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Pulp (Non) Fiction: The Book Business Faces New Problems

With the occasional headline declaring that fewer people are reading books these days, you might think the publishing business is in tatters.

Ultimately, it’s the lack of pulp, the actual pages, that’s beating the industry.

Hub City Press of Spartanburg, an award-winning independent company, said Meg Reid, Executive Director of Hub City Press of Spartanburg. the publisher.

According to Statista in June, print book market sales grew nearly 9% year-on-year last year, with more than 825 million copies sold.

Yet the physical, tea-curled book has met the same fate as many other consumer goods, from cars to cat food. We’ve been dealing with very serious issues like slowdowns for a year now and there are many root causes.”

For one, most of the world’s paper is made in Asia, Statista reported in June. And Reid tells her that industry peers spend much of that more profitable manufacturing of the cardboard boxes they fill with every order on Amazon.

Another problem, as reported by national and industry media, is the shortage of shipping containers. To make matters worse, leasing prices for a 40-foot metal container capable of holding 35,000 copies rose above $10,300 at this time last year, compared with a five-year average of about $3,700, according to a marine consultancy. I was.

So, like everything else, the price of books is rising. The new paperbacks are priced at $17 instead of $15 each. The ink-smelling hardcover, which used to cost $28, is now back at $32, Reed says. Mr. Reed’s press publishes seven to ten books a year and sells them at his bookshop in his City Hub at his Masonic Temple at 186 Street, West Maine. Located in downtown Spartanburg.

Ah, but the plot twists continue.

Copies of that blistering bestseller may be in short supply at your local bookstore right now. The industry itself is in turmoil after the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against his two largest U.S. publishers, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, last November. And your favorite author sees his publication date pushed forward by a year, says Reid and others.

Yet, like any great thriller, the protagonist overcomes obstacles.

Greenville journalist turned clergyman and novelist Deb Richardson Moore has found a British publisher to distribute her five mysteries in the United States. For her next book, tentatively titled Through Any Window, she moved to another British press, Red Adept Publishing.

Unlike her previous publishers, Red Adept Publishing offers print-on-demand and promotes more e-books than most bookmakers. So-called legacy houses typically offer neither, she says.

“I am amazed at the number of readers who say they prefer e-books and audio,” she said, adding that for veterans and aspiring writers like her, “on the bright side, smaller publishers are filling this gap. is emerging.”

Jill Hendrix likewise sees a strong book market here. After a brief stint at St. Martin’s Press, a major New York-based firm, she moved to Greenville, where in 2001 she opened Fiction Addiction.

She mentions some bookstores in the Greenville area, and says a customer recently told her there was only one independent bookstore in a Midwestern city larger than Greenville.

“I thought it was kind of weird, but Greenville is highly educated,” she says. “Greenville is very literary.”

So how does this story end?

Now, for the book at the top of your holiday gift list, Reid says, “Buy it now if you’re a smart buyer.”

Here are some examples of independent and national chain bookstores that make Upstate a reader’s and author’s paradise.

  • Fiction Addiction: An independent bookstore near the Haywood Mall in Greenville. Since self-publishing is a popular option, Fiction Addiction also offers “Guided Self-Publishing”.
  • Hub City Bookshop: Located on Main Street in Spartanburg, the hub for indie press and the Hub City Writers Project.
  • Judson Booksellers: Downtown independent bookstores (also with fancy coffee shops and special events).
  • Angel’s BookShoppe: New and Rare For Sale, North Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville.
  • Turning the page: Travelers Rest new and used.
  • Barnes & Noble: Two locations in Greenville, at The Shops at Greenridge on Haywood Road and Woodruff Road.
  • Second and Charles: One of 45 bookstores in the nation, with a store in Greenville on Lawrence Street.
  • K’s Used Books, Music & More: Charleston and Greenville (Verdae Boulevard) Locations

sauce: Unso Greenville

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