New Trends Emerge as Publishers Aim to Curb Costs
"We're not sure how that's going to affect books, because some books are printed on 84 brightness paper," says Spath, who notes that Weyerhaeuser's customer base includes several trade books publishers. "Is 92 brightness too bright for these applications? We'll still offer an 84 bright book paper, but our 84 brightness options outside of book paper will probably be rather limited," he notes.
The Switch to Groundwood
Another change BookTech has been monitoring in the book publishing paper market, especially among hardcover adult trade books, is a switch from freesheet papers to groundwoods. (Go to BookTech's article archives at www.BookTechMag.com to read "The Changing of Standards," from the July/August issue, which examines this trend in depth.)
"The trend is definitely toward lighter-weight papers containing high amounts of groundwood," says Gary Orso, vice president of sales and marketing for Pratt Paper Co., located in Marblehead, Mass. "Groundwood stock is approximately 33-percent less expensive than freesheet high-bulking trade book papers. The groundwood stocks offer high opacity and high bulking characteristics that are superior to the freesheet trade book stocks," Orso notes.
The downside for those seeking longevity, he notes, is "the quality [of the groundwood stocks] is vastly different, and paper will yellow rather quickly when exposed to light and/or sun."
Some publishers, however, have reported using groundwood in a significant number of titles, including Simon & Schuster, Penguin Group (USA), and Warner Books.
"Ten years ago almost all trade publishers (non-mass-market) used high-bulking freesheet stocks in both paperback and casebound books. Today, it is the norm to use groundwood stocks in paperbacks," comments Orso. And he predicts, "In the next 10 years, groundwood stock in casebound books will be the norm. It is starting to happen already at several major publishers."
As Zampini suggests, groundwoods offer yield advantages to publishers.