Brexit and Publishing – the future as we see it

PrintWeek wrote in the weeks after the vote, they would “Keep Calm and Carry On”. However, with much uncertainty for businesses two years on, this has been a hard stance to take. But despite the uncertainty, Printondemand-worldwide has made sure that regardless of what happens in government, provisions are adapted to suit any outcome – leaving us to do business as usual 

At Printondemand-worldwide, under Founder and Managing Director Andy Cork’s direction we are making these significant changes to ensure that Brexit will not impact the business negatively – and as a result, the quality of service we provide to our wide-ranging customers:  

  1. We are moving from DPD to Fedex for our deliveries, which is better positioned and prepared for Brexit. 
  2. We have adjusted our pricing as part of a pre-planned business strategy. This will automatically accommodate increased costs due to Brexit (this is likely to include increases in paper prices, currency fluctuations etc). This is critical to our ability to provide continuity of service. However, this does not include VAT costs per country. 
  3. We have investigated suppliers so that there will be a little-to-no impact on the customer and stock has been increased to avoid shortages – our aim is to ensure no customer experiences disrupted services.  
  4. We have also connected with a print partner in Belgium with similar equipment and output who also holds similar stock to us. 

Each decision is made at Printondemand-worldwide with the overall provision that quality and efficiency are continually given to the customer, as we have done for over 20 years.  

The benefits of Brexit

For many publishers, choosing print companies in the UK will be a benefit to them, as the costs in the EU and even the rest of the world balance out against the pound: what has traditionally been a strong currency for us, has also in the past meant a harder currency for others to do business with. Competitive pricing should increase the flow of business to UK printers as rising costs of raw materials is balanced against the pricing strategy elsewhere.   

Stephen Lotinga, who leads the UK’s Publishers Association (PA), believes that our strength lies in our abilities as exporters, but with the EU already being a mature market, there wasn’t anywhere to grow. Therefore, this is an opportunity to get creative and look to new global markets, such as China, which still have restrictions on how UK publishers can operate  

Potential negative impacts of Brexit

Many publishers are expecting higher costs in areas such as with the supply and distribution chain, which Printondemand-worldwide has also anticipated. However, like us, publishers have begun making plans to combat this and expect that even with a weaker pound, it means a chance of a more level playing field with exports. 

As a print and production company, we proudly serve all markets, including Academic/STM and with those markets comes the continuing discussion on Open Access debates across Europe. Leaving the EU means there is a risk that the UK’s voice on debates such as Open Access and the Digital Single Market may not carry the same weight.  

The Future

While UK books are exported to every region in the world, Europe is a strong market for UK published material. According to the Publishers Association, physical sales to the continent accounted for over 35% of total export revenues. And there is no reason for this to drop 

“Brexit, soft or hard, will in many ways be irrelevant. Although everyone is weighing up the various scenarios. Ultimately it is the quality, choice and popularity of content that drives consumer engagement so decisions about the future will be consumer and business driven rather than political… except when it comes to the impact of any regulation of course!” Says, Angela Mills Wade, executive director of the European Publishers Council (EPC). 

Overall, it seems as though the publishing industry will remain strong, as problems can be directly combated by having a strong business plan, based on consumer needs. The same can not necessarily be said for other industries, such as farming, therefore we are in a more privileged position.  

The UK publishing industry is proud of their exports and their achievements, with many UK books having rights sold into the movie industry, as well as translation rights. And as Ralph Büchi, FIPP chairman says [on Brexit and the media publisher], ‘quality outperforms politics’. 

Therefore, we hope that a clear plan comes into play soon so that business can continue as usual. Thank you for reading and for your continued support of Printondemand-worldwidelet’s continue supporting your print and production needsKeep Calm and Carry On 

If you have any questions about your own print and production needs, please get in contact with our team by emailing [email protected]