Bound to Succeed
Parisi noted it’s often tough getting approvals with enough time to make due dates. “The biggest problem is … clients do not review content when in PDF format—they [like to] wait until they have print[ed] proofs before they look carefully at the content they have provided,” he said.
He recalled the day Mike Hawley from the MIT media lab called with a request to print and bind a book 5′ tall and more than 80″ wide, weighing 133 lbs. and consisting of 400′ of printed paper. Oh, yeah, and Hawley needed it in a hurry. Titled Bhutan: A Visual Odyssey Across the Last Himalayan Kingdom, the book was part of a philanthropic endeavor to help build schools. According to the Guinness World Records, it is the largest published book.
“It was a huge challenge, but for a good cause. We partnered with HP, FedEx, Amazon and Friendly Planet to sponsor this [project], and to share the amazing story of the country of Bhutan. It required inventing the technology to bind such a book, and overcoming the significant challenges to print a file of such enormous size—many terabytes and large physical dimensions—in a quantity of one book at a time,” explained Parisi. “We came up with a prototype book that Mike approved and we then had three days to produce the first four copies that were to travel to New York, Washington, D.C. and Tokyo. We have produced nearly 100 copies of the book at $15,000 per copy.”
Make it a Magalog
Of course, books need not weigh 133 lbs. to have a significant impact on the marketplace. The Publications Management survey reflects the increasing use of magalogs in direct-response marketing.
Mike Klassen, president of Klassen Communications, Ferndale, Wash., and owner of the website www.magalogguy.com, is a leading authority on the product’s design and usage. He described magalogs as “sales letters on steroids.” “Magalogs also remind me of theater actors who have to project and make bigger movements so people all the way in the back can see and hear,” Klassen added.
Related story: Chapter One