A global shortage of book printing supplies is putting producers in Newfoundland and Labrador in a difficult position for publishing.
According to Boulder Books president and co-owner Gavin Will, the root cause of the shortage dates back to early 2020 and is fueled by the high cost of paper and the inability to access print shops. Boulder Books is a publisher based in Portugal Cove-St. that of Philippe.
“It’s been a tough year, much to my surprise,” Will told CBC Radio. Weekend morning Saturday. “The price of paper has increased more than expected … especially for high quality glossy papers.”
Rebecca Rose, president and publisher of St. John’s-based Breakwater Books, said she and other publishers across the country were in the same boat. In addition to the higher cost of paper, she said, other publishers have learned that paper needs to be rationed to create products like paper towels and cardboard boxes.
The publishing system is also dependent on shipping and supply chains, Rose said, which can create challenges for those looking to distribute books to distributors.
“The movement of books from printer to publisher… then from distributor to bookstores depends entirely on this system which is entirely a bottleneck,” she said.
Will said delays and supply shortages have caused some titles to be shelved until the New Year, as well as relocating the edition outside of Canada in some cases due to a lack of guarantees from the printers.
But, while a full list of posts is expected in 2022, he said the delays could impact the upcoming Christmas season.
“You are really at the mercy of the global supply chain problem,” he said. “We were sort of hoping for a good Christmas, and I’m not sure that will happen.”
However, Will and Rose both say the delay does not prevent publishers from releasing some titles or offering books that are already available.
In the meantime, Rose said she is encouraging readers to look for alternatives such as audiobooks, e-books, or place pre-orders on upcoming readings to potentially get a first copy.
“Buy in person as well, because you don’t rely on that supply chain,” Rose said.
“Come to your store, if COVID allows you. … There are a lot of other alternatives that they might discover and be interested in compared to some of the others to come. But they are coming, and a lot of great ones. “
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