Inventory Management For Book Publishers

With a background ranging from bookstore to boardroom, Tim Cooper is a globally-recognized expert who’s consulted for publishing and printing companies in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, China, and The Philippines. 

From Trade to Education, from STM to Religious, Tim’s worked with major segments of publishing from a hands-on operating perspective.   To read a sample of the depth of Tim’s strategic advice for book publishers balancing print and digital content,  see his 2013 white paper  A Rebalanced Approach to Print and Digital.  See his detailed profile in PDF  TimCooper2015

Tim’s experience includes making thousands of print quantity decisions, from huge quantities of best sellers to short run digital quantities of long tail backlist.   To manage this work, he  designed an inventory management process and system that had major positive financial impact.  Over a 10 year period inventory decreased by 50% while sales doubled.  During that time, customer fill rates were higher than goal and out of stocks were limited to a maximum of 2% of the active title database in any given week.  During the same period the publishing company went from perpetual loss to consistent profitability.

Tim’s built his approaches into the Inventory Analysis & Audit (IA&A), a consulting program from The Consulting Garage.  In order to facilitate inventory improvements, you first must assess where you are and prioritize the top areas to improve.  The IA&A is a proprietary twenty factor assessment of a publisher’s own inventory management results and processes.

click here for a list of the factors iaa

and here to view the blank assessment grid.! IA&A grid blank

  • we use your inventory results (from your data)
  • we document and model your print quantity policies and parameters
  • we review your internal processes for 1st printings and reprints
  • we experience your data availability and integrity
  • we interact with your staff resources and see your bandwidth
  • we document our assessment factor by factor with text, tables and visuals
  • we provide expert proprietary analysis and considerations to enrich the IA&A

The IA&A assessments are a  roadmap for inventory improvement.  

Typical assessments include recommendations about:

  • using total cost in print costing
  • sales and demand forecasting process and methodology
  • inventory policies and measurements
  • inventory decision-making processes and methodology
  • using modeling and other additional analytics
  • service level goals and measurements
  • supplier lead times and measurements
  • internal processes and lead times
  • staffing, staff resources and workflows

For a no-cost consultation to find out if your publishing business can benefit from an Inventory Analysis & Audit or other services, contact Tim Cooper at or (619)-905-4545.


The Print Quantity Dilemma–the more you know, the less you know. 

Tim’s created a model to reflect the complexities he’s observed with print run decisions.  It accounts for the major quantitative factors that impact print quantities .  The dilemma is that most publishers do not have all the information or analytics needed to optimize the decision by formula.  It requires expertise.

In Tim’s mind, that creates a real opportunity to help publishers move toward best practice results regardless of their current situation.

The print quantity dilemma illustrated by showing the many factors to consider when optimizing a quantity

The print quantity dilemma illustrated by showing the many factors to consider when optimizing a quantity

For a no-cost consultation , contact Tim Cooper at or call (619)-905-4545.

See video of Tim Cooper from the Consulting Garage at the Firebrand Community Conference in 2009.