Even with the rising popularity of smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, paper is still king.
Even with the rising popularity of smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, paper is still king. However, paper as a physical format is going much the same way vinyl records and compact discs went in the world of music – slowly but surely extinct. As we go into the future paper may become scarce, but that doesn’t mean it will become less valuable. Let’s take a closer look.
What is It Like Now?
As of the end of 2017, paper mills are closing down at an astonishing rate. In the last six months of the just-finished year, eight mills have either completely shut down production, or have allowed some of their operations to cease. The Pulp and Paper Products Council has found that such closures have a resounding effect on the paper-based industry as a whole: the total supply available has decreased by just under 21% – 20.7%, in fact.
How Will 2018 Look?
It may seem grim, but paper is holding on. In fact, paper endures despite the rising popularity of digital devices used for reading. Five years from now, what we know of the industry will have transformed, and it will be strange to us. In the first few months of the new year 2018, even more mills will close, taking more than 700,000 tons of paper out of the market with them. But parts of the country that could replenish these lost resources are suffering as well – forests in the northwest quadrant of the nation are being lost to wildfire. These raging fires interfere with the industry’s ability to harvest resources they need and prepare them for distribution to other parts of the country.
How to Survive the Paper Slump
Because the amount of paper in circulation will begin to decline, forward-thinking planning is your best way to avoid a disaster. Keep in constant touch with your paper supplier. The reason you have to make an order so far ahead is to ensure that a steady flow of raw material remains consistent. In case of shortages or delays affecting the publication of your books, you can withstand those consequences and gain the advantage over your industry competition. In-house stocks of paper may be a good idea as well.
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