Anne Marquard is one of Illumify’s rock star authors. While writing her children’s book, Messy Robot and the Sneaky Cat, she drafted her son to illustrate it.

The book looks really good!

Everything was humming along until three weeks ago when we were ready to order proof copies of her hardcover and paperback editions.

We uploaded the files…and waited.

Then we ordered her print copies…and three weeks later we’re still waiting.

Who’s the culprit?

So who’s the culprit—and how might this affect you?

We can blame covid for a host of publishing challenges, including this one. Fortunately, a hard copy of Messy Robot should be in our hands in the next week or so.

Here’s What’s Happening

At the beginning of the pandemic, lumberjacks, paper manufacturers, ink manufacturers, shipping companies, semi-truck drivers—every entity on the publishing production side—stopped working, at least temporarily. Seventeen months later, we’re in the midst of a worldwide shortage of materials and workers.

China has recently experienced power outages, which is slowing manufacturing down even more.

That’s the bad news.

And what happened on the editorial and readership end? People stayed at home and wrote books. Lots of them. And, they read lots and lots of books, too.

While independent publishing grew exponentially over the last twelve years, traditional publishing stagnated—until the pandemic. Now they’re selling books like crazy.

Print sales are up in double digits.

That’s the good news.

“We shifted from a lack of demand to a lack of supply,” Peter Warwick, the president of Scholastic recently commented to Publishers Weekly.

Supply chain issues have forced publishing companies across the board to postpone the release dates of their books.

As we enter the Christmas selling season, the busiest time of the year for the publishing industry, everything is slowing down even more.

“This is going to be the most challenging holiday in quite some time in terms of dealing with the supply chain,” Jim Milliot from Publishers Weekly recently said. “There will be no quick fixes.”

What You Can Do About It

No need to panic over the pandemic. Here are some ideas about what you can do:

  1. Promote your book. If your book is already on the market, now is the time to promote it. People are reading books, so strike while the iron’s hot!

We have access to a database of 33,000 bloggers, book reviewers, bookstores, book clubs, journalists, and radio stations. If you’d like to learn more about how to take advantage of market trends and promote your book, you can schedule an Author Strategy Session with me by clicking here.

  1. Be patient. At least from the supply chain and worker shortage standpoint, it’s out of our hands. It may take a year or two, but details will eventually work themselves out.

Most importantly…

  1. Plan ahead. If you’re planning on releasing your book on a specific date or a specific season, or anytime in 2022, you need to act NOW.

We can release your book in eight to twelve weeks after you turn in a copyedit-ready manuscript, but your book might not be up and running for an additional six weeks.

This isn’t the time to take matters into your own hands. Let our team of professionals guide you through the publishing process.

The barriers to publishing your book are significant, but once you transcend those barriers, there’s never been a better time to promote it!

Click to explore the possibilities of your book:

Let’s bring your book to life!

Michael J. Klassen

President, Illumify Media

P.S. Did you know we offer free manuscript assessments?