PI 400 — Books – Judging a Book

BY CHRIS BAUER

Although the year 2001 has caused history books to be rewritten, it will go down, in the minds of many, as a year we would like to forget.

Top 10 — Book Printers
  Company Segment
Sales
(millions)
Total
Sales
(millions)
1 R.R. Donnelley & Sons
Chicago
$788 $5,254
2 Quebecor World
Montreal
$780 $6,500
3 Banta Corp.
Menasha, WI
$384 $1,538
4 Von Hoffmann Corp.
Saint Louis
$318 $425
5 Courier Corp.
N. Chelmsford, MA
$208 $208
6 Bertelsmann Arvato
Berryville, VA
$195 $315
7 Phoenix Color
Hagerstown, MD
$155 $155
8 Taylor Publishing
Dallas
$110 $110
9 Hess Management
Austin, TX
$90 $180
10 Maple-Vail Book Mfg.
York, PA
$89 $89
Sales figures are based on above printers’
self-reported total and market segment breakdowns.

An already weak economy in the first quarters of the year took its toll on many markets, including the book printing industry. The events the world experienced in the second half of the year did little to spark wide-spread economic growth.

According to Edward Lane, president of Book Publishing Services for R.R. Donnelley & Sons, higher book unit inventories in the trade and college segments at the end of 2000 created a slow first half of the year for book printers, primarily impacting reprint orders. In addition, not as many blockbuster titles materialized this year—no Tom Clancy yarns or a new Harry Potter book to keep the presses rolling. The overall effect, Lane points out, is a market that is flat to slightly down in comparison to 2000.

“The industry is relatively flat right now across most major segments,” he says. “Based on industry news, trade non-fiction titles, spiritual and religious topics, and bibles are experiencing some growth as a result of the September 11 tragedy. Even so, sales of computer books and books for direct mail are both down.”

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