Did you know that booksellers will likely be facing a shortage of your favorite titles this winter? According to LitHub, the lumber shortage caused by COVID-19 is impacting the availability and prices of wood pulp for paper making.
To make matters worse, COVID outbreaks have reduced the number of employees in factories and at shipping locations, further slowing production. LitHub predicts “major delays at pretty much every step of the book delivery process.” These delays are likely to cause an increase in the prices of print books, as well as increased wait times for book delivery services. In a recent Twitter post, New Orleans bookstore Tubby & Coo predicted a six to eight-week hold on new book orders. This means that picking up the next book in your favorite series may not be as easy as stopping by your favorite indie book shop. You may have to place an order with your bookstore and wait up to two months for your next read.
How Can I Help With the Book Shortage?
Before you panic about the empty shelves at your local bookstore, there are some things you can do to help. Start by planning for the holiday season now. If you like to give books to your family and friend, start picking those titles out. If you get them now, you’ll have plenty of time to personalize them with sweet notes before your gift exchange!
The other way you can help is by preordering books you want that may not be available yet. According to Independent Publisher, “preorders can influence the stock a retailer carries for a particular title. Preorders are a good indication about consumer interest in a book, so if a lot of people preorder a book, retailers are more likely to order more copies to keep in stock.” By preordering your TBR list now, you can help ensure that you have a copy when the book is released, despite the industry delays.
Most importantly, remember to be patient with your local bookstore. It’s not their fault if many titles become out-of-stock with long wait times. Place an order with them, and while you wait, pick up the book on your shelf you’ve been avoiding (I know you have one!).
For more information about the upcoming book shortage, click here!