Booksellers tackle supply chain disruptions
- Supply chain disruptions are impacting the production of books in the United States.
- A shortage of paper combined with an increased demand for lumber makes it difficult to print bestsellers.
- So far, book sales have increased by 18.7% in 2021 compared to 2020.
Publishers and bookmakers are warning bookstores and readers that supply chain disruptions will impact the production of their favorite titles.
Currently, a paper shortage is hitting the United States, the latest supply chain problem to impact the country and disrupt the manufacture and sale of goods. With growing demand for lumber and a shortage of labor throughout the economy, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with demand.
So far in 2021, there has been an 18.7% increase in print book sales compared to 2020, Publishers Weekly reported. The young adult feature genre saw the biggest sales increase this year at nearly 50%. Experts don’t expect this to decrease anytime soon, and worry that vendors won’t be able to meet demand in time for holiday gift purchases.
“We are experiencing shipping delays from the majority of our suppliers and do not see the problem being eliminated until the holiday season,” said Cindy Raiton, president of sales at Bookazine, one of the largest wholesalers. of Commerce, at Publishers Weekly. “We advise all accounts to allow extra lead time and take advantage of inventory availability knowing that reprints will be difficult.”
Readers are advised to get a head start by shopping for holiday books before Black Friday, buy locally, buy household goods only, and consider buying second-hand books. Bookstores and authors have also taken to social media to let readers know about shortages, reminding them on Twitter to be patient if the latest bestseller’s books run out of stock.
—Emily Lloyd-Jones (@em_llojo) September 18, 2021
Books and other paper items are not the only items facing supply shortages. Everything from food and drink to car manufacturing has been disrupted by delays. Labor shortages, warehouse space, safeguarded ports, a shortage of chips, and transportation issues also contribute to the larger problem.