18 Tips for Environmentally Conscious Publishing
5. Think “outside the book.” Simon & Schuster Inc., which recently announced plans to increase to 25 percent or more the level of recycled fiber in its purchased paper by 2012, is making additional commitments to green publishing, including the purchase of shipping cartons made from 100-percent recycled post-consumer paper, the recycling of all inventory destruction as mixed-use paper, the use of recycled office materials, and other energy-efficient practices in its offices and distribution facilities. “These supplement the company’s ongoing efforts to carefully manage print runs and distribution, and to exploit the increased use of digital means for the production and distribution of content,” says Adam Rothberg, vice president, corporate communications.
6. Don’t be afraid of a price increase. “Using recycled paper seems like a no-brainer to me,” says Margo Baldwin, president and publisher of Chelsea Green Publishing. “That’s a mandatory thing to be doing, and consumers are willing to pay more if the book is on recycled paper. Studies have been done that show that.
“My advice is not to be afraid to use recycled paper because you’re adding only pennies to the retail price. And, tell consumers that you’re doing it. It is worth it to add a bit of cost to a book if you’re not cutting down trees. We even promote that on our books,” says Baldwin.
7. Discourage returns. With the price of oil soaring and increasing concerns about global warming, cutting down on returned books is an industrywide issue that needs to be addressed, says Baldwin. Chelsea Green tries to discourage returns through a partnership program the publisher has established with its independent retailers. Partnering retailers get first priority to authors [for author appearances/book signings], and they have a choice of receiving an extra two percent of each sale, or Chelsea Green will pick up the freight charges, which can be substantial, especially for the publisher’s West Coast stores. However, the partnership does not allow any returns. “They receive a lot of benefits as a result of the partnership and now they do more conservative re-ordering,” says Baldwin. “We work closely with them to promote our books. They are constantly on our radar.”