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September 9, 2021 • Issue #2

Let’s Talk Turnaround Time

We all know time is a precious commodity. With a book manufacturing capacity taxed both domestically and internationally, now is the time to rise to the challenge of managing a volatile supply chain—and Books International (BI) has done just that. BI has two manufacturing facilities in the United States: in Dulles, Virginia and Chicago, Illinois, both currently operating on 4-week production schedules.

When the pandemic hit, printing began to pick up and even exceed pre-pandemic production levels—according to NPD Group, print book sales rose 8.2 percent in 2020. At the outset of the pandemic, Alexandra Alter of The New York Times wrote “The backlog at the printers is creating havoc for authors and publishers. Reprints for books that are selling well, which normally take two weeks, are sometimes taking more than a month.” Publishers Weekly noted that as of April 2021, more than 500 titles from 2020 had been delayed until 2021 due to limited printing capacity and supply chain issues.

Fast forward to today: how could BI be operating on a 4-week production schedule when everyone else seems to be on a 16-week schedule or longer, you might ask? Over the past two years, BI expanded from an 8,000-square-foot to a 50,000-square-foot printing facility and hired excellent staff members to help oversee our growing production. Because BI steadily invested in technology, physical facilities, and staff, we found ourselves well-positioned to manage today’s volatile supply chain. And that’s why, while a typical production schedule in the US has now increased to 16 weeks, ours is 4 weeks—and 12 weeks can make a world of difference, especially as we gear up for the school year and the holiday season.

Whether you want to ship one book to a single consumer or several copies to retailers or business partners, we stand ready to help you meet your publishing needs, with a solid turnaround time to boot.

Let’s Help Get Your Books Where They Need to Go

Have an Idea?

At BI, we value our customers by listening to what they have to say. Have an idea for improvement? We are all ears and will strive to find a mutually agreeable solution.

Share your idea for improvement

We recently installed a new foil printing system. Why? Because many customers were struggling with the fact that smaller quantities of stamped casebound books were quite expensive—and to cut production costs and time in process, they had to either raise the price of the book or change the book’s specifications. BI identified a cost-effective solution to make a cost-competitive stamped book: using printed foil. Now we can create as few copies as needed—even one!—using foil without breaking the bank. Happy customers, happy publisher.

Upcoming Industry Conferences

Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers Virtual Conference
September 15 – 17, 2021

The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) virtual conference will feature expert speakers and a wide-ranging program, and will provide a friendly forum to share information and learn about new initiatives in the scholarly publishing community. Click the button below to learn more.

Attend ALPSP Virtual Conference

Evangelical Christian Publishing Association C-Suite Symposium
September 19 – 21, 2021

The Evangelical Christian Publishing Association (ECPA) C-Suite Symposium gives Christian publishing executives the unique opportunity to engage at a meaningful level with expert information and trends relevant to their roles in leading the industry. BI’s Vice President David Hetherington will be in attendance—select the button below to schedule a time to meet with him.

Meet with BI VP David Hetherington

Publishing Parlance

Book picking: when a book or batch of books is selected in the warehouse to ultimately be shipped out to the intended recipient—it is a critical step in the fulfillment process, as the correct book(s) must be picked to successfully fulfill the order.

Books International Trade Organization Memberships

MEMBERSHIP SPOTLIGHT: Book Industry Study Group

Book Industry Study Group

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) works to create a more informed, empowered, and efficient book industry through strategically formed member company committees that collaboratively discuss and resolve publishing industry pain points. BISG maintains and implements standardized best practices; develops and shares leading-edge research and information; and creates education and events that help its members and the industry better understand market trends and issues. A proud member of BISG, BI collaborates with fellow member companies to help the book industry run more effectively and efficiently for the benefit of all.

Learn More

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Books International
Correspondence: PO Box 605 Herndon, VA 20172
Shipping: 22883 Quicksilver Dr, Dulles, VA 20166
Phone: 703-661-1500
Fax: 703-665-1501

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