Announcing: Hardcover Jacketless Format
Big Book and Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

October 15, 2022

Dear A.A. Friends,

We are delighted to announce a new hardcover format of our most popular books:

• A new jacketless format of the hardcover Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous (Item B-1)

A new jacketless format of the hardcover Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (Item B-2)

These new formats will become available for ordering in late November 2022.

This jacketless format will replace the jacketed version for the foreseeable future. The new format is the result of our ongoing efforts to more effectively extend the hand of A.A. to our members and the still suffering alcoholic via our literature — specifically our beloved basic text, the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, along with our co-founder Bill W.’s much admired Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

As we have been updating everyone throughout these unprecedented times, supply chain disruptions throughout the worldwide paper, manufacturing materials, printing and trucking industries continue to unfavorably impact the production and distribution of A.A.W.S. literature and other items.

Since 2020 we have implemented many measures in efforts to reduce potential backorders — for example, ordering paper and scheduling reprints with our printers of the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, and other items more than six months in advance of projected need. Still, costs for materials and printing are rising exponentially.

To make matters more challenging for us, the worldwide availability of materials needed for the jacketed hardcover’s cover and jacket has been greatly disrupted. This has resulted in ongoing backorders, which we all are finding untenable, going forward.

This new jacketless format will have the image from the jacket beautifully reproduced on the book’s cover, as the photo (above) depicts.

A double win: This innovation will greatly reduce our backorders of these important titles — and we will be able to more effectively fulfill our great responsibility for the distribution of  A.A.’s most beloved books.

A historical note from the G.S.O. Archives

This is not the first instance that printing supplies have necessitated adapting the format of the Big Book. During World War II, to conform with directives from the U.S.government to all publishers to decrease paper consumption in their publications, the Big Book’s trim size was reduced in 1945. Samples of this “wartime Big Book” edition are on display at the G.S.O. Archives in New York City.

With this jacketless adaptation of our hardcovers, starting with our beloved “bestsellers” the hardcover Big Book and hardcover Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, we in A.A. are once again showing great resilience in the face of obstacles posed by world events!

As always, we encourage ordering the Big Book and all of our items of literature from local distribution sources—groups, districts, areas, Intergroups and Central Offices—as they play a vital role in local Twelfth Step activities.

For questions, comments and sharing on this topic, please email us at


Deborah K.
A.A.W.S. board chair

David R.,
A.A.W.S. Publishing Director