In late January, when New York Times columnist and cookbook author Melissa Clark learned a shipment from China of her latest title for Penguin Random House was lost at sea when shipping containers fell overboard in a storm, she took it well. On Instagram, Clark said she hoped the fish would enjoy the recipes.

Clark also said the maritime mishap for her cookbook was “in keeping with the zeitgeist of 2022.” Indeed, given ongoing supply chains troubles, many authors and publishers around the country could sympathize with her predicament.

Appearing on a recent online panel discussion sharing possible solutions for these challenges, Jim Milliot, Publisher Weekly editorial director, foresaw a shift by publishers from offshore printing back to stateside.

Click below to listen to the latest episode of the Velocity of Content podcast

Tackling Publishing’s Supply Chain Struggles

“Publishers are taking responsibility for the consequences of consolidation and realizing they should have done things differently,” Milliot tells CCC. “They want to support domestic printers better.”

“The Powerful Case for U.S. Book Manufacturing in the Face of Global Supply Chain Challenges, Paper Shortages, and Rising Distribution Costs,” included Bill Rojack of Midland Paper and Matt Baehr, executive director, Book Manufacturers’ Institute. Chris Lyons, president and publisher, Book Businessmoderated the discussion.

“The seeds of the current problems were sown in the pandemic when sales of print books unexpectedly rose,” Milliot explains. “Rising demand came even while many were leaving manufacturing jobs in droves, which has led to labor shortages in the printing and papermaking businesses.”

Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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