Ridin' the Rapids
July 1, 2021
“Looking good!” People have been telling me while delivering Reflections to stores and restaurants for the last two weeks. That’s because they liked seeing color photos rather than the print edition’s normal black & white front-page images.
This week I’m expecting to hear comments along the lines of: “Must be a lot of news!” when they find the July 1st issue weighs twice as much.
Printing in color and adding more pages are the result of one input - advertising. In both cases, it’s pretty expensive. The second though, has some interesting wrinkles.
Tabloid newspapers like this one are printed on both sides of a folded sheet that results in four pages. Since we normally produce eight pages, adding four more to include ads for the Lane Electric notifications would seem pretty straightforward - just order a 12-page print run.
But - there’s always a but - the U.S. Postal Service needs to be factored in as well. As a periodical, this publication gets a reduced rate on postage. Every week that entails filling out a 16-page Postage Statement. The periodical rate changes every week, not because of the weight (which has normally been the same) but by using a formula that factors in the percentage of ads each issue contains.
Adding four pages of ads to an eight-page paper would have squeezed out almost all of this paper’s regular columns and greatly boosted that ad percentage. 12 would have helped, but 16 pages brought the ad percentage down to a more reasonable 48%.
Luckily, the web press Reflections is printed on favors multiples of eight. The jump to 12 pages was expensive, but surprisingly going from 12 t0 16 was only $39 more.
From the reader’s perspective, this issue includes some of the website’s offerings like weekly crosswords, a Sudoku and a consumer advice column.
If you haven’t looked yet - go to tinyurl.com/yt8xfj4c for a free month-long trial subscription. There you’ll find breaking news, plus a lot to read - and it’s always in color.