Market Watch

Market Watch


GAMIS Publishes Book Market Overview

A new study published by the Graphic Arts Marketing Information Service (GAMIS), a special interest group of the Printing Industries of America, Inc., provides a thorough investigation of the book market. The research for Book Market Overview was completed by Charles, Charles Associates of Phoenix, AZ and profiles the book publishing value chain. The report provides market size estimates, demand forecasts through 2012 and a thorough profile of 11 book segments grouped into three major categories: trade books, education and reference.

According to the report, book revenues and unit sales are expected to experience continued overall growth in the next five to 10 years. In total, the book publishing is forecast to grow at approximately 4 percent per year between 2001 and 2012. The fastest growing book segments will be elementary, high school and college books. Mail order books is the only segment forecasted to decrease.

While a positive demand for books is forecast, there are definitely challenges ahead for book manufacturers/printers. The study identified numerous “megatrends” likely to affect book manufacturing operations including:
•Inventory management focus on shorter runs and quicker turnarounds–printers who keep up with technologies that allow for quicker and more efficient workflow processes, whether it be through computer integrated manufacturing, digital printing, print on demand or more efficient offset presses, will have the strategic advantage.
• Collaborative business practices– reciprocal sharing of proprietary information among customers, suppliers and partners is a definite trend. Players who refuse to open up sales data and customer demand information will be forced from the value chain loop.
•Offshore 4-color printing–digital technology makes it easier for a publisher to be more cost effective. Coffee table/art books, 4-color/high value juvenile books and some religious and professional books are particularly vulnerable to this trend, primarily from China.
•Industry consolidation–today the top 10 publishers account for more than 80 percent of annual book publishing revenues, and the top 10 manufacturers/printers account for more than 50 percent of book manufacturing revenues.

Finally, even though book manufacturing only accounts for 28 percent of the cost of a typical book, the study revealed that publishers will continue to pressure printers to reduce costs, reportedly by as much as 6 percent over the next five years.

This study is available to GAMIS members. For more information, contact Jackie Bland, GAMIS executive director, (703) 519-8179; e-mail:; web:

NAPL: Upturn Continues But Reason For Caution Remains

The printing industry continues to gain strength, according to the latest economic indicators from the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL). Sales are up, and a number of other indicators, including work-on-hand and confidence, show the upturn is continuing. NAPL economists caution, however, that it is important for printers to keep the good new in perspective.

“We’re rebounding from very depresses levels,” said Andrew Paparozzi, NAPL vice president and chief economist. “After three years of recession, we have to make up a lot of ground. Also, costs are rising, markets are getting more competitive, and prices, although stabilizing, aren’t coming all the way back.”

The economic analysis comes fromNAPL’s Printing Economics Research Center (PERC), which produces research and publications sponsored by Heidelberg, Kennesaw, GA.

Among the rising indicators is the NAPL Printing Business Index (PBI), the association’s broadest measure of print activity, which rose to 59.9 in April from 58.1 in March and 54.0 in January. The PBI has been above the critical 50.0 market–the point at which more printers report activity is picking up than report it is slowing down – for 10 consecutive months.

The PBI combines input from NAPL’s Printing Business Panel about work-on-hand, current business conditions, expected business conditions (confidence), hiring plans, profitability and other key indicators into a single measure of activity. The NAPL Printing Business Panel is a representative group of more than 300 printers that the association surveys monthly on a range of key printing issues. Since the same companies are surveyed every time, data are strictly comparable from period to period.

For more information contact NAPL, (201) 634-9600 or (800) 642-6275; fax: (201) 634-0324; web: