BOOKS - Textbooks Lead the Way
BY SCOTT POLK
The book printing industry had one of its finest years in 2000, and not just because of the wild success of the Harry Potter series. Of course, the bespectacled British lad had a little to do with the success, but it was the elementary through high school (el-hi) textbook market that led the way.
|Top 10 Book Printers|
|1||R.R. Donnelley & Sons
|4||Von Hoffmann Corp.
N. Chelmsford, MA
Peter Tobin, vice president of North Chelmsford, MA-based Courier Corp., notes that el-hi textbooks had a 17 percent increase in sales compared to last year.
"The outlook is very, very strong. [Next year] should be as strong as 2000 and 2002 should be even stronger," he predicts.
The boom can be attributed to several reasons, Tobin explains. Federal and state funding are at high levels and more states are requiring students to pass competency tests, or "high stakes testing." Add some strong demographics to the mix and the ingredients for a good year are in place.
The Menasha, WI-based Banta Book Group had an all-time sales high for the second year in a row, according to Dave Mead, vice president of sales and marketing. Banta's outstanding year was also attributed to a bullish textbook market.
"State funding is strong for el-hi and the use of the book in schools seems secure for years to come," Mead opines. "Publishers are investing in new programs and states continue to see books as the primary instructional material. This market has continued to be a strong growth area for Banta. We continue our commitment to educational products with ongoing acquisitions and investment in new equipment."