How Much Tape…

Each year, CSPA receives a number of books nominated for the Christian Small Publisher Book of the Year Award. Each one of these books is sent to us through the mail.

Every once in awhile, we get a book that is packaged so thoroughly that we actually end up damaging the book trying to get it untangled from its wrapping. I am not talking about a book placed in a padded envelope. I am speaking of a book wrapped in bubble wrap with tape wound all around the wrap. Then it is placed into a padded envelope and taped again. Finally, it is put into a cardboard box or envelope for secure shipping.

Of course, the publisher’s intent with the extensive packaging is to keep the book from becoming damaged in transit. While this excessive wrapping and taping is effective in keeping the book safe during the shipping, it ends up being a hazard when extracting the book.

Rarely does a book damaged in transit cross my desk. Most books packed into a padded envelope (or even a Priority Mail envelope) arrive in great condition.

There really is no need to go to great lengths to ensure your book is packed extra securely. The time and money you save by simply placing your book in a padded envelope or correctly-sized cardboard box will cover the potential cost of the one out of every 100 or 200 books shipped that ends up receiving some damage in transit. Having shipped at least a thousand books, I cannot think of one instance where I had to resend a book due to damage in transit (although, I have had to send replacements for lost in transit).

My words of advice are to skip the extra packaging and save yourself the headache of time and materials when shipping your books. A well-fitted package will do the job just fine.