Teaching Drama

“Pardon our paper dust” or “Frailty, thy name is printer”

It’s no great secret that we’re a small company. When you call us, you’re talking to either me or Lindsay. This is on purpose and we’ll keep it this way as long as we can.

At the very very beginning of Theatrefolk we actually printed and bound the books ourselves on a printer that we received as a wedding present. We even used to print and bind our catalogues ourselves. (Nearly sixteen years later, our trusty HP LasterJet 5P is still our office workhorse!) Making books by hand was a laborious process and if we were lucky enough to get a big order then any plans for the weekend were shot. Folks, those books are collector’s items. Protect them well.

As we grew, we quickly realized that we were going to need some help. Making the books ourselves was taking more time than it should. So we started using outside companies to print our books for us. We’ve had our fair share of troubles with printing companies, especially before PDFs became popular. We even had to get a lawyer involved once when a printer munged a very large catalogue order and didn’t want to fix it.

We went through six printers in a very short and unstable period of time.

But then the heavens opened and found a printer that ‘got it.’ Not only did they get it, they also offered do our order¬†fulfillment If you bought a book from us in the last five years, there’s a 95% chance it was delivered to you by them. And 99.99% of the time there were were no problems, and they always quickly fixed the teeny amount of mistakes they made.

Imagine my surprise when they called last Thursday to tell us that they were going out of business. Forever. Effective immediately. The one company responsible for printing and shipping all of our orders was immediately closing shop.

I was in shock. I stared at the wall for a good hour.

But you know what? There are plenty of fish in the sea and plenty of printers in the phone book. I was on the phone with printers the rest of the day on Thursday. I spent Friday visiting them, and by the end of the day, we settled on a new printer. On Monday they shipped their first order for us.

I’ve got very good feelings about them. They have easily quadruple the resources and capacity of our previous printer. And (so far!) they seem to get it.

The transition has been very smooth so far. But if anything’s amiss, please let us know! And until we’re all up and rolling 100%, please pardon our paper dust.

About the author

Craig Mason