DS - FYI I meant that in the future obtaining hardcopies of stuff like bibles etc wil be from the website only, not from a KH literature supply or a JW representative bringing it to your door only by ordering it from the website.
Dunno what DS has to say regarding your question SBF but my gut feel is that book production will reduce down to the minimum they feel is required to facilitate the public preaching work. They will continue to have a greater need for physical media in parts of the world than others so I don't see a completely digital publishing business any time soon.
They have already made big steps in centralising printing and production in key hubs. I suspect they are keeping tabs on literature requests and have a threshold in mind where they stop shipments of all but essential physical media to congregations to be used only for preaching and insist that individuals use digital instead for everything else and "print at home" if they want a physical copy.
We may see the evolution of digital carts over time as well where there are no publications.
I also expect even more use of video. I can see the presentation of more of the meetings in the form of complete talks on video. They might increase the number of global broadcasts, move CA talks to pre-prepared videos or split the public talk into a video segment top and tailed by a local brother. CO visits will likely have more video presentations, especially for the pioneers and MS/elder meetings.
Overall I see the use of video as a way of ensuring a consistent message that has all the right hooks for propaganda and indoctrination neatly incorporated. It also paves the way for enabling RCs to be distributed to the assembly halls since the overhead of running the event would be reduced.
As for branch personnel it's all about downsizing as we know but they have hit upon a great method for keeping up the manpower requirements they do have. They are increasing the number of commuters and remote workers. These have the advantage that many of them are not officially Bethelites. They are ones who are substituting pioneering for service to the organisation in other ways. They work part time and pay their own expenses. It's an absolute winner for the org.
I hope the Britain branch all meet together in prayerful contemplation and explore what else they can give up! Amen.
It's hard to see how they could eliminate printing altogether.
But on the other hand, it just occurs to me that, when cutting costs, a 90% reduction in printing doesn't simply produce 90% reduction in expenditure, nowhere near it. So there's a certain futility to all the cost cutting unless they go all the way. Because whether they produce 100 million books a year or just 1 million books, they still need the presses, the buildings, repairs, the personnel, the expertise, the methods of distribution: the whole structure remains necessary, whether it's 100 million books a year or just 1 million. The only saving they are making is on paper and ink, and whatever other variable costs. The more substantial overheads remain.
So at a certain point won't they conclude that, if they have cut production by 90%, why not cut the final 10% and make the final savings? They could stop printing altogether, contract a few items to outside companies and that's it.
In the olden days how many books did the WT produce a year?
I reckon many publishers would get 2 copies of the new release, a yearbook, a day's text, possibly the bound volumes as well, a couple of copies of the primary study book for placing on the ministry, and every few years maybe a new Bible or song book, and occasional special items like Insight books, Bible stories books, Proclaimers, indexes, KIT, reference Bibles and so on. So I think a reasonable estimate is about 10 books a year per publisher. And considering some JWs placed a lot of books, that's probably a conservative estimate.
How many books do JWs get a year now? Well even the release at the convention was treated as a "special request". I'm curious if they will even print the yearbooks next year? It's down to next to nothing. They seem to have an abundant supply of Bible Teach books for the carts, but when they run out? They could get publishers down close to zero books a year at this rate.
I really think they are winding down in quite dramatic fashion.
They are still giving out magazines to the general public that were printed in 2012 2011 and 2010 that are filling the carts and they have even started putting them in plastic bags to help them last longer.Thats why the carts have been so helpful for the watchtower because the drones can stand there for hours and not give anthing out to the public,so the magazines could be on the carts for another 5 or 10 ten years unless some one takes them,a member of the general public OR US