Friday, October 08, 2021

Shop Early for Best Selection

If you think you’ve been hearing more warnings from bookshops about how orders for Christmas ought to be made early to ensure delivery, it’s not your imagination. Nor is it hyperbole. As The New York Times reported earlier this week, bottlenecks have appeared at virtually every stage of the publishing and distribution process.
The churning disruption in the global supply chain, which has touched everything from minivans to dishwashers to sweaters, has now reached the world of books, just as the holiday season—a crucial time for publishers, and a period that can make or break the entire year for an independent bookstore—approaches. Publishers are postponing some release dates because books aren’t where they need to be. Older books are also being affected as suppliers struggle to replenish them. …

Retailers, authors and distributors are pleading with readers and customers to shop or order early. Publishers are planning farther out in advance and sometimes even putting shipments of books on planes. One publisher said it currently costs roughly 35 to 50 cents per book to send titles across the water, and $5 to $8 by air. No one knows when things will go back to normal, but it won’t be until long after this holiday season.

Perhaps the biggest issue going into the holidays will be reprints, which are necessary when the initial order of a book runs low and needs to be replenished. Normally, this kind of order takes about three weeks. Now, it can take three months.
The full write-up on this situation can be found here.

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