ATG Article of the Week: Book printers are reporting a surprising end-of-year crunch

by | Feb 8, 2019 | 0 comments

“Book printers are reporting a surprising end-of-year crunch” is a recent post from the Marketplace website that claims “some U.S. book printers are reporting a surprising holiday crunch” this past year.


Author   E-books have declined in popularity in recent years: according to the NPD Group, sales peaked in 2013 and dropped nearly 30 percent by the end of last year. Meanwhile purchases of print books have steadily recovered, increasing 10 percent over the same period. That’s left an industry that reduced its book-making capacity over the years scrambling to supply holiday orders.

In the wake of the financial crisis and the rise of the e-reader, book printing companies went out of business. Even large companies that survived decided to shutter plants dedicated to book manufacturing. But then something strange happened.

“On the way to the funeral of the book, it actually didn’t die,” said Jim Fetherston, president of the Book Manufacturers’ Institute. While physical book sales have picked up, he saw membership at the association decline 8 percent between 2017 and 2018. For the first time in a decade, he says the industry is seeing more demand than it can supply.

He says his own book printing company, Worzalla Publishing in Wisconsin, has been working at maximum overtime for several months with no room to expand the schedule.

“We’ve been working pretty much seven days a week, 24 hours a day,” he said. “We’ve got a pretty tired workforce. They’ve been working very hard this fall.” He estimates his company turned down several million dollars in orders this holiday season…”

 (If you’re interested in the full story, you’ll need to click here or on the link above.)

(Thanks to Leah Hinds for this “Article of the Week” suggestion.)

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