Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Cost of Printing

Joseph Herrin (06-03-17)

I have made a request. It has not turned out as I have anticipated. Because of this, I will make another, albeit different request. The results we get to our strenuous exertions often is a sign that we need to go another way. I will explain.

A couple months ago I ran into a roadblock while trying to print the Newsletters. I had upgraded my computer and they would no longer print. I made a request to my software developer for him to attempt to fix it. We worked on the problem for a long time. My Excel spreadsheet would not work with Windows 10 Pro. When nothing he did fixed it, and a reader suggested I prepare the Excel spreadsheet in the Access database, I made that request to everyone on my mailing list. I wanted just one person to develop a database in Access that would print the Newsletters and update the mailing list. Access sounded like a better format for the Spreadsheet, and since it would be developed for my system it would avoid the incapacities of an older program. I was looking for something to use for years, and I could think of nothing better at the time.

I have had a person working on the database. Yesterday he told me that he has run into a problem too. He has said that due to his unfamiliarity with Visual Basic for Applications he is unable to get the database to print the Newsletters in Publisher. The database developer has done a nice job, but it’s a non-starter without Visual Basic. Rather than throw out all his work, I would like to make use of what he has come up with.

I have been thinking about using this solution for the long term, but the more I think about it the more I see that I will be having regular problems with it. In the past year my number of Newsletters has doubled to nearly 300. It now takes me more than a day to get the whole volume done. Sometimes it takes two days. I have to print the Newsletters, staple them, fold them, put three binding tabs on them, and affix postage to them. In looking forward, at this rate it will take me twice as long to handle in another year.

I received a very good printer almost 2 years ago. It was quite a step up from my previous printer. It runs steady for almost six hours now when I print out the newsletters. I have to continually feed paper into it. It currently takes 5 - 6 reams of paper, nearly 3,000 sheets. It has needed to have a gear mechanism replaced in it twice. I am anticipating that the gear mechanism will have to be replaced again soon because it is a cheap piece made of plastic. Fortunately I did pay for the service on this printer for 4 years when I bought it. The piece could be made of metal and last forever, but that is not how they made it. It has been quite a chunk of change that Xerox charges to send a repairman out. Hundreds of dollars for about an hours work, plus the piece, which runs at more than two hundred dollars for its own cost.

Not only this, but the printer uses solid ink blocks for printing.

It was costing me under $50 dollars for a pack of 6 ink cubes when I first got it. Sometimes I could get it as low as $30 a pack. Now the printer is no longer made and the cost of ink is about $285 for all four of the colors (non-metered). It is looking like a good time to look at another solution for printing Newsletters. This printer has been a good solution for printing Newsletters, books, and shorter writings, but it will not last much longer. As I cannot afford to put a larger printer in my motorhome, and things are pointing in that direction, I must check out the cost of having someone else print my stock of 177 Newsletters. Then all I will have to do is print out the mailing labels and affix them to the Newsletters. I can also get more help this way as I have a couple people that will help me with the Newsletters.

I have heard of a number of people who have gotten things printed at a very good price. I would like to ask the readers of this blog if they know of any good printer that will do this job for me at a decent price. The Newsletters are full color. Each Newsletter is about ten pages long, printed on both sides of the sheet of paper. They are also stapled and folded. They can be viewed here:

The price for printing 177 newsletters will not be cheap. I will decide how many I can print of each Newsletter when I get a firm price. Please, if you know of someone who can print these off, contact me and let me know.

Thank you.

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Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

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