordable Brochures: Pricing
Affordable Flyers
Book Binding Types and Printing Services
Book Print Services
Booklet, Catalog, Window Envelopes
Brochures: Promotional, Marketing
Bumper Stickers
Business Cards
Business Stationery and Envelopes
Catalog Printers
Cheap Brochures
Color, B&W Catalogs
Color Brochure Printers
Color Postcards
Commercial Book Printers
Commercial Catalog Printing
Custom Decals
Custom Labels
Custom Posters Printers
Custom Stickers, Product Labels
Custom T-shirt Prices
Decals, Labels, Stickers: Vinyl, Clear
Digital, On-Demand Books Prices
Digital Poster, Large Format Prints
Discount Brochures, Flyers Vendors
Envelope Printers, Manufacturers
Label, Sticker, Decal Companies
Letterhead, Stationary, Stationery
Magazine Publication Quotes
Monthly Newsletter Pricing
Newsletter, Flyer Printers
Newspaper Printing, Tabloid Printers
Online Book Price Quotes
Paperback Book Printers
Postcard Printers
Post Card Mailing Service
Postcards, Rackcards
Postcard Printers & Mailing Services
Post Card Direct Mail Service
Poster, Large Format Projects
Posters (Maps, Events, Conferences)
Print Custom TShirts
Screen Print Cards, Shirts
Shortrun Book Printers
Tabloid, Newsprint, Newspapers
T-shirts: Custom Printed Shirts
Tshirt Screen Printers
Printing Industry Exchange, LLC, P.O. Box 394, Bluffton, SC 29910
©2019 Printing Industry Exchange, LLC - All rights reserved