A tradition of excellence

Why do print books and magazines remain popular?

It’s been over 10 years (since January 27, 2010) since the iPad was launched by Steve Jobs. This Apple device popularized the term “e-reade”.

Electronic readers existed well before the iPad, but Apple’s impact on this market was immediate. Although it wasn’t the best e-reader, Apple dominated this market segment.

The days seemed numbered for the book and magazine market… Yet, today, we find ourselves with a flourishing industry. Although sales volumes have decreased, they have not reached a point where this market segment is no longer profitable.

“The production costs of a book or magazine have significantly decreased over the past 20 years.”

As a bookbinder, we work with many printers specializing in publishing. There have been mergers in recent years and significant investments in new equipment. This is a clear sign that there is confidence in the stability, or even growth, of sales volumes!

The production costs of a book or magazine have significantly decreased over the past 20 years. There’s no more scanning, no more assembling negatives, no more hours of press setup, layout is more automated, and printing and binding speeds have more than tripled!

 “A printed book brings great credibility to the author compared to any blog”

Print runs have significantly decreased, but the number of titles is rapidly increasing. There’s a magazine for every niche and a book for every subject. In fact, a printed book brings great credibility to the author compared to any blog. To write a blog (as I’m currently doing!), there’s no financial risk because there’s no cost involved. However, a printed book requires an investment of time and money, which eliminates many rushed publications.

Even though production costs have significantly decreased, it remains an investment! The author of a book will be associated with that book for many years, which is not the case with ephemeral blogs.

And e-books?

They have a certain market share in the world of publishing, but it stagnates between 10 and 20% of publishers’ sales, or even less in terms of profitability. The e-book is an additional format for the dissemination of a book. Previously, there were hardcover and softcover versions, then the paperback version was added. Now, the tablet version and the audio version are shaking up the three formats.

Readers appreciate the tangible aspect of a printed book or magazine. They often mention the smell of the paper, the pleasure of flipping through the pages, the ease of sharing their favorite books, not to mention the ability to annotate margins, highlight passages, cut out articles, and fold corners of important pages. In short, the physical object is cherished.

There’s also the incomparable quality. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a magazine from the 1990s, you’ll notice a significant difference in terms of print quality, number of images, paper quality, and precision of binding. The progress is undeniable.

In conclusion, there’s also the environmental impact to consider. People now better understand that paper is a recycled and recyclable product made from wood, a renewable plant resource. Electronic gadgets, on the other hand, are not and continue to accumulate at an ever-faster pace of obsolescence.