Book Manufacturing Outlook: Time for Clarity and Communication (

The book printing market is experiencing high levels of demand and a continued resurgence among consumers for physical books. While a good problem to have, it could be a problem nonetheless as we move into 2023. While the U.S. may narrowly avoid a recession, it is possible that caution and risk avoidance will impact buoyant markets such as book printing, particularly when a pandemic boom led many publishers to build up strong inventories.

Kevin Spall, senior VP at Scholastic, offers a perspective on this from the publishing side, explaining: “Publishers are full, having overbought because demand was high and capacity was low. We bought inventory to be prepared. And now, as demand softens, we still have inventory. The need to reprint is less certainly than it was a year ago when the demand was just starting to spike, and those are not issues that are going to go away quickly.”

Demand has soared in 2022, according to the Book Manufacturers Institute’s (BMI) “State of the Book Industry 2022” report. The printed book market remains on an upward trajectory, continuing to build on the momentum of 2020, when COVID-19 kept people at home and interest in reading surged.
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