We are into our annual slowdown in our printing schedule.
We try to have each issue of the Gypsy Journal printed and mailed by the middle of the month preceding the issue date, and five issues a year, we are usually able to meet that deadline. But every year, when it’s time to print the January-February issue, that schedule goes out the window. No matter where we are in the country or which newspaper we are using to do the printing, and no matter how far we plan ahead, we run into scheduling problems.
This is caused by several factors, including heavier than usual printing schedules, as stores are printing and mailing out special holiday advertising inserts, at the same time that press rooms are shorthanded as employees take vacation days. Because we are not a weekly or even monthly job on their schedule, we get shoved to the bottom of the pile while they take care of their regular customers’ needs. We understand it, we expect it, but it’s still frustrating.
So, like every year, the newest issue of the paper is going out later than we want it to. It’s at the printer now, and hopefully they’ll have it back to us early next week so we can get it mailed out. In the meantime, we appreciate everybody’s patience.
We have made a change to the way we do our printing, starting with this issue. Until now, we have used different printers in different locations around the country, wherever we happened to be when it was time to go to press. This has been problematic at times, and with the changes in the industry, it has only gotten worse. We never know what kind of quality we’re going to get with a new printer.
Another major problem is that the size of most newspaper pages is getting smaller and smaller, and we have resisted going to the newest size reduction. But, it has been increasingly hard to find newspapers that continue to print on our size paper at times. Last year we had to leave Alabama earlier than we had planned and drive all the way to south Texas to get printed, after last minute changes at the printer we had used in this region in the past. This year we thought that we’d have to go all the way back to Indiana from Washington, DC to get printed, when the newspaper we had planned to use switched paper sizes on us. Fortunately, we found a printer in Virginia at the last minute, but it was stressful.
So we have contracted with one of the newspapers who prints us in Michigan when we are in the Midwest to do all of our printing in the future. They have recently upgraded their systems and added the ability to allow us to upload our files to them via the internet, and once each issue is printed, they will ship it to us by truck. They could actually handle our mailing too, but in addition to the papers we mail out, we also have several thousand extra printed of each issue, which we distribute as samples at RV rallies and RV parks we visit in our travels.
This will add quite a bit to our cost for each issue, but it will give us consistent quality from a printer we are comfortable with, and who understands our unique needs. I’m sure we’ll have a glitch or two along the way, but we’re confident that in the long run, it will all work out.
I’m still adding new seminars to the schedule for our Arizona Gypsy Gathering rally, March 7-11 in Yuma. I still have quite a few time slots to fill in, but it’s coming together. I have posted a very preliminary seminar schedule on our rally registration page to give you an idea some of the offerings we will have. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check it out. We’ll have over 60 different seminars by the time we’re done, so there’s sure to be plenty to meet everybody’s interest. As I said, this is just a preliminary schedule, and there will be lots of changes and additions by the time the rally starts. Be sure to register early, we’re looking forward to seeing you there!
Thought For The Day – We can’t go back in time and have a different beginning, but we can start today to make a new ending for ourselves.