Printed Books Trend Upward in Sales Post-Pandemic

Hot off the presses: as we head into the post-pandemic era, print book publishing is picking up where it left off — skyrocketing in sales and popularity. As print books trend upward in sales post-pandemic, publishers need printers to rely on for speed and flexibility. 

Print is on Trend

The New York Times wrote, “Sales of digital books fell 3.6 percent to $1.02 billion in 2018, a third straight decline, while hardback sales rose 6.9 percent to $3.06 billion and paperback sales 1.1 percent to $2.67 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers.”

In January 2020, The Association of American Publishers reported that total book sales were $12.57 billion year-to-date in 2019. The growth was an increase of 3.6% over the previous year. Printed books continued to dominate the consumer publications category, accounting for $751.0 million, or 80% of the category’s $938.7 million in revenue. Paperback books saw the most growth, once again, climbing 11.0%. Professional publishing also jumped.

While book sales initially dropped off in early 2020, they began to tick upward in the spring and ended the year strong with print sales rising 8.2% over 2019, the most significant annual increase since 2005, and the print total of 751 million units sold was the highest since 2009. An increase in online sales drove numbers up, and online sales are projected to continue strong through 2021.

Printed Pages Produce Better Comprehension

Several recent studies have reviewed digital books and education materials vs. paper. According to the Hechinger Report, a nonprofit newsroom focused on education that examined these studies, reading on paper trumps reading on screens regarding comprehension and student preference.

The Right Partner Can Make the Difference

Let’s get your titles flying off the shelf,  What does all this mean for today’s book publishers and the way they work with printers? Here are the key takeaways:

The era of printed books is not over. It’s on the uprise, so finding a reputable, flexible, high-capacity printer like Consolidated Press to keep up with publishing demands is crucial.

Time and again, learning and comprehension are reported to be better on paper than with digital for a variety of reasons, which research is still uncovering. In the meantime, book publishers can rely on a powerhouse printer like Consolidated Press to increase efficiency and cost competitiveness to meet the demand for more printed books.

Independent bookstores are increasing their margins with gifts, consumables, events, and more. As a result, publishers don’t need to slash prices to be competitive. The boutique environment is also an incentive to experiment with bolder designs and visual impact to stand out on a shelf.

Sales of e-books are down and audiobooks are up. E-books compete primarily with paper books; audiobooks compete with music, podcasts, radio, and other paid audio media. Some publishers have adopted a digital-first strategy and need a printer that can nimbly print books on demand.

Paperback books continue to see explosive growth. You can depend on CP’s equipment to precisely print crucial information and images, perfect binding each piece with optical cameras confirming quality and placement. We ship straight from our warehouse, offering the most accurate addressing and cost-effective mailing available.

Whether on-demand or on a schedule, textbook or trade paperback, CP can meet today’s book printing market demands and exceed publisher expectations for quality, speed, value, and flexibility every time.

Consolidated Press is one for the books. Call or click today to start our valuable partnership in printing.

 

Use These Best Practices for your Next Direct Mail Campaign

(Spoiler alert: Hiring an expert in printing and mailing covers ALL the bases!)

Not only is direct mail a great way to engage with your customers, but it also offers a powerful return on investment. Direct mail provides measurable results that generate leads, especially when using branded visuals, a solid call to action, and integration with your digital marketing campaign elements. Recent statistics reinforce the high impact advantages when communicating with direct mail compared to email and other electronic solicitations.

Did you know?

As consumers begin to flood the marketplace again, now is the time to put your brand messaging where it makes the most impact — right on their doorstep. But time is money, and the use of best practices for printing and mailing ensures a powerfully effective campaign that fits your budget.

Consider these pathways to success:

Hire an Expert

Direct mail is a complex endeavor. Between branding, designing, copywriting, printing, data management, versioning, sorting, scheduling, storing, mailing, returns, and measuring success, you have a full-time job on your hands with a direct mail campaign. A full-service printer with a consultative approach like Consolidated Press can walk you through each and every step and then replicate it for the next mailing, ensuring brand standards and clean lists.

Weigh Less, Pay Less

Paper stocks, embellishments, special coatings, coupons, return mailers, and other specialty items can add up, and mailing with efficiency means traveling light. But some projects call for high-end stock, unique finishes, and stand-out enhancements. Ask your expert to show you what items you need to maximize your investment and to help you choose the right paper and finishes for your project.

Panels, Tabs, and Size Restrictions, Oh My!

Direct mail through the United States Postal Service is a tricky business — and a highly regulated one. Your mailer needs to be the appropriate size and weight, a specific number of panels and tabbed or glued to meet USPS regulations. The specifications are vast. If you don’t believe us, look here to dive into the seemingly endless details of mailing. Never mind, don’t do that. Consolidated Press has a massive mailing program all designed to seamlessly and painlessly work within the postal system.

Have Some Class

The USPS delivers mail at several rates or classes, determined by the client’s needs and purpose of the mailing. Most often, you’ll be using USPS Marketing Mail, which, for beginning mailers, is often the best choice because postage prices are very low. According to the agency, mailers use USPS Marketing Mail to send:

  • Printed matter, flyers, circulars, advertising
  • Newsletters, bulletins, and catalogs
  • Small parcels

All USPS Marketing Mail prices are bulk prices, and each mailing must meet a minimum quantity of 200 pieces or 50 pounds of mail. There is no single-piece USPS Marketing Mail postage. In USPS Marketing Mail, there are prices for letters, flats/large envelopes, parcels, marketing parcels, and Parcel Select Lightweight parcels. There’s more where that came from, but you don’t need to get into the weeds — you need to ask your expert. 

Consolidated Press, by the way, knows all this stuff and more. 

When you need expert advice on printing and mailing with a consultative approach to your project, call or click Consolidated Press to determine how they can put the pieces into place.

 

Embellished Direct Mail Discounts with USPS

Take advantage of direct mail with CP’s specialty print capabilities

Direct mail is an effective marketing strategy—year after year, the statistics tell the tale. A personal, targeted approach integrated with online purchasing and engagement is irresistible to many consumers.

At the same time, the costs of mailing and paper continue to rise, and organizations need the return on their marketing investments to be above average and consistent. Fortunately, the United States Postal Service has our backs. 

The USPS Mailing Promotions and Incentive Programs are designed to help marketers, printers, and mailers increase customer engagement and response rates with their mail pieces. Through July 31, the USPS will be offering 2% off eligible postage on mail pieces that encourage sensory engagement. The Tactile, Sensory & Interactive (TSI) Promotion leverages the technological advances the print industry has been steadily innovating.

From the USPS TSI Promotions Requirements and registration site:

The print industry has been actively innovative not only in print production equipment but the fundamental elements of the mail itself through new developments in papers/stocks, substrates, finishing techniques, and inks. These elements can be incorporated to engage a multi-sensory experience through special visual effects, sound, scent, texture/tactile treatments, and even taste! In addition, interactive mailpiece features (such as pop-ups, infinite folds, or other dimensional treatments) can also help drive a marketer’s customer’s engagement.

Neuroscience and neuromarketing research supports the potentially significant impact on brand recognition and message recall when marketing materials engage tactile experiences and/or senses. By leveraging the physical aspects of the mailpiece as well as the advances in print technology, marketers can enhance how their consumers interact and engage with mail

New technology and print techniques can enhance the traditional benefits of a physical mail piece and give higher response rates and an increase in overall return on investment. Three categories are featured in this promotion:

  • Specialty Inks
  • Specialty Paper
  • Interactive elements

Here is where Consolidated Press can step in with its vast capabilities in soft-touch, hybrid UV printing, vibrant inks, and specialty paper. CP is a leader in stunning yet economical direct mail from magazines to catalogs, directories, newsletters, promotional mail. We also are seasoned mailing experts. In addition to working with you to capitalize on USPS promotions running throughout 2021, we can analyze your files and provide postal logistics planning and strategy, often leading to bulk discounts and increasing your crucial marketing ROI.

Contact us today to start your tactile, sensory, or interactive direct mail campaign. We would love to put your project first.