The supply chain in the book industry continues to face a number of challenges, including truck driver and warehouse labor shortages, congested ports, and high shipping container costs. Publishers of all sizes are reporting significant printing issues, which are affecting fulfillment times. As the economy recovers and things slowly return to normal, businesses have not yet been able to return fully to pre-pandemic inventory levels.
Between printing shortages, supply chain issues, and the general effects of the pandemic, here are seven reasons why you should shop early at Writer's Block Bookstore this holiday season.
1. Currently, labor and material shortages are affecting almost every stage of publishing and distribution.
Already in the midst of a paper shortage, the printing industry is backlogged and working on limited capacity after some of the biggest printing companies shut down production at multiple plants throughout the past year and a half. All of this means print books must clear many hurdles to get in readers’ hands.
2. Independent bookstores are also dealing with a massive increase in demand, especially in online sales.
Looking at data from IndieCommerce and IndieLite, online sales revenue was 360% higher in June 2021 (the most recent available data) than in June 2019; traffic to bookstore websites using those e-commerce platforms more than doubled from 2019 to 2021.
3. Shipping might take longer with a small bookstore, but the benefits of supporting a local shop are worth the risk.
The online giants will never be able to provide readers with the kind of specialized expertise that indie booksellers offer. Even if you know exactly what you want, it’s still worth buying through a local business, because you’re investing in your own community while scratching your literary itch. Buying local also means you’re building a community.
4. Put in your orders ASAP, regardless if you’re buying a book that is not out yet or one that has already been released.
Your best bet to get a new book before the holidays is to pre-order it now. Even if you’re ordering an older book, you should do it soon!
5. Keep an open mind.
If the brand-new book you’re hoping for won’t arrive in time, ask us for help picking out another. You might end up with something even better!
6. Know that we are doing our best.
To support local businesses this holiday season, patience and understanding are key.
7. Consider digital copies, whether e-books or audiobooks.
With digital alternatives to print books, the only thing you have to wait for is the time it takes to download. For digital versions that share profits with Writer’s Block, go to Libro.fm for audiobooks.
Here are three great digital gift ideas that are perfect for everyone on your gift list!