The publishing industry is bracing for a volatile end of the year (

As supply chain issues continue to plague the retail sector, booksellers have become some of the most vocal voices online to warn of coming shortages this holiday season.

This past weekend, some authors took to Twitter to urge readers that, if they want copies of their books in time for the holiday season, they needed to place their orders now. Independent bookstores, too have told customers to plan ahead. “If you think you might need a book in this last chunk of the year, please consider ordering soon,” Washington, D.C.-based East City Bookshop posted on Twitter, citing tightening in the supply chain.

It isn’t just books: a complex combination of worker shortages, increased overseas shipping costs and raw material shortages have impacted companies ranging from Peloton to Ravensburger, a popular maker of jigsaw puzzles, said this week that it would halt all orders of its games for the foreseeable future. But book publishers are especially vulnerable because they order new book printings based on consumer demand, and to keep a popular title in stock, they depend on getting those new printings out to customers quickly. As the timelines for new printings are stretched further and further, publishers face the real possibility of running out of some books ahead of the holidays.
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