Book Manufacturing Outlook: Digital Printing Soothes Slowdown (

The book manufacturing market has experienced an unpredictable few years. While it has been far from ideal conditions for forecasting and planning, it hasn’t been all bad; indeed, the lack of experiential options outside of the home during COVID fuelled renewed interest in physical books. And while some pandemic-related hobbies such as bread baking and Zoom quizzing will be less in vogue in 2024, it does seem that the demand for printed books has endured. Publishers Weekly cites NPD BookScan research, claiming that while 2022 unit sales of printed books (788.7 million) fell 6.5% below 2021 figures, they are still up 11.8% when compared with 2019.

In other positive news, we are seeing a sunnier supply chain picture. Faced with substantial demand, book printers in recent years — desperate to get their hands on paper and fulfill clients’ orders — were regularly thwarted by supply chain challenges and paper availability issues. “In the short term, I would say the paper availability issue has gone away,” says Steve Zweber, vice president of global print manufacturing, operations, and distribution, at Core Publishing Solutions in Eagan, Minnesota.
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