The cost to print a book keeps increasing. IngramSpark and Lightning Source recently raised their printing fees—again. A number of independent authors are frustrated by the rising costs.
We live in a digital age. If we are operating more in the digital realm, shouldn’t paper consumption be going down? If consumption is going down, wouldn’t this mean that paper is more affordable due to supply and demand?
Historically a shrinking demand would have led to overcapacity and cheaper prices in the paper industry. However, according the Publishing Executive, this is no longer the case.
In fact, we are using more paper due to booming ecommerce. When people purchase goods online, these items must be shipped to them—and they are shipped in cardboard packages. Cardboard is paper. As a result, the demand for cardboard is increasing.
In response, the two or three manufacturers of paper products that dominate the North American paper industry (they produce 90% of paper) have designated more of their machines for making cardboard. This means there are fewer machines making paper for magazines and books, reducing the supply and increasing the price.
Paper is still very popular with people. Paper is safe, secure, sustainable, and trusted. Two Sides, a nonprofit initiative, has found that:
- 64% of 18-24-year-olds are concerned the overuse of electronic devices could be damaging to their health.
- 88% of people believe they understand, retain or use information better when they read print.
- 68% believe that books are more likely to encourage learning and the development of other skills than using screens.
- 56% of individuals trust the news stories they read in printed newspapers, while only 35% trust the news stories they read in social media.
Additional reasons people still love print are listed in the infographic below.
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