Scraponomics Episode 118: The Self-Publishing Boom
“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.” — William H. Gass, American novelist
Last week, we talked about one booming industry in Michigan, the medical device industry. Let’s talk about another one; the self-publishing industry.
This is HUGE deal, for many reasons. It used to be incredibly difficult to get a book published. Aspiring authors would have to pitch their book to large publishing companies, often getting rejected many times before one would take them on, if they were accepted at all.
With the advent of self-publishing companies, it’s easier than ever to publish a book in small quantities, and let the public decide whether your material is worth reading. Many self-publishers even allow you to print as few as 24 copies of your book at a time, freeing you from buying too much inventory up front before knowing you can sell it.
So what does this have to do with the scrap industry?
Well, the same way large book manufacturers and commercial printers will generate paper shavings, trimmings, and overages, so will self-publishing companies. So Friedland will place gaylords, which are large cardboard boxes, on pallets, and self-publishing companies will fill them with scrap paper. When the gaylords are full, we’ll switch them with empty ones, and process the scrap paper we receive for re-pulp recycling.
I’ve had the privilege of visiting an awesome self-publishing company in south eastern Michigan, and they were busier than ever! The manager mentioned that while e-books are certainly popular, people who self-publish typically want to feel the physical end product in their hands. I totally agree, and would probably want the same thing if I ever wrote a book.
As self-publishing help authors turn the world into words, we’re performing another alchemy; turning scrap into new paper again.
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