The Top 30 Book Manufacturers
Speak to just about any book manufacturer these days about his or her business, and you’re likely to hear a laundry list of concerns: an economy teetering on the edge of a recession, paper’s rising costs and tighter supply, the need to respond to publishers’ and environmental groups’ “green” demands, and mounting pressure to improve turn times and to upgrade technology, among others. And yet, for an industry so seemingly wrought with challenges, a look at Book Business’ annual list of North America’s Top 30 Book Manufacturers (on pages 16-17) appears to tell a different story.
Just seven of the 30 printers who appear on this year’s ranking reported a decline in book-manufacturing revenue this past year—down, perhaps surprisingly, from 13 companies with declining book revenue on last year’s list. In fact, a number of companies performed exceedingly better in this past year’s market, including each of the five companies whose presidents are interviewed in the state-of-the-industry report on page 18.
Book Business’ annual list of the Top 30 Book Manufacturers is the industry’s most comprehensive ranking of the leading public and private book printers in the United States and Canada. In addition to financial information from public companies, the ranking includes figures voluntarily provided by privately held firms. Despite Book Business’ repeated attempts, some companies refused to divulge their annual printing sales figures—or would not break down these sales by revenue from book printing—and, therefore, were not included on the list. RR Donnelley does not separate its revenue from book printing from its other businesses, but the company’s acquisitions last year of Perry Judd’s, Von Hoffman and Banta Corp. ensure that this figure is ahead of No. 2-ranked Quebecor World’s.
This year’s list did see a few newcomers, including Taylor Publishing (No. 8), Sheridan Books (14), Bradford & Bigelow (23), and Quad/Graphics and Bookmasters, tied at No. 27.