Home Book retailers Why local bookstores tell you to buy freebies now

Why local bookstores tell you to buy freebies now


Supply chain problems and a shortage of materials are pushing back retailers across the country. This includes local bookstores, who are told holiday shopping is starting now, as it’s unclear what will be available in the coming months.

When you walk into the Back of Beyond bookstore, you immediately notice how local it really is. For locals and visitors to Moab, Utah only, you’ll find books about the outdoors on every corner. But beyond that ’90s showcase, there’s a quiet struggle to keep the shelves full. A struggle that guests will begin to notice as the holidays approach.

“It is getting more and more disastrous and Ingrim has just published a white paper warning us all saying, ‘Get ready; it’s going to get worse before it gets better, ”said Andy Nettell, owner of Back of Beyond Bookstore.

Ingrim Content Group is a US service provider for the book publishing industry. Nettell says most independent bookstores, like hers, use Ingrim.

“Ingrim Books can’t find the staff. They can’t get our books to us in a timely fashion,” Nettell said. “They’re very blunt, they just say we’re not going to be able to deliver the books you need, period. And then they gave us a list of some of the reasons why and they admit that it’s partly internal, that they don’t have the people they need to process orders in a timely manner. They probably don’t have the financial resources to support them as deeply as they need them, and publishers aren’t able to get them the books they need in a timely manner.

For this reason, the time to buy your gifts for the holidays is now. Cindy Raiton, president of sales at Bookazine, says the supply chain problem is serious.

“September is the new December,” Raiton said. “Every step of the way right now is being questioned.”

“And the editors are now telling us to order more aggressively now that we have the supplies, because we cannot guarantee that your books will arrive in mid-November after Thanksgiving when the Christmas season begins,” Nettell said.

“You first have the majority of printing for color books, done outside of the United States. Again, many factories will be closing throughout COVID and in many countries, whenever there is a covid outbreak, things need to be shut down and then in order to get goods from the foreign country to the States- United, we now have the logistics carriers, and there is a huge shortage of both carriers because the airlines, the commercial traffic is down, so the freight depends on the commercial planes, ”said Raiton.

Raiton believes the only answer for wholesalers and bookstores is to switch to a more specialized model.

“So our main focus has been to improve our inventory for new titles, but also to make sure that we are a resource for all long stories,” Raiton said.

That’s what Nettell says the industry does best.

“We don’t rely on bestsellers to make money, we rely on maps and guides and the unique items we bring specifically tailored to our customers and these books just might be a mountain bike guide. as opposed to the latest pop pop thriller Elizabeth George, which everyone wants on Christmas, ”Nettell said.

These issues may have a bigger effect on the Back of Beyond bookstore than Nettell would like, but after the past two years he says his business can handle a crisis.

“It’s worrying and I hate not being able to put a book in a customer’s hand, but I think it’s going to be fine,” Nettell said.

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