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Digital Workflows for Production – the proof’s in the pudding

Updated: Jun 7, 2023

A proven recipe for transforming your production team and bettering communication between your publishing house and suppliers.

Many times it has been said: too many cooks spoil the broth. And in some contexts, this proverb is absolutely true (hence why it’s a proverb in the first place) – after all, using the provided example, a kitchen can only support so many chefs and sous-chefs because space and utensils are not infinite, and each person (who has their own individual job to perform) has differing requirements and uses for the processes and tools that are in place.

The same could be said for the book industry’s supply chain: the more people involved in a process, the more complex it becomes – but since we cannot reduce the number of people and/or teams involved, it’s at this stage that collaboration and enhanced methods of communicating become intrinsic to getting the job done, (especially if to a high standard and within short timeframes).

But let’s look at that proverb again: “too many cooks spoil the broth”. Are the cooks really to blame? Or is it in fact the system, processes and tools (or rather their limitations and inefficiencies) which are to blame for the broth being spoiled?

The onus for any failing is often apportioned to the people involved, but across the book industry supply chain myriad in-house publishing teams, not to mention printers and other suppliers, will tell you that they are working to the best of their abilities within the confine of their internal systems. The key ingredient to this recipe then is not increasing your staff, bettering internal training nor even reducing workloads, but rather obtaining a streamlined and more automated system which – in the context of book production – can facilitate the sharing of essential product and manufacturing data across your publishing house (and to your business partners throughout the supply chain) via the implementation of robust, digital workflows.

But that’s not all that digital workflows can do for your production team!

A centralized publishing system such as Biblio can do so much more for your publishing house – from helping your teams to maintain their production schedules and manage multiple suppliers, to controlling costs and streamlining financial planning.

Biblio provides end-to-end support for the publishing life-cycle and has been specifically developed to meet the evolving needs of the organisations and people it serves. It is both workflow- and automation-driven enabling production teams to:

  • Digitize the acquisitions and/or proposal workflow with online dashboards, comments and approvals.

  • Share WIP production files with designers and typesetters.

  • Send final PDFs to printers and retailers.

  • Make advance-materials and previews easily accessible for sales teams.

  • Manage corrections to files (replacing the original) using strict version control and reprints.

  • Repurpose content and transform files automatically, e.g. reading samples and previews.

The uses of Biblio to improve your digital workflows for production are many and varied:

Production Management & Scheduling

  • Produce accurate, detailed product information and manufacturing metadata for both print and digital formats.

  • Estimate, forecast, model and maintain complex costings and schedules for all product types, over multiple years, to make better, more informed decisions on upcoming projects – based on real data from your former products.

  • Organize and oversee multiple printings (including co-prints and co-editions) by linking titles for easy data-retrieval.

  • Effectively define and control project schedules at IP- or printing-level.

  • Monitor all your internal production workflows in a single system.

  • Record your safety testing and store certificates against printings to ensure documentation is always readily available.

  • Manage cross-company ordering, production and reporting.

Supplier Management

  • Manage multiple suppliers, from paper provision to printing and distribution.

  • Use supplier scales to automatically produce an accurate cost estimate within just a few clicks.

  • Capitalize on your detailed manufacturing metadata by raising quote requests for new projects.

  • Increase visibility of suppliers used on your projects and the apportioned spend.​

  • Raise and send electronic purchase orders to key suppliers within the Biblio system.

Costing, Financials & Reporting

  • Carry out thorough financial analyses from pre-acquisition to publication and subsequent reprints.

  • Evaluate print runs, costs and income revenue for prospective projects in just a few clicks.

  • Make use of Biblio’s built-in risk assessment features to ensure your projects continue to be financially viable.

  • Quickly gain insight into which titles have out-performed, or where projections have not yet been met.

Access & File-Sharing

  • Share information and artwork (including project documentation, design files and production metadata) across your entire publishing house – even for projects that are under consideration.

  • Permit access to your data and assets to different, internal teams at relevant stages within the products’ lifespan; enabling full control over the content of any project or product (especially those of a sensitive nature).

  • Provide remote access to essential product information and manufacturing metadata to permitted designers and suppliers alike (so they have access wherever and whenever they need it, even when working from home).

  • Use Biblio as the delivery mechanism between your publishing house and printer; thereby increasing the security of your production files and metadata.

  • Provide access to your content in a number of ways, from downloading it and sending it via email, to sharing it via Biblio itself or via a direct URL.

File Management & Storage

  • Automatically find any/all data associated with a specific title and compile it into a single record in Biblio.

  • De-duplicate the storage of metadata and design files (including imprint logos) by enabling teams to access this information from a single, central repository – where it need only be saved once.

  • Simplify the creation of co-editions and enable the use and re-use of assets by allowing your staff (regardless of their location or region) to access the necessary, stored files and artwork for each title at the click of a mouse.

  • Save on storage space across your organisation by up to 75%.


  • Assign responsibilities to members of your team within the Biblio system.​

  • Create email templates to automatically inform your designers when to package up and/or archive the final artwork.

  • Keep the communication lines open with your suppliers by ensuring that the information that is relevant to them is fed through to their system automatically.

Transform your production team and its processes by implementing digital workflows today! You’ll reap the benefits in the short- and long-term by dramatically increasing the efficiency and productivity of your production team now, and future-proofing your publishing house for years to come. Digital workflows have the capacity to free up your staff’s time so they can concentrate on new opportunities and bettering your business – help your staff to cook up a storm by giving them the tools they need to succeed (and better your relationships with suppliers at the same time)!

Many world-leading publishers have already transformed their organisations by adopting Biblio’s digital workflows – and you can see for yourself how pleased they are with the results (from the quotations provided, below) – so we urge you to turn your attention now to your own business and see what digital workflows can do for you. We guarantee that they’ll transform your production team, making it more productive and efficient than ever before.

If you need proof, Penn State University Press reported a 69% year-on-year increase in output between 2011 and 2018 (despite a reduction of staff) due to adopting Biblio. Read the case study.

If Biblio was graded on the same scale as restaurants, we’d like to think that Virtusales’ menu of digital workflows would be awarded a Michelin star or two. But as we said, the proof really is in the pudding! So here’s a taster of what our customers say about Biblio:

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