The Future of the Printed BookReport
In the face of rapidly changing reading habits what does the future hold for printed books? Will they still be around in ten years? And if so, how might they be made?
Our publishing initiative, the Book Chain Project, helps publishers to better understand how, where and from what their books are made. It’s been ten years since the first part of the Project began by gathering data on the tree species used in paper. We wrote this report to reflect on that past decade, to better understand our current reading habits, and finally to gaze into the crystal ball to see what books of the future might look like, and how and where they might be made.
Based on current trends we’ve identified four underlying stories of the book:
- Digital print: New printing technology is significantly affecting how books are made. It’s allowing print-on-demand, local production, and personalised content, and allowing publishers to revive their archived titles, and take opportunities to trial new authors.
- Digital conversion: In some cases digital clearly offers benefits over print when we look at connectivity and interactivity. Where the changes are happening, they’re happening quickly.
- Digital interaction: Print and digital can complement one another in blended approaches where digital interactivity can help to bring print to life.
- Digital distraction: In our desire to avoid digital overload from the ever-present screens and devices in our lives, are books one of our last remaining bastions of escapism?
We go on to predict three possible futures for the book and ultimately what this means for our future work on the Book Chain Project.
The report’s findings are informed by our desk research, in-depth interviews with the Project’s publishers, and guest presentations from our 2016 seminars in London and New York.
The LoCaT Project's report on the energy consumption of different methods of watching TV released Report
The LoCaT project’s study has been released and we are thrilled to have been a part of this significant project, bringing together broadcasters from across Europe to analyse the energy consumption of different methods of watching TV – antennas, Freeview boxes, satellites and online apps.
We developed our own approach, in collaboration with leading academics in this area. We are pleased that the findings from our independent methodology was aligned with other studies in this area, whilst also providing some unique perspectives. We are very proud to have been a part of it and are excited to finally share the findings with you!
The bottom line is that, for individual viewers, the emissions per hour across all viewing methods are still quite small when compared with other every day activities like driving to the shops. When you’re comparing delivery methods of TV content, the many-to-one distribution of terrestrial TV comes out most efficient when compared to linear TV distributed over the internet. What’s still to be explored is the consequential effects of significant increase in internet traffic from viewing TV will affect the internet energy consumption in the longer-term.
The Book Chain Project (BCP) have finally released their Design Guide to the public.
After researching design processes, collecting data on every stage of the supply chain, and interviewing publishers and suppliers, BCP are sharing this guide to help inform all actors in the design process about the environmental and social impacts of different materials and processes that can go into making a book.
The purpose of the Design Guide is not to tell readers which materials and processes they should or should not use – the purpose is simply to give everyone at all stages of the design process the tools they need to further understand the impact of each material and process in order to make informed choices about the spec of their publication.
The Book Chain Project is a collaborative initiative run by Carnstone, involving 28 leading book and journal publishers, over 400 print suppliers and more than 300 paper manufacturers. The publishers participating in the Book Chain Project have one common aspiration – to make informed buying decisions and minimise the impact their books have on the environment, as well as those who manufacture or read their books. 📚
As COP26 starts, the Responsible Media Forum (RMF) have published a summary of the progress the Media Climate Pact signatories have made on:
- Setting science-based targets to reach net zero as early as possible and 2050 at the latest
- Driving climate-friendly lifestyles through content
"The efforts of 7 leading media companies to reduce their emissions and drive behaviour change towards climate-friendly lifestyles through content are encouraging. Systematically putting climate at the heart of editorial & creative decisions would have been unthinkable 5 years ago."