With the occasional headline claiming that fewer people are reading now, you might think the publishing industry is being beaten up.
As it turns out, it’s pulp that beats the industry — that is, the scarcity of actual pages.
“Even the lowest-level publishing industry employees today are very aware of what’s going on in the paper industry because it affects their day-to-day work,” said Meg Reid, executive director of Hub City Press of Spartanburg, an award-winning independent publisher.
Sales in the print book market rose nearly 9% year over year last year, with more than 825 million copies sold, according to June data from Statista.
Still, for many other consumer goods, from cars to cat food, physical books have suffered the same fate as books rolled up in a teacup. As Reid said, “We’ve been dealing with very serious issues, such as supply chain disruptions and slowdowns, for a year, and there are a lot of root causes.”
For one thing, most of the world’s newspapers are made in Asia, Statista reported in June. Reed said industry peers have told her that much of that goes to the more profitable corrugated manufacturers for the boxes that fill all your Amazon orders.
Another problem is that containers are in short supply, as reported by the state and trade media. To make matters worse, this time last year, the price of renting a 40-foot metal container, which can hold 35,000 units, soared to more than $10,300, compared with a five-year average of about $3,700, according to a maritime consultancy.
So, like everything else, book prices have gone up. New paperbacks are now $17 each, up from $15. The hardcover, which smells of fresh ink, used to cost $28, but is now just $32, says Reed, whose publisher publishes seven to 10 books a year and sells it at the Masonic Temple at 186 Simeon Street. For sale at the Hub City Bookstore. . In downtown Spartanburg.
Oh, but the plot twists continue.
Copies of that sizzling bestseller are probably a rarity in your local bookstore by now. The industry itself is in turmoil when the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit in November against Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, two of the nation’s largest publishers, with the former seeking to acquire the latter; Reed and others say you Favorite authors see publication date pushed back by a year.
Still, like a great thriller, the hero overcomes obstacles.
Deb Richardson-Moore, a Greenville newspaperwoman, pastor, and novelist, found a British publisher to distribute her five mysteries in the United States. For her upcoming book, tentatively titled “Through Any Window”, she moved to another UK publishing house, Red Adept Publishing.
Unlike her previous publishers, Red Adept Publishing offers print-on-demand and more ebook promotions than most book makers. She said so-called traditional homes are often not offered.
“I was amazed by the number of readers who told me they preferred ebooks and audio,” she said, adding that for veterans and would-be writers like her, “On the plus side, I do believe Small publishers are emerging to fill the void.”
Jill Hendrix also sees a strong book market here. After a brief stint in St. Petersburg. Martin’s Press, a major New York firm, ended her work in Greenville and opened Fiction Addiction in 2001.
When she listed several bookstores in the Greenville area, she mentioned that a customer recently told her there was only one independent bookstore in a Midwestern city bigger than Greenville.
“I think it’s a little weird, but Greenville has a high level of education,” she said. “Greenville is very literary.”
OK, so how does this story end?
Well, books are at the top of your holiday gift list, says Reid, “Smart buyer, get it now.”
Here’s a sample of the independent and national chain bookstores that have made the North a haven for readers and writers.
- Fiction Addiction: Independent Booksellers near Haywood Mall in Greenville. With self-publishing a popular option, Fiction Addiction also offers Guided Self-Publishing.
- Hub City Bookstore: Located on Main Street in Spartanburg, it is also a hub for independent media and the Hub City Writers Program.
- Judson Booksellers: Independent bookstores in the city center (plus luxury coffee shops and special events).
- Angel’s BookShoppe: North Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, new and rare, for sale.
- On page turn: new and used, in Travelers Rest.
- Barnes & Noble: Two locations in Greenville, with stores in Greenridge on Haywood Road and Woodruff Road.
- 2nd and Charles: One of 45 bookstores nationwide, the Greenville store is located on Lawrence Road.
- K’s Used Books, Music & More: Charleston and Greenville (Verdae Boulevard) Locations
resource: Yes that Greenville