- Supply chain disruptions are impacting the production of books across the US.
- A paper shortage combined with an increased demand for lumber is making it difficult to print bestsellers.
- There has been an 18.7% increase in book sales so far in 2021 compared to 2020.
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Publishers and book manufacturers are warning book stores and readers that supply chain disruptions will impact the production of their favorite titles.
Currently, a paper shortage is hitting the US, the latest supply chain issue to impact the country and disrupt the manufacturing and sales of goods. With an increasing demand for lumber and a labor shortage across the economy, manufactures are having a difficult time meeting demand.
So far in 2021, there has been an 18.7% increase in the sale of print books compared to 2020, Publishers Weekly reported. The young adult function genre has seen the largest increase in sales this year at nearly 50%. Experts do not expect this to decrease any time soon and are worried suppliers will not be able to handle demand in time for holiday gift shopping.
"We are experiencing shipping delays from the majority of our vendors and do not see the problem being eliminated prior to the holiday season," said Cindy Raiton, president of sales at Bookazine, one of the biggest trade wholesalers, told Publishers Weekly. "We advise all accounts to allow extra lead time and to take advantage of stock availability knowing that reprints will be challenging."
It is recommended that readers get ahead of the curve by doing their holiday book shopping before Black Friday, shop locally, purchase only domestic goods, and consider buying used books. Bookstores and authors have also taken to social media to tell their readers of the shortages, tweeting reminders to be patient if books are out of stock of the newest bestseller.
-Emily Lloyd-Jones (@em_llojo) September 18, 2021
Books and other paper goods are not the only items facing supply-related shortages. Everything from food and drinks to car manufacturing has been disrupted by delays. Labor shortages, warehouse space, backed-up ports, a chip shortage, and transportation problems are also contributing to the larger issue.