This week we were trolled by a guy on the internet who informed us that he was a printer and that there was no paper shortage. We were just making it up.
A few years ago, John and I toured one of the several printing plants that we use. It took two days to see everything, and the most enormous part of the tour was the paper storage and recycling facility.
A fancy sheet-fed printing press is about the size of a city bus. The paper needed to feed that press can fill a city block and be three or four stories high. At our Tennessee plant, the paper comes in on train tracks through the building. I made a short film above that shows some of the paper storage – there was no way to get it all in one shot.
That storage building is now empty and stays empty. As soon as paper arrives, it is gobbled up by the presses. Small publishers, such as us, have little say in what sort of paper gets used in a book right now. If you don’t like the paper on hand, you can go to the end of the line and try again.
This week, we were told that the plant acquired some paper for “The Stick Chair Book.” Here was our choice: We could use paper that was a little cheaper than what we ordered. Or we could use a premium uncoated paper that was considerably more expensive than what we originally asked for.
We took the more expensive paper. But we have decided to keep the book’s retail price at $49. I just can’t see people paying more than $50 for a book on making vernacular chairs.
If things stay on track, the physical, chewed-up-tree version of “The Stick Chair Book” will be out in late October.
In the meantime, we will continue to offer “The Stick Chair Book Early Adopter Digital Package” until the hardbound book is released. For $25 you get a pdf of the book, plus pdfs of all the full size-patterns to make the five chairs in the book. And sheets and sheets of supplemental CAD drawings of the chairs.
When the book is released, this digital package will go away forever.
— Christopher Schwarz