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Bottleneck at printers derails holiday book sales in US

businesstimes.com.sg – Wednesday December 26, 2018

THIS year has been, much to everyone's surprise, a blockbuster for the publishing industry. Despite the relentless news cycle, readers have bought books in droves.

Hardcover sales are up, and unit sales at independent bookstores have risen 5 per cent. Multiple titles - Bob Woodward's Fear, Bill Clinton and James Patterson's The President Is Missing and Michelle Obama's Becoming - have passed the million-copy mark, while there is also a surprisingly strong appetite for literary fiction.

But what should be good news for publishers, agents and authors has created headaches during the crucial holiday sales season, as printing presses struggle to keep up with a surge in demand, creating a backlog that has led to stock shortages of popular titles.

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