Barry Gregory talks about Ka-Blam and print on demand
Barry: That’s the beauty of digital printing. The minimum order is “1” copy. Because there’s minimal press setup –really all we have to do is color calibrate– we can easily print one unit at a time. Once we’ve got a printable document it’s just a matter of attaching a print profile, setting the quantity, and clicking print. The process is almost completely automated and in-line. So we send a job to print and the press does the rest. A finished, folded, stapled, precision trimmed comic comes out on the finishing tray.
1st: How much does it cost to print a comic at KA-BLAM?
Barry: It depends on the page count and whether the job is color vs. black/white. We do have some volume discounts that kick in at 500 and 1000 units. We also offer a sizable discount in exchange for letting us run a Ka-Blam ad on the back cover or interior back cover. We’ve got price calculators at the site –ka-blam.com– where users can see exactly what their unit costs will be.
1st: So, if a creator is able to sell one comic to their Mother they still turn a profit?
Barry: If the files are in total compliance with our tech specs then it can go pretty fast. We recommend that users always place a quantity “1” order on any new, never-published comic. If there’s no issue with the files as submitted, then we’ll turn it around in about a week. After that, they can reorder at their convenience and turnarounds on reorders are on average around a week also. Sometimes much faster though. Specification compliance is the key. Nothing bogs down the process like file problems. If there are not enough pages or too many pages or the pages are out of spec, the wrong size, etc, then we have to put the order on hold and explain to the user what the problem is and how to correct it and then wait for new uploads.
1st: In addition to comics what are the printing services do you provide?
Barry: We learned a while ago to focus on what we do best. We print comics and trade paperbacks and we offer order fulfillment. That’s what we do.
1st: If someone is publishing with a Kickstarter can you bundle all the different elements together and ship direct to the customer?
Barry: We can. This is something we’re doing more and more of lately. We don’t charge any extra for this service.
1st: Do you offer digital downloads as well as printed comics?