By Cassandra Balentine
Digital print technologies enable innovation across a variety of industries. Publishing is one area that benefits from the ability to cost-effectively produce books in runs as low as one. Today’s digital print technologies offer high-quality output on demand and finishing companies align with these goals, making the only obstacle the limits of one’s imagination.
Hooray Heroes is a children’s book publisher currently present in six markets, including Austria and Slovenia, France, Germany, Italy, and the U.S. The company is looking forward with the motto, “dream big,” and has its sights set on also penetrating the Canadian and U.K. markets.
In 2012 Hooray Heroes started the way many successful businesses do—to fill a unique need. That year, two friends—the company’s later co-founders—were searching high and low to find a gift for their nieces’ respective birthdays. They wanted something special, something reflecting their bond with the parents but still putting the child in the spotlight, and something that wouldn’t be thrown in the trash by the next birthday. The idea that stuck was a personalized children’s book, and so the two started on a search for writers, illustrators, and print houses that would turn their concept into reality. Slowly but surely, the Hooray Heroes story began to develop and the company was officially founded in 2013.
Above: Hooray Heroes offers personalized children’s books in which the child plays the primary character. The books are run using HP Indigo 10000 and 12000 digital production presses.
A Custom Solution
The company’s core product is a personalized book in which the child plays the primary character. At HoorayHeroes.com, the customer is put in the driver’s seat. Here they are able to choose the specific adventure for the child. Users sift through several features to make an illustrated avatar that best resembles the child. The customer also inputs the child’s name, which appears on the cover and throughout the story. Last but not least, users are prompted to include a personal, heartfelt dedication or pick a pre-written suggestion.
“Every book is printed only once, and therefore is as unique as it gets—just like the little ones they are gifted to,” says Ryan Quinn, head of U.S. market, Hooray Heroes.
While other personalized book solutions exist, Hooray Heroes is focused on what its customers are looking for—great value, quality products, and witty stories with appealing illustrations in all seasons throughout the year.
“Because we offer an ever-growing selection of thematic and universal books, we cover all occasions of sentimental value for children and parents—from birth to baptism to the first day of school,” says Quinn. “If we really had to expose two of the most frequent occasions our books are bought for, we would have to say birthdays and Christmas.”
Another way Hooray Heroes stand apart from the competition is through its customer care. Due to its presence on two continents, its customer support team works 24/7 to make customers’ experiences easier.
Its production team is also dedicated to customer satisfaction. Before being sent to print, each book is personally checked by the production team to avoid all possible issues such as typos in personal dedications. In sync with the attentive customer care, the members of the production team also correct incorrectly chosen skin types, eye colors, and hair styles noticed by customers only after the submission of the orders. “They are our perfection wizards,” says Quinn.
The primary objective is to ensure the customer receives an impeccable book that will make them happy for decades to come. Therefore, every book submitted to the team is checked and files are inspected for any possible technical errors.
Once printed, the final product features vibrant colors, glossy pages, and exquisite illustrations—the books are works of art.
With a growing number of orders, the team is always striving towards improving process optimization. The company’s IT team is alert and acquainted with production needs so that any issues that may occur are resolved quickly. “What keeps us going despite possible glitches is devotion, an eye for perfection, and reliability.” says Quinn.
Behind the Scenes
The design process of each book is well thought out over all fields—starting with the initial topic followed by color themes in illustrations and the cover, personalization options, and the meaning behind every single word in the book. More than 40 in-house staff members and hundreds of hours of work are ultimately put into each book.
Due to the specifics needed in the creation and personalization process, Hooray Heroes developed proprietary software to create print-ready PDF files for its print partners. These are created once proofed by the production team. “We’re working daily on upgrading and offering new features to our devoted customers,” says Quinn.
The number of books sold and produced daily requires cooperation with several print partners with whom the team has worked with from the very beginning in both Europe and the U.S. The team performs quality checks regularly and maintains top-level quality to ensure the best possible experience.
Data and workflow are managed through gateways such as HP PrintOS Site Flow and proprietary systems.
Since the company believes leaving nothing to chance, it has quality managers assigned to run several test HP Indigo 10000 and 12000 printers to choose paper thickness, check binding quality, assess intensity of colors, control lamination quality, and confirm packaging.
Since the product is meant to be handled by little ones well into their adulthood, they are hard cover. These are visually appealing and durable. All materials are carefully and devotedly selected together with its print partners. The books feature non-scratchable covers and thick, but soft inside pages to provide a tactically pleasing experience while reading.
The average timespan from order submittal to shipment is 60 hours. The shipping itself then depends on the customers’ preference and available options.
On the Horizon
While they aren’t ready to reveal just what’s up its sleeves next, Hooray Heroes promises to bring a lot of smiles to people’s faces in 2019. dps
Mar2019, DPS Magazine