I get alot of calls for doing custom work, most especially for flipbooks. While I am primarily in the business of producing my own unique line of books and paper toys, I am happy to entertain the possibility of custom work. Many of the books I produce are easily transferrable into "custom" with the printing of a new cover. This is certainly the most economical possibility. While it does limit your selection, it can be produced in a relatively short period of time.
As for producing a new piece from scratch, I generally request that you consider two main things: time and quantity. Optical Toys remains by design a small business, and I have only a limited amount of time to offer for custom work. So there are usually times of the year that considering any custom work will be completely out of the question (the end of the year for sure, when I'm working on new products, and miscellaneous times depending on work load). Also, depending on the project, I will need a fair turnaround time. I consider myself rather adept at being able to produce a flipbook at the drop of a hat, but I am not the only person involved. There are printers. They need their time, especially if the project is of the size that warrants going overseas for the printing. If the book is done domestically I would prefer to have two months turnaround; for overseas at least three months. This means PLAN AHEAD. If you are about to call me to ask that I produce a flipbook for you in a month, please call someone else!
As for quantity, I used to entertain quantities as low as 500, but with printing expenses being what they are, it can be rather safely said that the cost of producing 500 flipbooks would be about the same for doing double that. In other words, if you are about to call me to ask you to produce 300 flipbooks, please call someone else! I will consider a quantity of 1000 books, but 2000 and up is preferable (for both you and me) in that real economy only kicks in at around that quantity.
If none of this has scared you off yet, then please feel free to call me AFTER you have the following specs ready: size, number of colors, number of pages (if a flipbook), type of original artwork (will you need me to scan or to digitize video, etc), quantity of final piece, turnaround time.
SPECIAL NOTE TO AD AGENCIES: Only serious inquiries only. And by serious, I mean serious with the intent of doing what you are asking about. I understand the word "exploring", but I'm sorry, I am not interested in being 1 out of 20 ideas that you present to your client. Both I and my printers have much better projects at hand than to be a part of this game. If you and your client have made a firm decision to produce a flipbook or paper toy and want a competitive quote as such, then I am more than happy to provide it.