How can you deal with supply chain problems in publishing? (video)

Viewing time: 3 mins 34 secs 

The Write Question is a weekly video podcast all about writing. Today’s question? How can you deal with supply chain problems in publishing? If you have a question you’d like me to answer you can email me, tweet me @pubcoach, or leave a message for me at the Skype account, The Write Question. 


How can you deal with supply chain problems in publishing? That’s the topic I’m addressing today in The Write Question. I’m Daphne Gray-Grant, the Publication Coach.

I have a question from Kaat Vrancken, a writer based in Bree, Belgium. Here’s what she’s asked by email…

“What if I’m doing all the hard work and my publisher is not interested in publishing my book?”

Thanks for your question Kaat. I know you’re an award-winning author in your country and I gather the issue your publisher is facing right now relates to the supply chain.

Yes, supply chain shortages — brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic — are affecting even the book publishing industry.

For publishers, it’s the result of shortages of paper, shipping containers and truck drivers, as well as increased congestion at  ports. You can read more about it in an article I’ve posted in the show notes.

But the bigger challenge facing publishers relates to how their businesses operate. Essentially, publishers expect to lose money on most books and then make a good deal of money on a few outliers. (Think of Stephen King or the author du jour who has written the  year’s bestseller.)

As a result, publishers need to be able to quickly order reprints of their bestsellers. In the past, they’d be able to get their reprints in a matter of days or weeks. Now, with supply chain shortages, it’s looking to be a minimum of months. This is making business planning very tough for publishers right now, and many of them are reducing the number of books they publish.

If your book is delayed, or worse, dropped, I strongly suggest you consider self-publishing. As an established author, you are in a better position than most to continue to sell your books.

Self-publishing isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds, particularly not for an author who has already had some significant success. I did a video back in 2017 on all the steps involved and I include the link to that video in the show notes. Take a look at it!

I have self-published both of my own books very successfully and have never regretted not going with a traditional publisher.   

Finally, let me wrap up with the words of the famous American engineer and statistician W. Edwards Deming:  “Two basic rules of life are: 1) Change is inevitable. 2) Everybody resists change.”  

Kaat, the downside of self-publishing is that you will have to invest some of your own money upfront for editing, layout and printing. But the upside is that you will have total control of your books AND you will make more money on each one that you sell. Please, be sure to explore this idea if your publishing future is being threatened!


Viewers, if you have any writing-related questions, I’d be happy to do a video on them. Just send me a quick email,, or put a note in the comments section of this YouTube video.

And, if you’d like to learn more about how to make writing a happier and more rewarding process, check out my latest book Your Happy First Draft. I don’t sell it in bookstores or via Amazon. The only place to buy it is on my website, link on the screen below and in the show notes.


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