Study: Custom publishing showing strengths and weaknesses

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New York—The custom publishing industry is demonstrating both strengths and weaknesses in the midst of the economic downturn. While circulation numbers are up, ads and titles are down, according to a new Custom Publishing Council study titled “Characteristics Study: A Look at the Volume and Type of Custom Publications in America.”

The study found that the average circulation for custom publication titles in 2008 increased 24% to 336,060. Frequency remained steady at nine times per year.

Economic trends are having an impact, however. The percentage of custom publications using paid advertising decreased 4%, the third annual decline in a row. The number of published custom titles decreased 14% to 123,157. Custom publishing expenditures were down 20%, although some of this was due to a shift to online distribution, according to CPC.

The CPC survey was distributed this past winter by mail across several industry groups. About 350 companies completed and returned the questionnaire.

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