Archive for July, 2009

Ending returnability will save Canada’s book publishing industry over $330 million per year and end senseless waste of natural resources

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

The book industry is in dire straits — more publishers and retailers are going bankrupt every week. Massive lay-offs are happening. The pressures seem to be coming from every direction: the recession causing lower sales in stores, digital books threatening to erode sales of printed books, the cost of printing rising… Yet the best hope for regaining profitability is to FIX AN UNDERLYING BUSINESS MODEL that is hopelessly inefficient and scandalously wasteful of money and natural resources.

A simple change could be implemented within six months, and would save the Canadian book industry over $330 MILLION each year. All that’s required is for publishers to stop providing books to retailers on consignment (“returnable”) terms, and also grant booksellers a discount similar to other industries.

There’s a huge environmental component to this story — fantastic amounts of resources are wasted and pollution caused by overprinting tens of millions of books, transporting them back and forth across the continent, and processing the waste.

Please go to to learn more. Thanks for watching the following video and for doing what you can to build awareness and bring pressure to bear on publishers and retailers.