Even though it’s the Friday before Halloween, I won’t be talking about scary books. Instead, I want to talk about a reader’s (and writer’s) worst nightmare: Printers are running out of paper. I don’t usually talk about industry news but I want to pay some attention to this particular development because it affects both writers and readers, now and in the future.
Due to many, many different factors, the stock of paper is running out. One of the biggest consequences is that books can’t be printed (because they need paper *shocked Pikachu face*). This affects both new releases but also older releases that have sold out. Traditional publishers have to make a decision between using a printing slot for the second print of an older book or a new release. More often than not, they will give priority to new releases.
Book releases delayed
Because paper is scarce, only so many books can be printed. Especially traditional publishers with large orders are hurt because of this. They need thousands of copies of just one title and printers can’t keep up. New releases are delayed because all those copies can’t be printed on time. The author is as disappointed as the readers are. Don’t take this out on them or the publisher. Keep supporting them, preorder the copy, and be patient.
For indie publishers who use printing on demand, it’s a little easier but even they experience delays. As a customer, you’ll have the guarantee you’ll get a physical copy if you order one, even if takes longer. Indie POD books won’t go out of print unless the author takes them down. So reading more indie books is also a good option.
Get into ebooks or audiobook
What can you do as a reader? My recommendation is to try out digital formats: ebooks and audiobooks. Most subscription services have free trials to give both types of books a try. And let’s not forget ebooks. You don’t have to commit to read digitally exclusively for the rest of your life. But give it a try. You might find audiobooks are perfect for your commute when you go back to the office.
And what if you do want physical books? Preorder! If you know there’s a book coming out by your favourite author, preorder it at your local bookstore. If you can’t place a preorder, don’t wait too long to get your copy because once the book is sold out, chances are slim there will be a second print anytime soon.
And if you don’t know which book you want, visit your local bookstore or contact them for a recommendation. Booksellers are always happy to make a recommendation and they know their stock. Want to be more adventurous? Ask for a surprise book. Shopping from existing stock can help bookstores also refresh what’s on their shelves, and makes space for new exciting books.
If you want a specific book, order now. There’s no saying if the book you want will be in stock later, and what shipping will do.
We have a special post going live on Halloween written by Raven. So please come back this Sunday to learn more about fear and how to effectively use it in stories.