Facing Newsstand Nightmare, Publishers Gain From Sustainable Thinking

by | Aug 26, 2009

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newsstand-salesWith newsstand sales in a freefall for nearly all publishing segments, publishers can streamline their distribution process, reduce paper use and do a good turn for the environment all at once, with some careful planning, according to Green America Better Paper Project and Next Steps Marketing.

The subject of a new PDF report, “Green At Retail,” the publishing world has much to gain from embracing sustainability, recycling and supply chain maximization processes.

The report offers the following tips to improve environmental stewardship and increase sales.

  • Engage in order regulation. Review publication distribution line-by-line and compare results to similar titles. Reduce or remove distribution locations where your title is not selling and increase the number of copies where it is selling well.
  • Move to non-returnable distribution to reduce printing and shipping costs. The downside to this is that wholesalers may take fewer copies, which may affect ad sales potential.
  • Adjust frequency of publication. A monthly magazine may be able to be published 10 times annually and still be perceived by the audience as monthly.
  • If you print on recycled paper, communicate this on the cover so consumers will know.
  • Examine paper options. A good way to cut costs and reduce environmental impact at once.
  • Explore environmental promotions. As an example, the Green America Better Paper Project and Next Steps Marketing have instituted in-store promotions to build awareness of publications printed on recycled paper. Some retailers, including Barnes & Noble, Hastings and others offer premium space for magazines that print on recycled paper.

For a comprehensive list of magazines using recycled paper and sustainable production processes, click here.

In addition to these steps, publishing firms should take extra care to ensure that unsold copies of magazines are recycled.

Here is a visualization of the newsstand channel recycling process.


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