Printing for book publishers can be a complex challenge, but it’s also the kind of challenge that brings new opportunities. For publishers and for book marketing teams, producing materials here in the U.S. opens new doors while circumventing some of the challenges with the global supply chain. All you need is some creativity, drive, and a great printing partner.
Challenges in Publishing in 2023
Even though the “peak” of pandemic-related disruptions seems to have passed, there’s still a lot of chaos, uncertainty, and unreliability up and down the supply chain. For publishers who print books in the U.S., that means supply delays at the very least, from binding materials to the very paper that books are made of. For publishers who have most of their book printing overseas, that means supply issues plus production delays and delays in actually shipping the books to American shores. Add in the massive COVID spike in manufacturing-heavy China, and the publishing industry is undoubtedly starting 2023 with a lot of questions up in the air.
One related concern in the book printing world is the idea of “quotas,” where allowed paper orders are based on previous consumption. While this may work in a broad sense, it also can hinder growth (since there’s not enough supply for an unexpected smash hit) and discourage risk-taking (since booksellers will be stuck with excess copies if a book underperforms). This doesn’t just apply to the books themselves, but also to marketing materials like advance review copies, publicity letters and flyers, and other marketing collateral for advance readers, events, and more.
In times like these, being nimble and rolling with the punches will help you win in the competitive book publishing industry. For some titles, you may be able to turn to American-based suppliers and book printers to cut down on some supply challenges and on shipping delays.
Book Publishing in the United States
When you print books and book marketing materials in America, you’re contributing to the development of a domestic industry and an entire publishing ecosystem. Printing services for book publishers, when based in the U.S., can help streamline the process and improve reliability while supporting workers and businesses right here.
For books themselves and book marketing materials alike, turning to domestic printers means the ability to place smaller and more frequent orders to be more responsive to demand, rather than rolling the dice with order sizes and timing. It means improved order speeds, better control over production, a higher-quality product free from the pressures of overproduction, and new, skilled jobs with good wages for American workers.
Book marketing materials continue to evolve along with book marketing (and book publishing) overall. Printed marketing materials, like physical ARCs and swag boxes, make a much bigger impression on early reviewers and influencers (and those who follow their reviews) than e-ARCs, especially on social media communities like Bookstagram and BookTok. Those materials can be costly, however, leading some publishers to reduce printing book marketing materials and slim down the list of who receives them – which, in turn, can have a negative impact on the diversity and reach of the reviewer community and the all-important word-of-mouth marketing.
Choosing an American printer to partner with for printing book marketing materials can help mitigate some of these challenges. With shorter turnaround times and more local resources, publishers and their marketing teams can reduce the risk of overproduction and allocate budgets more narrowly and strategically. Plus, the very label of being “made in America” is a great marketing benefit itself!
Book Publishing with Lithographics
Lithographics offers a wide variety of printing and publishing solutions, handled by an expert team with a commitment to quality productive and proactive communication. We offer sheet-fed offset, digital, and web offset printing solutions, capable of black-and-white or four-color printing as well as numerous customization and finishing options for printing books and printing marketing materials alike. Every order can be managed with streamlined online ordering solutions, and our prepress team ensures everything gets off to the right start.
Our services don’t stop when the printing stops, either! Among our printing services for book publishers, we offer on-site storage and fulfillment solutions to ensure that all books and marketing materials arrive where they need to be, when they need to be there.
At Lithographics, we’re proud to partner with publishing companies to bring production back to the U.S. and reap the benefits. We’re committed to excellence at every stage of the process, and we’re proud to work with these valued clients.